Posted: Sun May 02, 2021 7:46 pm
• demiurge •
Pronunciation: de-mee-êrj • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: 1. A powerful creative force or personality. 2. A magistrate in several ancient Greek states. 3. (Capitalized, Platonic philosophy) The creator of the universe. 4. (Capitalized, Gnostic philosophy) Creator of the universe subordinate to the Supreme Being, often considered the creator of evil.
Notes: Here is a useful word that missed its chance with the Trump administration (fourth sense). It comes with a variety of adjectives, demiurgic, demiurgical, demiurgeous. Don't forget the I in the middle of the noun or the E in the suffix.
In Play: We have several people who might be called "demiurges" in their field: "Elon Musk might be considered a demiurge of green transportation from the highways to space." We should not forget the fourth sense of today's Good Word: "Harvey Weinstein was seen as a Hollywood demiurge in the first sense until the #metoo movement let the world see he was one in the fourth sense above."
Word History: English took this one, again, from French demiurge. French inherited it from Latin demiurgus, which Latin copped from Greek demiourgos "one who works for the people; a skilled workman, a craftsman". This word is made up of demios "of the people, public" (derived from dêmos "the people"), + ergos "worker" (derived from ergon "work") + a suffix. Demos seems to have come from a suffixed form of PIE da- "to divide", source also of Greek daiesthai "to divide". The connection with people remains a mystery. Ergon comes from PIE werg-/worg- "to do, work", origin, too, of work and German Werk "work". French boulevard started as bollevart "rampart used as a promenade", borrowed from Middle Dutch bolwerc "round work, bulwark", which is where English bulwark came from, too. Orgies must have been considered work in ancient Greece, for the word orgy was borrowed from Greek orgia "secret rites, worship", from the same PIE source. (Now a bow to Anna Jung, a newcomer to the GW series, for starting, hopefully, a long string of suggestions with today's rather spectacular Good Word.)