Words coming from the root acro...

A discussion of word histories and origins.
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Words coming from the root acro...

Postby vaibhavd85 » Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:17 am

Acrophobia (N): an abnormal fear of high places.
This word comes form the Latin root “akron” which literally means “extreme”, but the root also has the following meanings “top, summit, tip, beginning”. In this word the root is used to signify a phobia of high places. The root “phobia” (as in claustrophobia, hydrophobia) means “fear”.

Acropolis (N): the citadel of an ancient Greek city, which is built on high ground.
This word can be split up as “acro” + “polis”, which means “city” (as in megalopolis), thus a city on high ground can be called as an acropolis.
I will discuss the words related to the root “megalo” in my next article.

Contextual example:
In this acropolis we at least have a chance to defend ourselves against the invading hordes of Genghis khan.

Acronym (N): a word formed from the first letters of other words.
Here the root “acro” means “tip” and “onoma” (as in eponym, allonym, synonym, antonym etc) means “name”, the tip of each word from which the acronym is derived is considered to be its first letter and thus an acronym is formed from word tips i.e. first letter of each words.
Example: SONAR, LASER etc.

Acrobat (N): an entertainer who performs spectacular gymnastic feats.
This word can be split up as “akros” which means “high” + “bainein” which means, “to walk”, thus a person who walks and performs acts at some height away from ground is an acrobat.

Contextual example:
Even though he had acrophobia, he aspired to be an acrobat. (Now that’s what I call a paradox)

Some more words related to the root “acro”:

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Postby Perry » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:46 am

Wow! I never would have linked acronym to acrophobia or acrobatics.
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Postby melissa » Fri Aug 17, 2007 8:34 pm

from PIE base *ak- "sharp, pointed probably, which might explain acme and even acne .... wondering if there's a relation to 'ack' not as in acknowledge but as in 'do not want'. Now I'm replaying old roadrunner cartoons in my head.

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Re: acro

Postby sluggo » Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:26 pm

...wondering if there's a relation to 'ack' not as in acknowledge but as in 'do not want'. Now I'm replaying old roadrunner cartoons in my head.
Don't remember that usage- are you thinking of Cathy from the comic strip? Would that be ackurrate?

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Postby Lenetty » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:55 am

How do you think there is any link the word acronym with acryl?

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Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:35 pm

No answer to the questions, but I love it when someone resurrects old threads. Some are more fun than the latest! (Sorry guys.)


Postby bnjtokyo » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:42 pm

Lennetty, according to the etymology dictionary linked to this website, both "acronym" and "acrylic" go back to PIE "*ak" cited by melissa

vaibhavd85 explains "acronym" above while the etymology dictionary expains "acrylic" as

”1855, "of or containing acryl," a substance derived from garlic and onion, from acrolein, from L. acer "sharp" (see acrid) + olere "to smell" (see odor). Modern senses often short for acrylic fiber, resin, etc.”

and when we go to "acrid," we see

"1712, formed irregularly from L. acer (fem. acris) "sharp, pungent, bitter, eager, fierce," from PIE *ak-ri-, from base *ak- "be sharp, rise (out) to a point, pierce" (cf. Oscan acrid "sharply;" Gk. akis "sharp point," akros "at the farthest point, highest, pointed," akantha "thorn," akme "summit, edge;" also oxys "sharp, bitter;" Skt. acri- "corner, edge," acani- "point of an arrow," asrih "edge;" Lith. ašmuo "sharpness," akstis "sharp stick;" O.C.S. ostru "sharp;" O.Ir. er "high;" Welsh ochr "edge, corner, border;" O.N. eggja "goad;" O.E. ecg "sword"). The -id suffix probably is in imitation of acid. Acrious (1670s) is a correct formation, but seldom seen."

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