flow, stream, glide

Quick Summary

The Latin root word flu means “flow.” This Latin root is the word origin of a good number of English vocabulary words, including flu, influence, and fluid. The Latin root word flu is easily recalled through the English word fluid, for a fluid is a state of matter which, if not contained, “flows.”

The Influence of "Flu"

The Latin root word flu means “flow.” This podcast will have a great influence on you when it comes to learning this influential Latin root word!

To get the worst over with first, let’s start straight off with the word influenza. Influenza was once thought to “flow” into people from the evil influence of the stars. The word flu is simply short for influenza, and can be now thought of as pathogens and other disease causing agents “flowing” into their victims to make them sick. The worse the flu, the more it holds the victim’s health in flux, that is, “flowing” from good to bad and hopefully back again, seemingly changing or “flowing” at will.

Have you ever had an influential foreign language teacher, that is, one who caused the excitement of speaking in a tongue other than your own to “flow” into you? Perhaps that teacher’s influence sent you overseas to Germany, where you may have become fluent in German, that is, the German language could just “flow” from your tongue in an effortless stream of words. Visiting a country which speaks the foreign language you are studying will improve your fluency in that language, or the way those foreign words “flow” forth from your tongue.

The sciences have liberally borrowed from the Latin root word flu which means “flow.” Consider the extremely reactive element fluorine, which likes to “flow” eagerly towards other substances such as water, organic compounds, and minerals in order to combine with them; fluorine is so reactive that it is rarely found isolated in nature. The same can be said for fluoride, the anion of fluorine, which, for example, readily “flows” towards cations such as sodium to form sodium fluoride, widely used to help prevent tooth decay. A fluid, of course, is a state of matter which “flows,” such as the liquid form of water (as opposed to water being a gas or solid). A fluorescent bulb’s light fluoresces, or “flows” out from it.

An effluent is waste that “flows” from a factory or other industrial system generally as sewage or another liquid pollutant into a body of water. Let’s hope effluents are not released into a confluence of rivers, or the point at which those two rivers “flow” together. Let’s also hope that you do not experience effluents “flowing” into a confluence that provides your drinking water, but rather that you experience affluence during your life, that is, when money just “flows” towards you!

Now that we’re thoroughly into the “flow” with the root word flu, it’s time to leave, but make no doubt that the influence of flu will continue to be considerable in learning English vocabulary!

  1. influenza: originally, a “flowing” in of evil influence from the stars
  2. flu: short for “influenza”
  3. flux: in “flow”
  4. influential: of positive or negative forces “flowing” into a person from another
  5. influence: positive or negative forces “flowing” into one person from another
  6. fluent: of words “flowing” from the tongue
  7. fluency: action of words “flowing” from one’s tongue
  8. fluorine: an element which readily “flows” towards others to react with them
  9. fluoride: a highly reactive anion of fluorine which flows towards cations such as sodium
  10. fluid: a state of matter which “flows”
  11. fluorescent: the “flowing” forth of photons
  12. fluoresce: a “flowing” forth of light
  13. effluent: a “flowing” out of something
  14. confluence: point at which two rivers “flow” together
  15. affluence: a “flowing” towards someone of wealth


  • superfluous

    Something that is superfluous is unnecessary; it is more than what is wanted or needed at the current time.

  • mellifluous

    A mellifluous voice or piece of music is gentle and pleasant to listen to.

  • confluence

    A confluence is a situation where two or more things meet or flow together at a single point or area; a confluence usually refers to two streams joining together.

  • affluence

    Affluence is the state of having a lot of money and many possessions, granting one a high economic standard of living.

  • fluctuate

    Things that fluctuate vary or change often, rising or falling seemingly at random.

  • fluid

    A fluid is a liquid, such as water.

Related Word Parts

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