Mark J. Reed wrote:
> Speaking of the Hellatin words . . .
> In many scholarly works on chronometry etc I've run across the term 
> "nycthemeron" for the 24-hour period of the Earth's rotation (to avoid 
> the ambiguity inherent in the term "day").  It looks awfully Greek to 
> me.  

It is - tho not awful  ;)

>My questions:
> 1. is it well-formed?

If it is spelled _nychthemeron_ it is. The word is attested in ancient 
Greek and means 'a period of 24 hours'. It occurs also in the Greek NT 
(2 Corinthians 11:25).

> 2. what's the etymology?

It is actually the neuter of an adjective _nykhthe:meros_ ("lasting 24 
hours") which was used as a noun. The adjective is derived from the 
stems nykt- "night" + he:mer- "day" with adjectival endings -os etc.

In ancient Greek /kt/ + /h/ --> /khth/ written khi-theta and Latinized 
as -chth-

> 3. what's the plural?

_nychthemera_ (like criterion ~ criteria).

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