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Latin Words Unchanged in English

by Nicole
(El Paso, TX)

While doing some research on the Gothic as a genre, I started wondering about the derivations of some of the words associated with it. After consulting the OED, I noticed that the Latin for horror was, well, horror, and began wondering if this was as odd as it seemed to me. Are there many English words which have remained unchanged since the Latin? Thanks!



Dear Nicole,

I'm sure there are thousands of words that remain unchanged in spelling from Classical Latin to Modern English.

It's impossible to list them all, but I'll give a few:

actor
agitator
alias
alibi
animal
anterior
circus
citrus
clamor
conifer
discus
doctor
factor
fragile
fungus
furor
genus
gladiator
gymnasium
habitat
index
interior
minor
minus
nexus
nominator
posterior
rabies
radius
ratio
rumor
sculptor
senator
series
sinister
species
spectator
squalor
status
tremor
vacuum
vim and vigor
virus

There are too many thousands to go on! But the truth is, you speak Latin every day, you hear it spoken, you read it and you write it.

Hope this helps, and thanks for asking a Latin teacher!

Sincerely,

John

P.S. You can start learning Latin now with Rosetta Stone!

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