June 15, 2012
pedagogue (noun)
\PED-uh-gahg\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: teacher, schoolmaster
How do you use it?
Ichabod Crane, the main character of Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," is a gullible pedagogue who teaches in New York's Hudson Valley and believes in ghosts.
Are you a word wiz?

"Pedagogue" comes from a Greek word for a person who performed a particular job in ancient Greek society. What do you think that job was?

You've been well taught if you picked C. In ancient Greece, wealthy households included a servant who was in charge of caring for the children. One of this servant's duties was escorting the children to and from school. The word for this servant was "paidagogos," which might be translated literally as "child-leader." "Paidagogos" was created by combining the Greek prefix "paid-," meaning "child," and the noun "agogos," meaning "leader." "Paidagogos" traveled from Greek through Latin and into English where it became "pedagogue," which is used by English-speakers for a person who leads children by teaching them rather than by escorting them.
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