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Opsimath

Definition: a late learner

Pronunciation: AHP-si-math

Origin

This wonderful word, dated back to the 1650’s, stems from the Greek opsios meaning late, and manthanein meaning to learn. The Greek word opsimathes represents the same as this English word.

The Greek opsio represented backwards while opsithen represented behind (both have to do with the English word opposite).

Why this word?

Opsimathy (noun) is a huge concern for parents who immediately tend to fear their child is not like everyone else. Opsimathy helps us remember that we are all different, we all do the same things, but we do them differently, at our own pace and time.

We are aware of the existence of late learners, but referring to them as opsimaths puts it in a nice Greek frame J

I am a proud opsimath (noun), everything I learned- I learned too late; but learned, nonetheless.

How to use the word opsimath?

Nest time a concerned mother shares her son’s inability of tying his own shoelaces at 1.5 years, tell her “it’s okay, he is just an opsimath… “

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Written by Victoria Sheinkin

Victoria Sheinkin is a writer, content editor, translator and chief editor for UnusedWords.com. Speaking three and a half languages, she holds two BAs from the Tel Aviv university- Communication and jounalism, English literature and linguistics.

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