Thursday, June 11, 2009

Word Up!

Not sure why this topic came to mind, but I love finding word origins - especially Latin ones - and applying them to lots of English words and showing myself and my children and my students how to improve their vocabulary.

The root word of the day is acro- old Greek akro. The original meaning is "height, tip-end, or extremeties - as in the body". There are lots of words that start with this - mostly lots of medical terms but here are a few.


Acrobat - we think of someone who does flips, but it originally was said to describe someone who walked on their toes.

Acropathy - disease of the extremeties

Acrophobia - fear of heights

Acrostic poem - a non rhyming poem that your make out of the 1st letter (tip end) of a name, it can be a single word or phrase. This is used a lot in elementary school as a creative way for students to expand their vocabulary and not know it. An example is the name Sue - Super, Unique, Energetic.

The best acro word has to be acronym. My favorite acronyms are the ones that are the ones that are real words - not jut BLT - Bacon , Lettuce or Tomato. Words like SCUBA.

Click here for acronym overload.

SCUBA stands for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus - it sounds Latin, but it is not. Another one is NEWS - bet you did not know that it stood for North, East, West, South.

We can also make acronyms out of words that already exist. This is sort of blending the lines with the acrostic poems, but close enough for me.

IACOCCA ( as in Lee who was head of Chrysler) I Am Chairman Of Chrysler Corporation of America.

FORD - Fix Or Repair Daily

There is also one for Pontiac, but it's not nice so I can't put it here.

Consider yourself educated for the day.

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