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: “To continue steadfastly in some purpose or course of action, especially in spite of opposition.”  

Origin/Derivation: From the Latin prefix per- meaning “thoroughly” and the Latin verbs sto and sisto, meaning “to stand” and “to take a stand”. 

Related Words/Phrases: resist, insist, exist, desist, subsist

Quote: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” 
— by the 30th U.S. President, Calvin Coolidge

(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:

“If, at first, you don’t succeed”…

try, try again.”

Caption: Sisyphus rolling his rock up the hill, over and over again.