Getting started on classical Latin
Getting started on classical Latin

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2.1 Latin and English: the Roman empire

You may be familiar with the idea that words such as science, transport and solution are derived from Latin, but did you know that street and kipper come from Latin words which entered ordinary speech during the period from the first to the early fifth centuries AD, when Celtic Britain was part of the Roman empire?

Activity 1

There are other homely words in this category. Try matching the following English words with their Latin origins below.

Using the following two lists, match each numbered item with the correct letter.

  1. beer

  2. box

  3. candle

  4. wine

  5. cheese

  6. peas

  7. sack

  8. sock

  9. street

  10. wall

  11. caster/cester/chester (as in Lancaster, Gloucester, Chester)

  • a.vallum (= palisaded earthwork)

  • b.buxus (= boxwood)

  • c.caseus

  • d.candela

  • e.vinum

  • f.saccus (= large bag)

  • g.pisum

  • h.soccus (= slipper)

  • i.strata (via) (= paved way)

  • j.bibere (= to drink)

  • k.castra (= camp, fort)

The correct answers are:
  • 1 = j
  • 2 = b
  • 3 = d
  • 4 = e
  • 5 = c
  • 6 = g
  • 7 = f
  • 8 = h
  • 9 = i
  • 10 = a
  • 11 = k

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