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.
Trivial - "of very little importance or value; insignificant.” From the Latin prefix tri meaning “three,” and the Latin noun via, viae meaning “street or road.” Thus, the place where 3 streets meet (a crossroads, street corner, intersection, or other such place) signifies a very public, ordinary, “vulgar” locale - in the Romans’ minds no doubt, probably a place where only mundane (a.k.a. trivial) matters were discussed. (All information is from www.wikipedia.org, www.etymonline.com and/or www.dictionary.com).
RELATED WORDS/PHRASES - just about any word with tri- as a prefix such as triangle, tripod, etc.; for via, words like viaduct, deviant (way off the road), obviate, impervious
SYNONYMS - trifling, pedestrian, inconsequential, ordinary, commonplace
SAMPLE SENTENCE - “Having a wide-ranging knowledge of trivial tidbits comes in handy when playing Jeopardy.”
GUESS THE APHORISM:
The early bird... (scroll for the answer)
Answer: ...catches the worm.