In which Desultor revisits his roots

I was excited today by “prodrome“, which is sexy and fancy and new to me. This breaks down to “pro” – ahead – and “drome”, which contains a notion of running or a race. So we could call a prodrome a “forerunner” if we were feeling Englishy.

We see drome in “hippodrome” – a racecourse for horses – and in “syndrome” – a running-together. So we could say that the defining feature of a syndrome is symptoms running together – or “concurrency” if we were feeling Latinate.

12 Responses to “In which Desultor revisits his roots”

  1. erica Says:

    In nursing it often gets used as an adjective: “Oh, he’s feeling a little prodromal today…” I never actually broke it down language-wise but I’m glad you did!

  2. lisa Says:

    dromedary ???????

  3. desultor Says:

    Indeed! A dromedary is, as per OED, “a light and fleet breed of the camel, specially reared and trained for riding”. The dromed is the Greek speediness, the ary is Latin for being engaged in something.

    I have also learned that my childhood distinction between dromedaries (one hump) and camels (two humps) was imprecise. OED clears it up: “[Dromedaries are] usually of the Arabian or one-humped camel, but the Bactrian camel may also be improved into a Dromedary.”

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