Reunion Weekend: June 2-4, 2023

All alumni are invited to join us back on campus for Reunion Weekend the first weekend in June.

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.  

Narwhal - “sea-unicorn, dolphin-like Arctic sea mammal; a small Arctic whale, the male of which has a long, spirally twisted tusk extending forward from the upper jaw.”  Possibly from the Old Norse nahvalr meaning “corpse-whale” (na meaning corpse and hvalr meaning whale).  Apparently, the mammal looked like a dead body to some due to its ghastly whitish color.  Some linguists, however, believe this is “folk” etymology and the word simply means “whale distinguished by a long, narrow projection.”  (All information is from, and/or