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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.  

Petrichor - “a distinctive scent, usually described as earthy, pleasant, or sweet, produced by rainfall on very dry ground.”  From the Greek forms petr- meaning “rock, stone” and ichor, which in Classical Mythology refers to an “ethereal fluid (something akin to blood) flowing in the veins of the gods.”  (All information is from, and/or

RELATED WORDS/PHRASES – petroleum, petrol, petrology

SENTENCE: “Did you know that camels in the desert rely on petrichor to locate sources of water such as oases?”