English language is a ‘focal point’ of several other languages, especially Latin and Greek. It means English was borrowed from a variety of languages, making it richer with vocabulary and most amazingly, the hardest vocabularies are the easiest to know.
This is why from the Greek word ‘genes’ (which means ‘born of, produced by’) we get the English suffix gen- which renders most English words the sense of being born of, type, origin and others.
For example, the word ‘gender’ means born either male or female.
Do not wonder when the word ‘generous’ means a person who is ready to give what they have to others.
The word ‘generation’ basically means the people born and living at the same time.
Genealogy means one’s family tree or the people one descends from.
You can also find the sense of humankind or origin in the words like gentile, gentle, genital, genuine and many more.
Remember the study of heredity and the variation of inherited characteristics is called genetics.
The other is the suffix –cide which is used at the end of words to render them the sense ‘killing’.
The suffix –cide is derived from the Latin word caedere which means ‘to kill’.
At this stage, you can easily know that and insecticide is a substance that kills insects.
The same sense is applied to pesticides (substances that kill pests), bactericide, germicide, fungicide and herbicide (as substance that kills plants).
Because human beings can kill and be killed, the same suffix is used to explain the terrific act when humankind is killed or kills.
When one kills themselves it is called suicide.
Patricide, matricide, infanticide, fratricide mean the killing of one’s father, mother, child and sibling respectively.
The word ‘genocide’ comes from ‘gen’ (which means born of, race, type or origin) and ‘cide’ (which means ‘kill’).
This is why the 1994 killing of Tutsis in Rwanda is called genocide because it was intended to kill Rwandans of a certain description by birth (Tutsi).
The writer is a professional English Language instructor