We've covered entomology and etiology, now onto two more similar-sounding fields: epidemiology and eschatology! Eschatology first. For those unaware, this field of study is concerned with studying the end of the world and judgment on a theological and personal level. The word comes from the Greek word eskhatos, meaning "last", and -ology, being the study of things. Therefore, eschatology is "the study of the last". Eskhatos can be reconstructed to a Proto-Indo-European root sounding like eghskatos, which reduces to ex, just meaning "out". Moving on now to epidemiology, the study of the spread of diseases. Eliminating the -ology, the root is Ancient Greek epidemia, meaning "among the people", because diseases spread among the people (also the source of epidemic, through French epidemie). This is composed of two parts: epi-, meaning "among" (from PIE opi, "near"), and demos, meaning "people" (from PIE damo, "division"). Stay tuned for more weird sciences.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.