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.  


Definition: : “A situation requiring a choice between equally undesirable alternatives; any difficult or perplexing situation or problem.”

Origin/Derivation: From the Greek prefix di- meaning “two” and the Greek noun lemma meaning “premise, anything received or taken."

Related Words/Phrases: dialogue, dioxide, dimorphous, diptych

(All information is from, and/or

“Old Saw” of the Week

See if you can “complete the phrase” of this time-worn (but true!) adage:

When the going gets tough…

the tough get going.

Caption: John Belushi, inspiring the troops in Animal House