The Greek root thesis means to put.
The names Alexander (Alex, Alec, Zander¸etc.) and Alexandra (Alexa, Lexie, Sasha, Sandra, etc.) originated with the goddess Hera. Like many of the Olympian gods, she was so interested in the lives of men that she actually went down to Greece to intervene in battles and make sure her favorites won. From one such escapade Hera earned the epithet Alexandros, which means defender of man. An epithet (epi, means upon) can be a nickname or a title. It can also be a nice way of saying you called someone or something a bad name: “He uttered a series of epithets at the broken water heater before calling the repair man.”
Many cities have epithets, most famously The Big Apple for New York. Also:
- The Big Easy – New Orleans
- Beantown – Boston
- Motor City – Detroit
- The Windy City – Chicago
In freshman composition classes, the first assignment is often a summary – an essay in which students summarize a single source. The next assignment is a synthesis paper, a summary of multiple sources. They might, for example, choose to explain two sides of an issue. The word comes from syn (together) + thesis.
(You can also see thesis in the parentheses I just used – para (beside) + thesis = put beside. Notice that the plural of thesis is theses.)
Synthetic comes from the same two Greek roots as synthesis. It refers to an artificial substance created by putting various ingredients together. Fabrics like nylon and acrylic, which are made from plastics, are an example. Cotton and wool, which come from a single, natural source, are natural rather than synthetic.
War and Veterans
In the terrible wars of the last decade, nearly 1000 US veterans lost one or more limbs. They have been greatly helped by astonishing advances in prosthetics (pros means near), artificial body parts, such as arms and legs.
War is the antithesis of peace. An antithesis is a kind of opposite (the Greek root anti means opposite), but it has a deeper meaning. It does not refer to superficial differences, such as hot and cold or short and tall, but to differences in the essential character of things. Dark is the opposite of light if you’re turning on a lamp. Dark is the antithesis of light in a battle between good and evil.
More words with Greek root thesis
In English class
- thesis – a statement that you make with the intention of proving it
- hypothesis – a proposed explanation
- kinesthesis – the system in your body responsible for feeling the weight and position of your body and the movement of your muscles
- diathesis – an inherited tendency to have a particular disease
- metathesis – is a changing of places, often used when discussing the spread of cancer: healthy cells are turned into cancerous cells.
- metathesis – is a changing of places: in linguistics, it’s when two letters get switched around, as in the pronunciations “jewlery” and “nucular”
- epenthesis – inserting a sound into the middle of a word, like saying “hampster” instead of “hamster” (though we don’t say “teampster” for “teamster”)