Tag Archives: vocabulary


As I blog my way through my study of Italian, I am considering bring the “Word of the Day” back.

For several years, I posted consistently.  Then, in the craziness that was for me 2016, I dropped the ball.  But, I miss it.

I am going to attempt to resurrect the habit.  We shall see.

I will attempt to blog my way through the “language museum” located at the end of the Loom of Language.

Here goes:

Air: the invisible gasses that make up the atmosphere.  Air comes from Old French, air.  which came from Latin aer (atmosphere, sky; cloud).  The Latin word is related to the Greek αέρ (modern αέρας).

The word Air looks familiar in many modern Latin-derived languages.

  • French – l’air
  • Italian – l’aria
  • Spanish – el aire
  • Portuguese – o ar

Beyond Word Up….

I received this question:

I have a few of questions about Beyond Word Up:

Is it in the same format as Word Up?

How many lessons are there?

Since it’s not a live class, do you have to sign up for a year or just a couple months?

Here is my reply:

No. Unfortunately, it is not the same format as Word Up.  I wish it were.  Word Up was a lot of fun to create.  

The classes on my site are screen casts.  They’re not all that exciting.  Basically, the students simply see the word I am talking about on the screen in front of them.  Each class adds about 20 new words.  In this respect, the material is the same as Word Up, but the delivery is quite different.

There are 24 lessons.  This means that students would learn the history of and the etymology of about 500 words.

And, yes. I have set my site up in such a way that you can subscribe and cancel at anytime.


The Greek word, Λόγος (lógos) means: word.  

Sort of.

Logos is a bit complicated.  There is a lot to it.  It can mean any of the following:

1.  That which is said: word, sentence, speech, story, debate, utterance.

2.  That which is thought: reason, consideration, computation, reckoning.

3.  An account, explanation, or narrative.

4.  Subject matter.

From the Greek word λόγος, English gets a dump truck full of words.  Watch for these words in the days ahead.


Verb: In grammar, a part of speech that expresses action, motion, being, suffering, or a request or command to do anything.  A verb may also show state of existence. 

The verb affirms, declares, asks or commands; as, I write; he runs; the river flows; they sleep; we see; they are deceived; they depart; they go; they come. 

The verb may also show state of existence; as in, Italy is in Europe.

The verb is the main assertive word in any sentence.

When the action expressed by a verb is exerted on an object, or terminates upon an object, the act is considered as passing to that object.  In this case, the verb is called transitive.  For example, I read the book.

When the act expressed by the verb, terminates in the agent or subject, the verb is intransitive; as in, I run, I walk, or I sleep.

When the agent and object change places and the agent becomes the instrument, the verb is passive; as in, Goliath was killed by David.

From Latin verbum (word).

Vocabulary trouble…

I received this question:

Do you have any recommended ways of memorizing the Lingua Latina Vocab. I’ve been doing the flashcards on Quizlet and that helps a little bit. But I still struggle with the vocabulary a lot.

Here is my reply: 

Good morning!

This is a common theme.  If there were one trick I could recommend, it would be this one.  Read and re-read the chapters every day.  Eventually, the story itself will embed the vocabulary in your brain.  This is why Jesus taught theology through stories.  The stories made the lesson stick.  

In Lingua Latina, the stories make the vocabulary stick.

This works well with Lingua Latina.  It does not work well with books like Henle Latin.

Words from porto.

I am up late grading student homework right now.   In one class, the vocabulary class, I told the students to use English words that came from the Latin word Porto.   Porto means “I carry”.  

This student went above and beyond:

1.  The porter did not comport himself well, and, therefore lost his job.

2.  The portly man was difficult to transport.

3.  Portfolios are designed to make papers more portable.

4.  The colporteur attempted to export his ideas to others.

5.  At a Greek museum, it was purported that the rapporteur paid more attention to the amphora in his peripheral vision than he did to the important speech that he was supposed to be reporting.

Miscellaneous language advice.

I received this inquiry:

“When reading the chapter ever day are they (we, I’m trying to do this with her) suppose to be reading in English, Latin or both?


We are using the Cassell’s Latin Dictionary both Latin-English and English-Latin. Many of the vocabulary words she already knows so she hasn’t done them all. So should we be doing vocabulary 1st before we start reading?And the dictionary is confusing to me. Should I be using something different?   


Here is my reply:

Read in English, Latin, or whatever you need to read in for it to sink in.  🙂  

The trick is to read frequently.  I am learning Italian right now.  When I read, I read in Italian.  Then I will read thinking in English.  Sometimes I will translate out loud in English.  After that, I will read out loud in Italian.  In other words, I try everything.  Basically, I want to hit my brain from every angle.

As for vocabulary, keep this site open nearby: http://archives.nd.edu/words.html.

It’s so easy.  Type in the word you are struggling with and this dictionary will look it up for you.  What could be better?  🙂

If you want to practice vocabulary, go to Quizlet and type in Lingua Latina.  You will get the vocabulary as flashcards and as games.  Fun way to practice.

So, vocabulary first, or no?  I go back and forth on this one.  I have seen students use flash cards with great success.  It’s not for me.  I’ve tried.  Just doesn’t do it for me.  Personally, I like to learn vocabulary via extensive reading.  I have read some language books dozens of times until it clicks.  Currently doing this with Greek.  If I were you, I would try everything.  Test it all.  Find what works.  

Let me know if you need more help!