Monday, February 12, 2018

Word of the Week - Autograph

Upon special request, today we're going to look into the word autograph . . . which is fitting, since there are just a couple days left in this month's sale of autographed copies of The Reluctant Duchess! ;-)

I didn't give it too much thought when this request came in, but as soon as I sat down today and decided to feature it, I realized I knew where this word came from without even having to look it up. Though I still looked it up, just to be sure, LOL.

The Ancient Greeks wrote using the phoenetic writing system. The writing system used in Ancient Greece is reflected in the modern day writing system - #greek #language of the #Macedonians - #Macedonia Greek dialects - inscription discusses and event in #thessaloniki , Macedonia northern Greece
The word came to English in 1791 as "a person's signature." It was borrowed from the French, which was taken from the Latin, which was borrowed directly from the Greek. There are two parts of this word: auto, which means "self" in Greek, and graph, from the Greek grapho, which means "to write." Originally it was used in Greek to mean "written by one's own hand." This was also the first meaning to come into English, in 1640--it meant a manuscript one wrote oneself.

As far as the verb form goes, by the early 1800s, it had evolved out the noun to mean that one wrote something in one's own hand. "To sign one's name" didn't come about until 1837! Pretty late, eh? And yet the roots of the word are about as old as they can get.

And given that I've been making my kids learn Greek for the last several years and grapho was one of the first verbs we learned, I really should have known that one from the start, LOL.


  1. Interesting! 1837 is pretty late! I thought it would have been sooner in our history.

  2. Roseanna, I appreciate you answering this question for me. Very interesting.
    Heather ♡

  3. That is an interesting story about autographs! I find it interesting that you have been making your children learn Greek--my cousin & his wife were missionaries to Greece for many years. This year I've been reading Rick Renner's book, "Sparkling Gems From the Greek" and his explanations of Greek words in scriptures have helped to grow in understanding of the Word! I'm looking forward to your new book: "An Hour Unspent" (very interesting/catchy title!)

  4. Catchy title: "An Hour Unspent"

  5. I love the cover of An Hour Unspent. Very appropriate. Thanks for the giveaway and good luck everyone.

  6. The cover for An Hour Unspent is beautiful and intriguing.

  7. Sounds like An Hour Unspent is a must read. I love the cover, it’s very eye-catching.

  8. It caught me off-guard that the cover didn't have Barclay, since at the end of A Song Unheard, you had mentioned the next book would be about him. But that just adds to the mystery of it. Very neat!

    1. It *is* about Barclay, but in keeping with the rest of my books from Bethany House, we get the heroine on the cover instead of the hero. =) This would be the clockmaker's daughter Barclay meets.

  9. The title is captivating and so is the cover. I look forward to reading An Hour Unspent!