Greek Influences on English


Greek Influences on English

Greek Influences on English

Greek Influences on English

Greek Influences on English

Greek influence on English began from the origin of the English language and till today this influence is going on. This long time throughout the ages of Greek influence on English can be divided into two distinctive periods as- (a) the first period from the 4th century to the 16th century and (b) the second period from the 16th century to the present day.

During the first period, Greek influence on English fell in two ways – first indirectly through Latin and then directly from original Greek. During this period English took such words indirectly through Latin as- geography, theology, logic etc. 

The words that entered into English directly from the original Greek were pertaining to technical and scientific terms as under:

Words pertaining to Science were– anthropology, astronomy, botany, biology, chemistry, physics etc.

Many terms pertaining to Medical Science were- psychology, neurology, hepatic, phlebotomy etc.

Many technical terms that have been made by putting together two Greek words are: tele-gram, tele-graph, tele-phone, phono-graph, cinemato-graph.

Many Greek words entered into English by adding Latin prefixes to Greek words such as: dicta-phone, appendi-cities etc.

Many hybrids also have been formed by adding Greek prefixes to English words as: anti-British, hyper-sensitive etc.

During the second period, especially during the Modern English period, English borrowed many Greek words pertaining to art and literature and many general words through Medieval Latin and French.

Words relating to art and literature are- alphabet, drama, dilemma, chorus, basis, epic, theory, orchestra, pandemonium, museum, hypen, dogma, clinic, bathos etc.

Many general words that entered into English vocabulary through Latin and French are- fancy, idea, ecstasy, sympathy, philander, phase, therm etc.

Thus Greek lent a lot of words to English either directly or indirectly, which the English language received and made an integral part and parcel of it without the least hesitation in order to enrich its vocabulary.  0 0 0

Read More: Latin Influences on English

N. B. This article entitled ‘Greek Influences on English’ originally belongs to the book ‘A Brief History of the English Language‘ by Menonim Menonimus.

Books on Linguistics by M. Menonimus:

  1. A Brief History of the English Language
  2. Essays on Linguistics
  3. My Imageries
  4. Felicitous Expression: Some Examples
  5. Learners’ English Dictionary

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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