Saturday, March 17, 2012


Wes asked about the word impecunious. It means penniless or bereft of money. It came directly from a Latin word meaning money. Earlier, that same Latin word meant property or holdings in general, particularly farm animals.

Impecunious is matched by pecunious, wealthy or flush with money. Pecunious also has undertones of frugality, even miserliness. Peculation is a legal term meaning the embezzlement of public funds, and it also ultimately tracks back to livestock.

As an interesting sidebar, the English word money came from the Latin moneta. Moneta was the name of a Roman goddess in whose temple coins were minted.

Available from McFarland & Co.: Word Parts Dictionary, 2nd edition

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