Posted by: Author | January 14, 2011

Friday Facts- January 14, 2011- Word Origins

Being a person who loves words and having been called a wordsmith all my adult life, and also being a person who took four years of Latin in high school, I’m always intrigued by the origin of certain words. Thought I’d share today two of my favorite linked-origin words.  Amnesty and Amnesia.

Amnesty is defined as a general pardon; usually from offenses against a government (think crimes, etc) or to overlook or forgive an offense.

Amnesia is defined as partial or total loss of memory.

Both of these words are from the Greek word amnestia (which is the same word in Latin) which means oblivion or forgotten. Or amnestos– which means not remembered. 

How interesting that a medical condition and a legal action have the same root word. Now, this thrills me to no end. If it bores you, don’t burst my bubble, please, ’cause this makes me happy.  Leave me in my happy place. Even if I’m the only one there.

Happy Friday before a long weekend. Probably should’ve talked about MLK, Jr.,  in retrospect but it’s late and I’m done here.


  1. I like it. Not boring at all. I think this is a fabulous fact. I’m curious as to whether or not there are other related words.

    • thanks- I’m sure there may be! Don’t google it at work! LOL!

  2. I’m suddenly remembering My Big Fat Greek Wedding when every word started with Greek. I love word origins as well and used a lovely online etymology dictionary when I wanted to come up with unique words for some parts of my world. Instead of using Shadow all the time, for instance, I used Skado which is Old Saxon for Shade. It was great!

    • that’s cool- I love Skado!! Sounds awesome.

  3. I love these posts. They are so interesting!
    Have a happy Friday and great weekend!

    • Thanks Ciara! Sometimes I fret over whether they will be interesting. Have a good Friday and weekend as well.

  4. I love Friday Facts!! Always learn something new. Thanks for that! 🙂 Happy Friday!!!

    • Thanks!! glad you like them- I owe you an email!

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