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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.

Arachnid - "any wingless, carnivorous arthropod from the class Arachnida, including spiders and scorpions, having a body divided into two parts, and having eight appendages and no antennae.” From the Greek noun arakhne meaning “spider, spider’s web” but more commonly associated with the myth of Arachne, a talented but brash weaver who challenged Athena to a tapestry competition and lost (even though her tapestry was arguably better). Rather than kill her, Athena turned her into a spider so that her gift of weaving could live on, albeit in the form of symmetrical webs. (All information is from , and/or


SAMPLE SENTENCE - “Arachnids are often associated with Halloween - huge spider webs that span from upstairs windows to the lawn seem to be this year’s hip decoration for houses.”

FINISH THE PHRASE - It's not the size of the dog in the fight... (scroll for answer)

's the size of the fight in the dog.