Etymology and Study
The singular alga is the Latin word for a particular seaweed and retains that meaning in English. The etymology is obscure. Although some speculate that it is related to Latin algēre, "be cold", there is no known reason to associate seaweed with temperature. A more likely source is alliga, "binding, entwining."
The Ancient Greek word for seaweed was φῦκος (fūkos or phykos), which could mean either the seaweed (probably red algae) or a red dye derived from it. The Latinization, fūcus, meant primarily the cosmetic rouge. The etymology is uncertain, but a strong candidate has long been some word related to the Biblical פוך (pūk), "paint" (if not that word itself), a cosmetic eye-shadow used by the ancient Egyptians and other inhabitants of the eastern Mediterranean. It could be any color: black, red, green, blue.
Accordingly the modern study of marine and freshwater algae is called either phycology or algology, depending on whether the Greek or Latin root is used. The name Fucus appears in a number of taxa.
Read more about this topic: Algae
Famous quotes containing the words study and/or etymology:
“lf, presume not to God to scan;
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Placd on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great.”
—Alexander Pope (16881744)
“Semantically, taste is rich and confusing, its etymology as odd and interesting as that of style. But while stylederiving from the stylus or pointed rod which Roman scribes used to make marks on wax tabletssuggests activity, taste is more passive.... Etymologically, the word we use derives from the Old French, meaning touch or feel, a sense that is preserved in the current Italian word for a keyboard, tastiera.”
—Stephen Bayley, British historian, art critic. Taste: The Story of an Idea, Taste: The Secret Meaning of Things, Random House (1991)