SAT Vocabulary Words: Votum

Remembering SAT vocabulary words can be tedious and overwhelming.

A well placed Latin root, however, can unlock several English derivatives every student should know.

Encourage your students to sign up for the Latin Word of the Week. Use these roots and derivatives in you lesson plans.

Learning just one Latin root per week will increase English vocabulary by hundreds of words within a few months.

Here is the Latin Word of the Week for January 27, 2009:

VOTUM, VOTI (neuter)

Vow, Prayer

1. vote: an expression of opinion or choice. We don't quite pray when we cast our ballots, but that is what the root word means. And we do hope our vote is counted in the way we hope our prayers are heard.

2. votive: offered together with a prayer or a vow. Think of votive candles, votive mass.

3. devotion: the act of prayer or worship; zeal; devoutness.

"Perpetual devotion to what a man calls his business, is only to be sustained by perpetual neglect of many other things."
--Robert Lewis Stevenson

4. votary: a devoted follower, often religious, who has taken vows (such as a monk or a nun). Although there is not always a religious conotation, i.e. one can be a votary of classical music or Elizabethan theater.

5. devotee: a person greatly devoted to something, i.e. a religion, a sport, a hobby.

"Devotees of grammatical studies have not been distinguished for any very remarkable felicities of expression."
--Bronson Alcott

6. devout: pious, religious; earnest, sincere. This one comes through French, as do many Latin roots used in English.

7. devoutful: full of devotion, sacred.

8. votist: one who makes a vow.

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