Fun Etymology Tuesday – Hypocrite

Hello peepz!
It’s Tuesday and, as usual, it’s time for our regular appointment with words and their wacky histories!

Today’s word is a word nobody likes to be called: “hypocrite”.

We’ve probably seen many of this kind of people in our lives (*cough*politicians*cough*), and we all know what they are: people who say one thing and do the opposite, who preach well but do wrong.

It’s no wonder then that the word comes from the Ancient Greek “hypocrites”, meaning “stage actor”.
This word is itself a nominal form of the verb “hypokrinesthai”, a compound of the words “hypo-“, ‘under’, and the middle voice (sort of like a reflexive) of the verb “krinein”, ‘to discriminate, separate’. So “self-under-separation”, if you like, or, in plain English, to separate yourself from your true self; i.e. playing a part.

Don’t be actors, people. Do what you say you do.

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