Posted in Vocabulary


Disaster has its roots in the belief that the positions of stars influence the fate of humans, often in destructive ways; its original meaning in English was “an unfavorable aspect of a star.” The word comes to us through Middle French and the Old Italian word disastro, from the Latin astrum, ‘star’ (ultimately from Greek).

Posted in Vocabulary


A very large mammal with thick skin, especially an elephant, rhinoceros, or hippopotamus.

another Greek word -> from Greek – “pakhus” thick + “derma” skin

Not too surprisingly, it also means callous or insensitive – somewhat unfairly to elephants, which are actually known to be rather sensitive!!!