Words, their origins and meanings have fascinated me my whole life. In American schools of my generation we were taught vocabulary as part of our English class until we were fifteen years of age. We learned the meanings of prefixes and suffixes. As a result, today I can break down an unfamiliar word and have a general idea of what it means. Some examples follow.
Ante- means before as in, antediluvian, antebellum, ante-mortem.
Post- means after as in post-mortem, post scriptand post traumatic stress disorder.
-ology means the study of as in geology,biology and psychology.
-itis means the infection of as in tonsillitis, appendicitis and laryngitis.
Phil means a lover of something as in philanthropic and philharmonic.
Mis means a hater of something as in misanthrope, misogynist and misogamist.
We still have remnants from the three classical languages hanging around. For example: caveat emptor means buyer beware but we come across caveats in all sorts of documents. It means beware or pay attention. The expression beware of Greeks bearing gifts refers back to the Trojan horse.
Abracadabra is believed to be three Hebrew words put together which mean father, son and holy spirit.
And thus endeth toady’s ramblings.