Saint Ignatius High School

Etymology Word of the Week

Back by popular demand, Director of Admissions, Pat O'Rourke '90 and self-proclaimed "word nerd" brings you his Etymology Word of the Week. Every other week, he presents an online Etymology lesson designed to dazzle.

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.  

Superstitious - "characterized by a belief, not based on reason, in the ominous significance of a particular circumstance.”  From the Latin noun superstitio meaning “prophecy, soothsaying, dread of the supernatural” - literally “a standing over,” from the Latin adverb super meaning “over, above” and the Latin verb sto, stare, steti, statum meaning “to stand.” (All information is from, and/or

RELATED WORDS/PHRASES – superimpose, supercilious, destitute, circumstance, etc.

SYNONYMS - irrational, gullible, unfounded

SAMPLE SENTENCE - “Some superstitious folks will not even leave their houses on Friday the 13th.”

FINISH THE PHRASE - I fear the Greeks, even… (scroll for answer)

Answer: ...those bearing gifts.
            (from The Aeneid, in reference to the “Trojan Horse”)