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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.  

Levity - “lightness of mind, character, or behavior; lack of appropriate seriousness or earnestness; frivolity.”  From the Latin adjective levis meaning “light, not heavy, having little weight.”  Also related to the Latin verb levare, which means “to raise, to lift up, to make lighter.”   (All information is from www.wikipedia.org, www.etymonline.com and/or www.dictionary.com)

RELATED WORDS/PHRASES – levitate, alleviate, relevant, elevate, relieve, levee, lever, leaven, levy

SENTENCE - In Hamlet, Polonius said that brevity is the soul of wit - but sometimes levity is, too!