What is a latin morpheme for “middle” which can be used as a prefix, instead of “sub“ and “super”?

The context is the use of such a construct in English. So the following mentions some English examples.

One can say “subscript“ and “superscript”, and normal text is probably just “script”. But it might sometimes be useful to use a prefix which means “normal“ or “middle”, to make the distinction clear. You can also say “subordinate” and “superordinate” (though “superior” is probably more common), but there is apparently no similar word for “colleague” or “peer”. (By the way: one can not use the word “ordinate” itself for that, according to Merriam-Webster.)

  • 1
    In English I would be inclined to say "midscript" to refer to normal text as opposed to "subscript" and "superscript". For a more Latin prefix (that could be used in Latin), perhaps inter- or medio-, but I don't have any examples to show how appropriate these are.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 20:44
  • 1
    This probably belongs on ELU, as it's asking about English words, which happen to use borrowed Latin.
    – anon
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 22:26
  • 3
    @QPaysTaxes I originally asked this question there, but then a commenter said that I should post it here instead... Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 22:29
  • 1
    That commenter likely didn't know what they were talking about, then. It's far from uncommon for people to recommend posting a question on another site when they know nothing about that site but its title
    – anon
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 22:30
  • 5
    Welcome! Most SE are unreasonably exclusive. We're still young and naïve and we're trying to be open and welcoming. I think this question is perfectly fine either on English.SE or here.
    – Cerberus
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 22:36

1 Answer 1


I would go with Latin medi(o)- or Greek meso-.

Medi- comes from Latin medius meaning "in the middle, moderate, indifferent". It's also the root of "medium" and "medial"; as a prefix, the first usage that comes to mind is the Greek mediopassive voice (i.e. a combination of the middle voice and the passive voice).

Meso- comes from the Greek μέσος, cognate to medius, also meaning "in between, moderate," etc. In English it's mostly used in place names (Mesopotamia, Mesoamerica) and scientific terms (meso-compounds in chemistry are neither right- nor left-handed).

Both of these are also related to the English "mid-" as in "midpoint" and "midway", which is the least technical and most easily understood of the three.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.