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: “Altruistic concern for human welfare and advancement, usually manifested by donations of money to needy persons, by endowments of institutions of learning and hospitals, and by generosity to other socially useful purposes.” 

Origin/Derivation: From the Greek stems phil- meaning “loving” and anthropos meaning “mankind.”

Related Words/Phrases: philosophy (love of wisdom), Philadelphia (love for a brother), Anglophile (lover of all things English), oenophile (lover of wine), bibliophile (book lover), hemophilia (tending to bleed - a.k.a. “the royal disease”), philanderer (has come to mean someone who is unfaithful to their spouse), philodendron (“lover of trees” - tree-climbing plant); anthropology (study of human origins and development), misanthrope (a curmudgeon, one who appears to hate all of mankind), anthropomorphism (giving human qualities to things that aren’t human - like those who put sweaters on their dogs :), lycanthrope (um, a wolf-man??). 

Caption: Warren Buffett, well-known American philanthropist.  

(All information is from, and/or