Post Eagle Newspaper

Monday

Mar 4, 2024

45°F, few clouds
New Jersey

Time Now

12:00:00

MILITARY – MILES

Today’s word is – MILITARY. It comes from the Latin word – MILES, MILITIS- which means soldier.

Many will remember the name – MILES STANDISH – from our American history course in High School and some will recall the character in the broadway play – A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM – Miles Gloriosus (a pompous braggadoccio who comes to seek his bride at a bordello). The Roman soldier made Rome the greatest power in the Mediterraenean. The word is less common as a first name in today’s modern world.

The word – MILE (singular), MILES (plural) – is from another Latin word. The Roman soldier, of course, marched many miles each day. The distance was measured by the paces. The Latin word – MILLE – means a thousand. The military mile was a thousand paces (Latin – Mille passuum). Kilometer means just that … a thousand paces because the meter was the measurement of the lenght of the soldier’s step. In the USA the mile is 5,280 feet.

The words – million, millepede, millenium – come from – MILLE – meaning – 1,000.