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About gnō


​The "gnō" is derived from the same root as the word "know" in English. The only difference in those roots is the sound shift between the unvoiced 'k' sound in English and the voiced 'g' sound in Greek and Latin.

The Greek version was the basis of gnosis (knowledge) and gave us words like gnostic and agnostic, prognosis (future knowledge, prediction), and diagnosis (knowledge of the cause of the problem).

Another Greek word with that root is gnome. In the 16th century, it was generally believed that there were four natural elements: Air, Earth, Water and Fire. Each element was inhabited by a spirit.

The word gnome was used as the name of the Earth spirit, and from there we got the sense of a creature that guards underground treasure. But it was originally a Greek word, derived from the same gnō root.

The same root and spelling passed into Latin, as well, where "gnō" meant "knowledge." Over time, it produced words like ignorant (lack of knowledge) and ignore. Other words where the "g" was dropped over time include noble, notion, notify, cognition, recognition, and a few more.

All this etymological wisdom is thanks to Kevin Stroud and The History of English podcast.