Greek Borrowing

The revival of Greek learning at the beginning of the 16th opened up a new source which enriched the English vocabulary. However, even diving the Pre-Renaissance period. Greek words made inward into English stock and it contained a number of Greek words such as geography, theology, and logic. Before the Renaissance, English had acquired such Greek words as academy, atom, Bible, harmony, tragedy, and theatre.

The contribution of Greek to English vocabulary consists chiefly in scientific and technical terms. Names of almost all sciences have come from Greek such as anthropology, biology, botany, chemistry, physics. Words relating to medical science are psychology, neurology, phlebotomy. Some technical terms have been made by putting together two Greek words – telegram, telegraph, telephone, cinematograph.

Sometimes hybrids have been formed by adding Greek suffixes and prefixes to English words. The Greek prefixes anti- and hyper- have been very common as anti-Indian, anti-English, hyper-sensitive. The Greek prefixes a- and suffix -logy are added to a number of words as amoral, apolitical, sociology, numerology.

Though a great number of words of Greek stock are related to scientific, technical and non-technical terms, words have also been borrowed from time to time. Example of such Greek words borrowed from Latin and French are fancy, ideas, pathos.
There are also a few Greek words like kudos, hybrid which has acquired a general currency. Some of the Greek words adopted in the long span of time are :
16th century: alphabet, drama, theory
17th century: dogma, clinic, museum
18th century: Bathos, Philander
19th century: phase aerobot, agnostic.

However, many of these words caused through Latin and French have now become a part of common vocabulary.

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