Re: Unable to cut

Kevin W. Woodruff (
Tue, 17 Sep 1996 09:33:55 -0400 (EDT)

Atomos is the best candidate

At 05:57 AM 9/17/96 -0500, you wrote:
>At 2:07 AM -0500 9/17/96, wrote:
>>A student asked me what Greek word means "unable to cut." I'm not sure what
>>the application is (a crossword puzzle?). Does anyone know of this Greek
>After a little pondering it occurs to me that the reference MIGHT be to the
>Democritean and later Epicurean word for "ultimately indivisible particle
>of matter"--our own word "atom" derives from the Greek adjective used as a
>substantive, ATOMOS, which derives from Alpha privative and TEMNW/TAMNW
>(same root as in PERI-TOMH, "circumcision", "cut," hence "unable to be
>Carl W. Conrad
>Department of Classics, Washington University
>One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
>(314) 935-4018
> OR

Kevin W. Woodruff
Reference Librarian
Cierpke Memorial Library
Temple Baptist Seminary
Tennessee Temple University
1815 Union Ave.
Chattanooga, TN 37404
423/493-4252 (phone) 423/493-4497 (FAX)