Today we’re exploring the origins of the word technology.
Technology [tɛkˈnɒlədʒi / tɛkˈnɑlədʒi] is:
- The organization of knowledge for practical purposes.
- All the different and usable technologies developed by a culture or people.
- Any useful skill or mechanism that was developed or invented.
It comes from the Ancient Greek τεχνολογία [te.xno.loˈɣi.a] (systematic treatment of grammar), from τέχνη [té.kʰnɛː] (craft, skill, trade, art) and -λογία [lo.ɡí.aː] (study) [source].
τέχνη comes from the PIE *tetḱ- (to create, produce), which is the root of English words like text, textile, context, subtle and architect. [source].
-λογία comes from λόγος [ló.ɡos] (word, sentence, speech), from λέγω [lé.ɡɔː] (I say, speak, arrange, gather), from the PIE *leǵ- (to gather, collect), which is the root of such English words as collect, dialect, elect, intellect, legion and legend [source].
The Latin word legō [ˈle.ɡo] (I choose, select, collect, gather, read), also comes from the same PIE root, and from it we get words like leggere [ˈlɛd.d͡ʒe.re] (to read) in Italian, lire [liʁ] (to read) in French, and lesen [ˈleːzn̩] (to read, select, gather) in German [source].
Incidentally, the name Lego, as in the little plastic bricks, comes from a differnt source: the Danish phrase leg godt (“play well”) – the leg comes from the Old Norse leikr (game, sport, contest), from the Proto-Germanic *laikaz (dance, game, sport) which is possibly the root of the English word lark (romp, frolic, prank) [source].
Here’s a video I made of this information:
Video made with Doodly [afflilate link].