January 12, 2013
electric (adjective)
\ih-LEK-trik\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: of, relating to, operated by, or produced by electricity2 : having a thrilling effect
How do you use it?
We usually use the wood stove to heat our little house, but we also have an electric heater.
Are you a word wiz?

The word "electric" traces back to a Greek word for a particular substance found in nature. What do you think the Greek word named?

If B gave you a charge, you picked well! Amber is a fossil of tree sap. In Greek, amber was called "elektron." The ancient Greeks noticed that if they rubbed a piece of amber, it would attract things like feathers. The attraction was electricity, but the Greeks didn't know that and didn't have a special name for it. The word "electric" was coined about 400 years ago by English scientist William Gilbert, who is often considered the father of electrical studies. Gilbert used "electrum," the Latin word for amber that was a modification of the Greek word, to create the word "electricus," which became "electric."
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