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Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Nuts and Bolts: -lectic.

 I came across the word oligolectic and wondered what it meant.

Oligo means group, I know, as in oligarchy (rule by a group of people) but what's -lecticThe word oligolectic describes a species of bees that harvests pollen from only one kind of flower. That's not all that helpful in figuring out what the -lectic ending means, but it turns out that the -lectic part of the word comes from the Greek eklegein, which means to select, from legein, to gather. 

It's the same word as gives us eclectic, meaning to gather from many sources.

So, is that the answer to the -lectic thing, then?


There are a few other -lectic words - dialectic, apoplectic, homilecticDialectic comes from, yes, the Greek legein; but in that case the word means to talk; apoplectic comes from the Greek word apoplēssein, to cripple by a stroke, from plēssein, to strike; homilectic is to do with the art of preaching, and comes from the Greek word homilos, which means crowd.

So what does -lectic mean?

It means that various people over the centuries have thought that       -lectic was quite a cool sort of ending to bung on a word.

Ah well.

Word To Use Today: one with -lectic on the end, perhaps.

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