“Ology” and “Onomy” Terms in Science

by Nancy Sutthoff

Ology/onomy are Greek words which mean “the study of”.
As a matter of fact, many of the words used in science tend to have both Greek and
Latin “roots”. You may have already begun to study Greek and Latin root
words as part of your regular Language Arts/English classes. However, for this particular article, I am going to work on
the assumption that you have not. (and if you have, good for you!)

What’s your favorite?

If you’re fascinated by spiders, then you’re into ARACHNOLOGY.

If you erupt with joy for volcanoes, then VOLCANOLOGY
is your thing.

If you’re completely wowed by planets and stars, then you

If you are into fish, then you would really dig ICHTOLOGY

Snakes, Turtles, Frogs your thing, then you are into HERPETOLOGY.

is your thing.

Some Basic Ology

The study of living things is called Biology.
Bio, for the greek word for life/living, and Ology as you know now, for
“the study of”.

The study of the Earth and its physical characteristics is
called Geology.Geo, meaning Earth
and of course, ology for “the study of”

The scientific study of people and cultures is called
Anthropology. Can you figure out
which part of the word is for people and cultures?

Look at the words above under “favorites”
can you break them down to the root words?
If you can, well then not only have you learned some science in this
article, you’ve had your first Greek lesson, too J

Are you an ologist?

Are you really
curious about things around you?

Do you ask a lot of

Do you like to
explore mysteries?

Do you collect stuff?

If you can answer yes to the following questions, then you
are an “ologist”. The American
Museum of Natural History has set up a website specifically for YOU.

– The American Museum of Natural History presents an interactive primer of
“ologies” including: meteorology, paleontology, astronomy, and

So, go forth and OLOGIZE!

Leave a Reply