It’s All Greek to Me

When my son Sergei made it to the International Linguistics Olympiad I got very excited. After I calmed down I realized that training for this competition is not easy because it is very difficult to find linguistics puzzles in English. This in turn is because these Olympiads started in the USSR many years ago and were adopted here only recently. So I started translating problems from Russian and designing them myself for my son and his team. For this particular problem I had an ulterior motive. I wanted to remind my son and his team of rare words in English with Greek origins. Here is the problem:

We use many words that have Greek origins, for example: amoral, asymmetric, barometer, chronology, demagogue, dermatology, gynecologist, horoscope, mania, mystic, orthodox, philosophy, photography, polygon, psychology, telegram and telephone. In this puzzle, I assume that you know the meanings of these words. Also, since I am a generous person, I will give you definitions from of some additional words derived from Greek. If you do not know these words, you should learn them, as I picked words for this list that gave me at least one million Google results.

  • Agoraphobia — an abnormal fear of open or public places.
  • Anagram — a word or phrase formed by reordering the letters of another word or phrase, such as satin to stain.
  • Alexander — defender of men.
  • Amphibian — an animal capable of living both on land and in water.
  • Anthropology — the scientific study of the origin, the behavior, and the physical, social, and cultural development of humans.
  • Antipathy — a strong feeling of aversion or repugnance.
  • Antonym — a word having a meaning opposite to that of another word.
  • Bibliophile — a lover of books or a collector of books.
  • Dyslexia — a learning disability characterized by problems in reading, spelling, writing, speaking or listening.
  • Fibromyalgia — muscle pain.
  • Hippodrome — an arena for equestrian shows.
  • Misogyny — hatred of women.
  • Otorhinolaryngology — the medical specialty concerned with diseases of the ear, nose and throat.
  • Pedophilia — the act or fantasy on the part of an adult of engaging in sexual activity with a child or children.
  • Polygamy — the condition or practice of having more than one spouse at one time.
  • Polyglot — a person having a speaking, reading, or writing knowledge of several languages.
  • Tachycardia — a rapid heart rate.
  • Telepathy — communication through means other than the senses, as by the exercise of an occult power.
  • Toxicology — the study of the nature, effects, and detection of poisons and the treatment of poisoning.

In the list below, I picked very rare English words with Greek origins. You can derive the meanings of these words without looking in a dictionary, just by using your knowledge of the Greek words above.

  • Barology
  • Bibliophobia
  • Cardialgia
  • Dromomania
  • Gynophilia
  • Hippophobia
  • Logophobia
  • Misandry
  • Misanthropy
  • Misogamy
  • Monandry
  • Monoglottism
  • Mystagogue
  • Pedagogue
  • Philanthropism

Here are some other words. You do not have enough information in this text to derive their definitions, but you might be able to use your erudition to guess the meaning.

  • Antinomy
  • Apatheist
  • Axiology
  • Dactyloscopy
  • Enneagon
  • Oology
  • Paraskevidekatriaphobia
  • Philadelphia
  • Phytology
  • Triskaidekaphobia

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