This week, someone asked me if many English words originate from Greek?
Here is my reply:
As best I can tell, the breakdown goes something like this.
English is about 50% Latin and 50% German. But, that is very broad.
The real story is a real mess. 🙂
I’ve heard about 10% of our words (mostly scientific and medical) come from Greek.
Most of our large words, our multi-syllable words come from Latin. Words like multi-syllable, as it turns out. Some come directly from Latin, most from Latin via French.
Most of our one syllable words come from German. Anglo-Saxon, really. Words like house, wolf, door, etc.
Then, there are all the crazy words we pull out of other languages. For example most sk words are of Scandinavian origin. Sky, skirt, ski and skull, for example.
English is disaster. And, I love it. Of all the languages, I know, English is my favorite.