The Word Game

For many years my family has had a sort of word game, usually played at the dinner table. The way it works is that someone will mention a word that consists of a Latin prefix and root. Then, after comeing up with all the other words in English that use the same root word, we would try to figure out what the root word means. After that comes a round of combining other prefixes with the root with the intent of creating new, functional (and often silly) words.

The only real rule to the game is that the root form should not be a complete word in itself (e.g. "untie" isn't a good word to start with because "tie" is already an English word). Combining the Latin root with a Greek prefix isn't the best of form, but sometimes it just needs to be done.

Yes, my whole family is as ... quirky ... as I am.

At any rate, it recently occurred to me to note down some of the more interesting examples from the game.

depend, impend, expend

Root: -pend
(from L. dependere, "to hang from, hang down")

circumpend - "to hang around"

explode, implode

Root: -plode
(from L. plaudere, "to clap the hands, applaud")

replode - "to blow up all over again"

admit, transmit, emit, commit

Root: -mit
(from L. mittere, "to release, let go; send, throw")

exmit - "to throw out"

abmit - "to throw in" (He gave up and abmitted the towel)

supermit - "to throw up"

infect, defect, confect, affect, effect

Root: -fect
(from L. facere, "to make, to do")

superfect - "to make up"

promote, demote, remote

Root: -mote
(from L. movere, "to move")

conmote - "to crash" (i.e. move together)