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.  

Porcupine - “any of several rodents covered with stiff, sharp spines or quills.”  Literally, “spine hog” from the Latin nouns porcus meaning “pig” and spina meaning “spine, thorn.”  (All information is from, and/or

RELATED WORDS/PHRASES – porcine, pork, porcelain, porpoise (means “pig fish”)

SAMPLE SENTENCE - “If the groundhog gets its own day, why not the porcupine?!?”