10 English Words With Origins in Greek Mythology

1. Atlas

The English word “atlas” means a book of maps, and it comes directly from a Greek myth. According to Greek lore, Atlas was a Titan who was condemned to carry the heavens upon his shoulders.

2. Cloth

In English, the word “cloth” means a fabric or material, often used for clothing. This has a Greek word origin in the story of Clotho, the youngest of the Three Fates, who spun the thread of life.

3. Chaos

The word “chaos” means disorder and randomness. It comes from the Greek myth of Khaos, the void from which all life sprang.

4. Charity

Charity” means the selfless giving of help to others who are in need. This word comes from the story of Charis, one of the three Graces in Greek mythology. The Graces were goddesses of beauty, kindness, life, creativity, and nature.

5. Chronology

The English word “chronology” refers to the order of events in time. It’s also related to “chronic,” which is generally something that persists for a person’s lifespan. Both have Greek word origins in the story of Chronos, the god of time.

6. Erotic

In English, “erotic” means sexual in nature. This term comes directly from Erôs, the Greek god of love and sexual desire.

7. Echo

An “echo” is a sound that comes back to you because it reverberates off a surface. The word comes directly from the name of a Greek nymph, Echo. The king of the gods, Zeus, became enamored with Echo. In a fit of jealousy, his wife, Hera, cursed Echo to speak only the last words that were spoken to her.

8. Europe

In English, the word “Europe” refers to a continent, but that name comes from a Greek myth. Europa was a beautiful princess, and the king of the gods, Zeus, fell in love with her.

9. Fury

Fury” is a word used to mean strong or even uncontrollable anger. This English word comes from the Greek myth of the Furies, female goddesses of vengeance.

10. Halcyon

The English word “halcyon” is an adjective used to describe an idyllically peaceful and perfect time that occurred in the past. In Greek mythology, a halcyon was a legendary bird that made a nest on the ocean. She had the power to calm the rough winds and waves.

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