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!

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.  

Bona fide - “acting or done in good faith.”  From the Latin phrase bona fide meaning “in good faith” which is made up of the ablative forms of the Latin adjective bonus, bona, bonum meaning “good” and the Latin noun fides, fidei, fem. meaning “faith.”  (All information is from, and/or

RELATED WORDS/PHRASES – bona sera (good night), bon mot (clever saying), bon soir (good night), bon voyage (have a pleasant journey), bonus question, bon-vivant (the life of the party), Buenos Aires (fair winds); fidelity, Fido (common name for dogs meaning “faithful” or “loyal”), confide/confident/confidant, fiduciary, infidel

DID YOU KNOW? - The mortician (or undertaker) in The Godfather is the first person the audience sees in the movie.  Ironically he is named Amerigo Bonasera (see above for meaning).