July 05, 2016
- antenna (noun)
- What does it mean?
- : one of a pair of slender movable organs of sensation on the head of an arthropod (as an insect or a crab) that are made up of segments 2 (plural usually "antennas") : a device (as a rod or wire) for sending or receiving radio waves
- How do you use it?
- Since most people in the United States now access television programs in other ways, the rooftop antennas of the past have largely disappeared.
- Are you a word wiz?
The word "antenna" in ancient Latin referred to something used in a particular occupation. Which one of these occupations do you think would have involved the use of an "antenna"?In Latin, "antenna" referred to a sail yard, the long spar that supports and spreads the head of a sail on a ship. How did "antenna" move from ships to bugs? The Greek word for sail yard was "keraia," from "keras," meaning "horn." The Greeks also used "keraia" for other things that thrust outward. In his _The History of Animals_, the Greek philosopher Aristotle used "keraiai" (the plural form) for the "horns" or feelers of insects. A medieval Latin translation of Aristotle's work substituted the Latin word "antennae" for "keraiai." When scientific writings on insects began appearing in English in the 17th century, entomologists borrowed "antenna" for those feelers.