Saint Ignatius High School

Etymology Word of the Week

Director of Admissions Pat O'Rourke '90, a self-proclaimed "word nerd," brings you his Etymology Word of the Week. Every other week he presents an online Etymology lesson just for fun!

Etymology Word of the Week – As some of you know, in addition to working in the Admissions Office, I also teach Latin at Saint Ignatius and am something of a "word nerd."  Thus, each week, I’ll sneak a vocabulary word (sometimes derived from Latin, sometimes not) into the e-blast.  Here, then. is this week’s edition of the Etymology Word of the Week.  


Definition: “Bland; without any distinctive, interesting, or stimulating qualities; dull, vapid.”

Origin/Derivation: From the Latin prefix in meaning “not” and the Latin adjective sapidus meaning “tasty”. Related to the Latin verb sapio, sapiens which means “to taste; to have taste; to be wise.”    

Related Words/Phrases: homo sapiens, savant, savoir-faire, savvy

(All information is from, and/or

“Old Saw” of the Week

See if you can “complete the phrase” of this time-worn (but true!) adage:

Necessity is the mother…

of invention.

Caption: Old pop bottle as showerhead; Frank Zappa (of the Mothers of Invention)