This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Nuts and Bolts: -ode suffixes.

I have a fondness for words ending in -ode because they remind me of the wonderful Professor Unwin, who used them very often.

Having said that, -ode words are slightly annoying because you can never be quite sure what that ending means. It might mean resembling, as in the words nematode or cytode; or it might mean a path or a way, as in electrode or episode.

Or it might just be a word that happens to end in the letters -ode, like code, lode and abode, where the -ode bit doesn't really mean anything in particular.

The annoying word cephalopode ( which is the old form of the word cephalopod) is different again, because the -ode bit here is really part of the ending -pode, which comes from the Greek word pous, foot. 

The same is the case with the extraordinary birds called megapodes:

File:Megapodius eremita.jpg

As Professor Unwin might have said himself, it's all a bit complexico unsimplode.

Ah well.

Word To Use Today: one ending in -ode. This ending might come from the Greek word eidos, which means shape, or the other Greek word hados, which means way.

Nematode, by the way, comes from the Greek ma, which means thread.

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