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: “In the state of one unable to pay just debts or meet obligations.”
Origin/Derivation: From the Italian phrase banca rotta meaning “broken bench.”
Related Words/Phrases: bank, bench, bunker; rupture, corrupt, erupt, interrupt, rout, route
Did You Know? We get the word “bank” from banca, which also meant “moneylender’s shop” - the bench (or counter) was supposedly where the money-changers placed any money they had available to lend. Once they had no more money to lend, their bench was broken (or rotta in Italian; from the Latin rumpere, ruptus).