A word describing a word of mixed-language etymology


I am looking for a word that denotes a word composed of at least two parts, at least one of which is from a different language than the other(s); a word with mixed etymology.

An example is antimatter where we have the Greek prefix for not, anti-, with the Latin word for substance, māteria.

If pressed, I might suggest "bastard word" for these specimen, but it does not sound quite right. Other examples of such words are also much appreciated!


Posted 2018-06-03T01:09:43.497

Reputation: 156



Alternatively, a loanblend:

a word some of whose constituents are native and others of foreign origin—called also hybrid

Strangely, although Merriam-Webster's definition of loanblend does indeed refer to hybrid, none of the senses that it lists for hybrid compare. Also strangely, while I found this in Merriam-Webster, I did not find it in Oxford or some other main dictionaries. (But I was trying to locate something that wasn't just in Wikipedia . . .)

Jason Bassford

Posted 2018-06-03T01:09:43.497

Reputation: 34 584


According to Wikipedia, one term for this is a hybrid word. The concept is briefly discussed here and here. Ask Metafilter has a more specific question with some other possibilities.


Posted 2018-06-03T01:09:43.497

Reputation: 768

Indeed, and a fine list of examples as well. I thought of hypervisor as I was waiting for your answer, but I would never have thought of some of the others :). – Bjonnfesk – 2018-06-03T01:43:17.730

One example you may not have thought of is @Chemomechanics, from (medieval) Latin alchimia and Greek mēhkhanikos ;) – Bjonnfesk – 2018-06-03T01:46:43.393


Jack O'Flaherty

Posted 2018-06-03T01:09:43.497

Reputation: 16 815

Your answer should have a link to where this word is defined (see how the other answers have done it). – CJ Dennis – 2020-03-04T10:43:59.153

OK, how's that? – Jack O'Flaherty – 2020-03-04T14:53:38.810