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.  

Utopia - "an ideal state or place; an imaginary island described in Sir Thomas More’s Utopia (1516) as enjoying perfection in law, politics, etc.”  Ironically, its literal meaning is “nowhere” or “not a (real) place.”  From the Greek words ou meaning “not” and topos meaning “place.”  (All information is from, and/or

RELATED WORDS/PHRASES – dystopia (antonym), topography, toponym

SAMPLE SENTENCE - “There are many books written and movies made about dystopian societies, but not too many about utopian ones.”

FINISH THE PHRASE - A rolling stone gathers… (scroll for answer)


Answer: moss.