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Saint Ignatius High School

Etymology Word of the Week

As some of you know, in addition to being the Director of Admissions, Pat O'Rourke '90 also teaches Latin at Saint Ignatius and is a self-proclaimed "word nerd." Here is his latest Etymology Word of the Week.
Providence - "God's foreseeing and benevolent protection and care of his creatures." From the Latin participle providentem meaning "to act with foresight," which itself comes from the Latin preposition/prefix pro meaning "before, for, on behalf of" and the Latin participle videntem meaning "seeing, to see."  (All information is from, and/or

RELATED WORDS/PHRASES – provisions, provide, prudence (originally a contraction of providence)

Sample sentence – “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."  Thomas Jefferson, final words of the Declaration of Independence.

ABBREVIATION OF THE WEEK:  N.B. is short for Nota Bene, which translates to "note well."  This abbreviation is often used by teachers when they're writing on a chalkboard (or more likely a SmartBoard or Sympodium nowadays) to make sure their students pay attention to a major point of interest.  Nota means "take careful note of" and is a Latin imperative verb, which is the mood of commanding.  Imperative verbs are 2nd person by definition, so the subject is always "You (understood)."  Nota is singular, so perhaps teachers should use the plural imperative form Notate, but obviously the abbreviation N.B. would stay the same.  Bene is an adverb that means "well" - it is formed from the Latin adjective bonus, -a, -um meaning "good" and is related to such words as benign, benevolent, beneficence, and so on.


...want not. 
                  Want is used here in a way that is synonymous with "lack."