OLOGY: "A subject of study or branch of knowledge." OLOGIST: "One who studies." For fun, I'll share the definitions of 10 OLOGY words - 5 you're familiar with and 5 that should surprise and delight you. After you read my list, I hope you'll have fun decoding (or inventing) more OLOGIES on your own!
OLOGIES you've probably heard of ...
1) BIOLOGY/BIOLOGIST: The scientific study of living organisms, broken into discrete specialties and often focused on particular areas. Anatomy, Cytology (cells), and Botany (plants) are among the branches of Biology.
2) PSYCHOLOGY/PSYCHOLOGIST: The scientific study of the way people think and act. In this case, the OLOGIST form refers to an expert in the field who counsels others. The root comes from psyche, which means the soul in Ancient Greek.
3) ZOOLOGY/ZOOLOGIST: The branch of biology that concerns study of the animal kingdom. The word zoo actually derives from the Ancient Greek name for animal.
4) ORTHNITHOLOGY/ORTHNITHOLOGIST: The scientific study of birds
5) ASTROLOGY/ASTROLOGIST: The study of how the movement of celestial bodies can be used to predict events and cast horoscopes. Does it work? Astrologists certainly believe so.
OLOGIES that may surprise you ...
6) OOLOGY/OOLOGIST: The branch of ORTHNITHOLOGY that focuses on eggs, nests, and breeding habits of birds. It used to be a hobby for gentleman who fancied the collection of colorful wild eggs. Luckily, that practice is now largely prohibited.
7) AREOLOGY/AREOLOGIST: Study of the planet Mars. This derives from the Ancient Greek god of war, Ares. Interestingly, the planet itself is named after the Ancient Roman counterpart, Mars.
8) ICHTHYOLOGY/ICHTHYOLOGIST: The scientific study of fish, deriving from ikhthus, which means fish in Ancient Greek.
9) HOROLOGY/HOROLOGIST: the craft of designing and/or manufacturing clocks. The root of these words means time. Can you think of another word with the root HORO? I'll give you a big clue: I'm a Taurus. What's your sign?
10) TAUTOLOGY: useless repetition or stating the same thing twice, thinking that will make it true and likely driving others crazy. In this case, I doubt there's such thing as a TAUTOLOGIST. In fact, there's no study of this either. Or at least I hope not!
(FYI: when you see a word with multiple consonants strung together and Y instead if I, you can guess it hails from Greek. Most Scientific classifications and mathematical words do in fact hail from the Ancient Greeks.)
If you find or invent more interesting OLOGIES, please share! Take care, everyone.
Laura Fineberg Cooper