Etymology of "Economy"

There is no doubt that when the candidates get together tonight for the third and final debate, they will focus on the state of the economy.

Like many words frequently used in matters of state and government, economy has its origins in Ancient Greece.

Eco is a derivation of the Greek oikos, meaning an extended family unit that consists of the house, members of the family, slaves, farmland, and all property.

The oikos was run by the oldest male of the family, whose role it was to tend to agriculture and to ensure that all components of the family unit were running smoothly. Thus, eco now designates a broad, self-sustained unit, as in the terms ecology and ecosystem.

The suffix –nomy is derived from the Greek nomos, meaning management, law, or principle. Thus oikonomos, the original form of economics, meant the management of the hearth and home.

  • Pingback:Greece should be inspired by its golden age of economic growth—1000 BC - Quartz
    Posted at 06:49h, 02 July Reply

    […] Greece, though it would have meant something a little different back then—more about managing the affairs of the household. The Greeks could certainly use a little help arranging their affairs at the moment—the […]

  • Utkarsh Mishra
    Posted at 03:31h, 11 August Reply

    Nice Interpretation. But can you also tell me if there are some similarities in between the word Eco-“logy” and Eco-“nomics’. How does “logy” and “nomy” makes the different sense of the same “ECO”.

Post A Comment

Skip to content