WORD LISTS

Frankenwords: Words with Roots from Different Languages

August 13, 2019
Words derived from more than one language are called "hybrid words." Many hybrid words in English have a combination of Latin and Greek roots, but you'll also find other interesting combinations in the list below.
monoculture
monos (Greek: "single") + cultura (Latin: "cultivating")
But experts say it is likely to reflect the insect situation in places like North America, where monoculture and pesticide use are widespread.
dysfunction
dys- (Greek: "bad") + functionem (Latin: "performance")
These findings tally with brain-imaging studies suggesting dysfunction of some regions in insomnia, and with animal studies implicating these cells in sleep regulation.
claustrophobia
claustrum (Latin: "bolting, closing") + -phobia (Greek: "fear")
I suffer from claustrophobia: simply being in an elevator sets my teeth on edge.
neonatal
neos (Greek: "new") + natalis (Latin: "of birth")
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center says the young patients are in the Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive care unit.
neuroscience
neur- (Greek: "of nerves") + scientia (Latin: "knowledge")
The finding that some people in a coma show signs of consciousness was transformative for neuroscience, says Seth.
petroleum
petra (Greek: "rock") + oleum (Latin: "oil")
Oils are powerful fuels, but the high price of refined petroleum, the oil generally preferred, precludes its widespread use for many purposes for which it is suitable.
sociopath
socius (Latin: "companion") + pathos (Greek: "suffering")
But unless you're dealing with an actual psychopath or sociopath, it's virtually impossible for a human being to not connect on some level if the person is being patient and genuine.
bureaucracy
bureau (French: "writing desk") + -kratia (Greek: "power of")
It’s impossible for federal, state and local bureaucracies to move in sync in such a short period for several reasons.
speedometer
spod (Old Saxon: "success") + metron (Greek: "a measure")
The cab’s speedometer never dipped below ninety-five the whole way through the Mojave Desert.
genocide
genos (Greek: "race, kind") + -cida (Latin: "killer, cutter")
The museum focuses on stereotypes, prejudice, genocide, the history of intolerance.
automobile
autos (Greek: "self") + mobilis (Latin: "movable")
In 1898 General Motors lacked the capital to hire salesmen for its new automobiles, so it sold franchises to prospective car dealers, giving them exclusive rights to certain territories.
television
tele (Greek: "afar") + visionem (Latin: "sight")
My mother is standing in front of the television, listening to the news anchor.
sociology
socius (Latin: "companion") + -logie (Greek: "speaking")
In doing so he is not committed, however, to belief in or use of any particular form of what is known as the science of society or sociology.
merriment
myrge (Old English: "pleasing") + mentum (Latin: suffix forming nouns to indicate an action)
It was a merry night and he was joyful to be there in the warmth and merriment, keeping festival with his companions.
talkative
talken, tale (Middle English: "story") + -ativus (Latin: "of or related to")
June was funny like that, talkative and loud in class, but at lunch and during gym, she got quiet.
electrocution
elektro- (Greek: "amber") + execut- (Latin: "carry out")
Downed or broken power lines also may pose electrocution hazards.
hypertension
hyper (Greek: "to excess") + tensionem (Latin: "a stretching")
Common among patients are chronic ailments like diabetes and hypertension.
bigamy
bi- (Latin: "double") + gamos (Greek: "marrying")
Being married to more than one person, or bigamy, is illegal across the United States.
meritocracy
meritus (Latin: "earning") + -kratia (Greek: "power")
Their scores functioned as a currency of merit for a nation that aspired to meritocracy.
biodegradable
bio (Greek: "life") + de- (Latin: "down") + gradi (Latin: "walk") + -abilis (Latin: "capable of")
Nestle was developing new paper-based materials and biodegradable polymers that are also recyclable.
dehydrate
de- (Latin: "down, away") + hydr- (Greek: "water")
“We dehydrate a lot of berries for granola and trail mixes.”
carbohydrate
carbo (Latin: "carbon") + hydr- (Greek: "water")
There are innumerable plant-animal combinations, mostly in the sea, where the green plant cells provide carbohydrate and oxygen for the animal and receive a share of energy in return.
amorally
a- (Greek: "without") + moralis (Latin: "proper behavior")
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how it's fruitless to expect corporations to be moral – they are dumbly, amorally acquisitive.
autochthonous
autokhton (Greek: "native") + -ous (Old French) from -osus (Latin: "having, full of")
He also grows about 30 other vegetables or herbs for Mr. Alija, from the autochthonous to the exotic.
eponymous
eponym (Greek: "giving one's name") + -ous (Old French) from -osus (Latin: "having, full of")
He is best known for his outspokenness and his role in crafting the eponymous Dodd-Frank Act, which sought to regulate the financial industry after the crash last decade.

Rate this wordlist:

Do you have a comment?

Share it with the Visual Thesaurus community.

Your comments:

Sign in to post a comment!

We're sorry, you must be a subscriber to comment.

Click here to subscribe today.

Already a subscriber? Click here to login.

Create a new Word List