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. 

Noon - “midday; twelve o’clock in the daytime.”  From the Latin ordinal numeral/adjective nonus, nona, nonum meaning “ninth” - the canonical hour of “nones” or 3 p.m. was calculated to be 9 hours after sunrise (6 a.m.).  Nones and nonus are related to the Latin cardinal numeral novem meaning “nine.”  (All information is from, and/or

RELATED WORDS/PHRASES – November (was the 9th month originally, until January and February were added later), novena (devotion consisting of nine separate days of prayers/services), nonagenarian (person aged between 90-100 years), nonagon (plane figure having 9 angles and 9 sides)