Do you know what an erythrocyte is? What does it mean if something is rubefacient? What color is a rhodoplast? Hint: all the answers have to do with the color red.
This series of blog posts will focus on roots that are used for specific colors, one color at a time--starting with red today!
Rubeus is the Latin word for red. The name for the gemstone ruby comes directly from this word. Additionally, we have English words like "rubious" (which, unsurprisingly, simply means "red") and "rubefacient," which means causing redness (especially of the skin). Fun fact for Harry Potter fans: Rubeus Hagrid's name was intentionally selected to connect to the color red. (More on this in a future post.)
The next root has both Latin and Greek origins. Rhod-, which initially comes from the Greek rhodon meaning rose but also passed through Latin on its way to English, is a common root that also means "red." Rhodochrosite? That's a mineral known for its rose red color. Rhodoplast, is, of course, also red--it's a red chromatophore found in red algae.
The Greek combining form erythr- is a final root that also means "red." It's used especially in scientific and medical contexts--an erythrocyte is a red blood cell. Erythrodermia is unusual excessive redness of skin. There are other examples, too, though: my personal favorite is the word "erythrophobia" which can be the fear of blushing or of the color red itself.
What's your favorite color? Find a root for it, or look for a cool word that describes a certain shade of that color--there are a lot out there!