Word Origin…

Mediterranean.

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A picture of the gorgeous Mediterranean sunset off the Tel Aviv pier by Paul

Sometimes we take the words we know for granted. They just are. We don’t really think of their origins or their actual meanings.

In my last ulpan class we learned the word for middle, אֶמצַע (emtza), we were talking geography, far east, middle east etc… While explaining the word to us, our teacher said ‘middle east, like the Mediterranean sea area.’

It suddenly clicked, Mediterranean means in the middle of the land. The sea in the middle of the lands. From the Latin medius “middle” and terra “land, earth”.

I had never thought about it before. But suddenly it made sense. Funny how in a Hebrew lesson I learned something new about an English word.

It makes me wonder how many other words I take for granted. Have any of you had a word origin epiphany? 

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