From the word akri (άκρη, "tip" or "edge") and the verb vaino (βαίνω, "to walk"), an acrobat is someone who walks on the edge, almost on tiptoe.
It took me some time to realize that this word comes from Greek. A lot of words disguise themselves as Old French or Latin but cemetery in fact comes from the word koimame (κοιμάμαι, "to sleep") which is also the root of the Greek word koimitirion (κοιμητήριο, "dormitory"). A cemetery is a dormitory for the dead!
Cynicism comes from the Cynics, a school of Ancient Greek philosophers. But the name probably derives from a public gymnasium called Cynosarges, where one of Socrates’ pupils taught. According to one myth, the Athenians were in the middle of making an offering to Heracles when a dog snatched the animal and deposited it near the location where the gymnasium was later built.
Everyone’s favorite word, democracy — from demos (δήμος, "people") and kratos (κράτος, "power") — is simply put: Power to the People!
每一个人都喜欢这个词，民主 — 起源于demos（“人民”）以及kratos（“权力”）— 二者很简单的被放到一起：权力属于人民！
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of a dinosaur? According to Greek, a dinosaur is a lizard from deinos (δεινός, "terrible") and savra (σαύρα, "lizard").
According to Ancient Greek mythology, Europe was a mythological princess, with big, beautiful eyes, from evrys (ευρύς, "broad") and ops (ωψ, "eye"). Zeus fell in love with her and, to approach her, he transformed himself into a white bull. Europe sat on the bull and was taken on a faraway trip to what is today Europe. If you have just come back from Greece you may have this little piece of mythology lying somewhere in your wallet, as the story of Europe and the bull is depicted on the Greek 2-Euro coin.
Galaxy, a.k.a. Milky Way comes from the Greek word for milk, gala (γάλα). According to Ancient Greek mythology , the Milky Way was created by Heracles, son of Zeus, when he tried to suckle on his step-mother’s milk while she slept. When Hera woke up to discover that she was breastfeeding an infant that was not her own, she pushed the child away, causing the milk to spurt into the universe. Galaxy又被称为Milky Way,起源于希腊单词milk, gala。
Another one from the Ancient Greeks, Hermaphrodite was the son of Gods Hermes and Aphrodite. As the most handsome man in the world, he became the object of affection of nymph Salmacis who prayed to the Gods that they stay together forever. The Gods heard her prayer and joined the two in one body.
A marathon is a long-distance footrace and there are thousands of marathons taking place every year around the world. Officially, a marathon is 42.1 km (or 26.1 miles) long, in a nod to the actual distance between the cities of Marathon and Athens.
Although dictionaries will tell you that the word comes from Portuguese, it, in fact, comes from the Greek words meli (μέλι, "honey") and milo (μήλο, "apple") or sweet apple/fruit. Another source says that Ancient Greeks liked cooking quinces, which are known in Portuguese as marmelos, with honey.