Uncle John knows pretty much everything—and for what he doesn’t know, he has a massive research library. So go ahead: in the comments below, ask Uncle John anything. (And if we answer your question sometime, we’ll send you a free book!)
Why are weathermen called meteorologists?
Like the names of many scientific disciplines, “meteorologist” comes from Ancient Greek. In about 340 B.C., Aristotle wrote Meteorologica, a compendium of what was, at the time, complete Western knowledge of weather and climate. Aristotle took the name from meteoros, a Greek word which referred to anything that was in, came from, or fell from the atmosphere, or “the sky.” That includes rain, rainbows, the climate in general, snow, ice, hail…and rocks falling from space, which today are known as meteors and meteorites.
Over the centuries, as humans acquired more knowledge, the disciplines of the study of weather and astronomical phenomena split into two separate scientific fields. The study of weather study kept the name meteorology, and now means a study of the atmosphere, weather, and climate. And since “meteorologist” was taken, people who actually study meteors are called meteoricists.
However, they aren’t mutually exclusive. Weather certainly affects how and when meteors enter the atmosphere, and how or if they’ll burn up—that’s something of interest to both meteorologists and meteoricists.