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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.  

Amnesty - “a general pardon for offenses, especially political offenses, against a government, often granted before any trial or conviction.”   From the Greek word amnestia meaning “forgetfulness (especially of wrong),” which consists of the prefix a- meaning “not” and the noun mnestis meaning “remembrance.”  (All information is from www.wikipedia.org, www.etymonline.com and/or www.dictionary.com.)

RELATED WORDS/PHRASES – amnesia, mnemonic (devices), Mnemosyne (mother of the Muses)

SAMPLE SENTENCE - “The political prisoner sought amnesty in a country that was sympathetic to his cause.”