Words Coined By Saints

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Michael Foley, in his Why Do Catholics Eat Fish On Friday, came up with four words invented by saints.  That’s not very impressive if you are comparing them to Shakespeare, who invented about one hundred new words, but it’s still an interesting thing to know.  There may be more than these four.The word “soliloquy,” was coined by Saint Augustine.  Literally it means the same as monologue, “one speaker.”  It was the title given to a dialogue written by the African doctor between himself and a character he calls “Reason.”  The exchange in the dialogue is intense and profound, with Reason, as interlocutor, inquiring about Augustine’s life, opinions, and desires, while Augustine, in turn, questions Reason about the soul and God.  Another word, introduced to the West by a Latin doctor of the Church, is the Greek “etymology,” which means “the study of the origin of words.”  Etymologia, a work written by Saint Isidore of Seville, was the first book that used the Latin form of the noun in a specific study.  Two other words, commonly used today, were coined by a saint.  They are “integrity” and “utopia” and they were first put on paper by St. Thomas More.

 
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