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mything words

Mything Words - Pantheon

by Erin on May 16, 2014

It’s time for another mything word! In case you’re wondering, a mything word is one with some type of connection to mythology. Today, I’m taking a look at the word pantheon. While it’s certainly not as common - or trendy - as say selfie, the word has been around long enough to establish a history. [...]

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Mything Words - Procrustean

by Erin on May 16, 2012

Have you ever heard the phrase “a Procrustean bed”? According to the definition in my trusty Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, it is “a scheme or pattern into which someone or something is arbitrarily forced.” This phrase was inspired by the legend of Procrustes.
Procrustes is a character from Greek mythology. The story goes that the old [...]

Mything Words - Genius

by Erin on May 7, 2012

There is a passage in the book Brush Up Your Mythology! by Michael Macrone that explains the concept of genius quite cleverly :

“It’s a good thing the Mensa Society didn’t have a chapter in ancient Rome, because there’s no way it could have kept its cherished exclusivity. Which is to say that there were a [...]

Mything Words - Avalon

by Erin on May 2, 2012

If you are familiar with Arthurian legend, then you may have heard references to a mythical place called Avalon in the stories of King Arthur and his knights.
Avalon is a term for the Otherworld in Celtic mythology. It is also known by other, more poetic phrases, including “The Summer Land” and the “Land of the [...]

Mything Words - Lotus Eaters

by Erin on April 28, 2012

In Homer’s Odyssey, Lotus Eaters, or lotophagi, were mythical people who forgot their former lives when they consumed the lotus.
Here’s a taste about the Lotus Eaters from the relevant passage in the Odyssey:

“Upon the tenth
we came to the coastline of the Lotus Eaters,
who live upon that flower. We landed there
to take on water. All ship’s [...]

Mything Words – Aegis

by Erin on April 16, 2012

In Greek mythology, the aegis was a type of shield or breastplate. The aegis was associated primarily with two gods - Zeus and Athena. Zeus had a goatskin aegis, while Athena adorned the aegis with the head of a Gorgon.
According to the Iliad of Homer, the aegis was made by Hephaistos. Here is the relevant [...]

Mything Words - Caduceus

by Erin on March 31, 2012

So, what exactly is a caduceus? So good that you asked! It is basically a staff decorated with two entwined serpents. I’m guessing you have seen a contemporary version of the caduceus at some point. Say, in a doctor’s office.
This strange symbol originated long ago, and yes, there is a connection to myth. Indeed, the [...]

Mything Words – Halcyon Days

by Erin on March 23, 2012

Ah, the Halcyon Days. Days of tranquility and contentment. You’ve heard of this phrase, haven’t you? Well, it has its origins in (surprise!) Greek mythology. And since it is a lovely Spring day here, I was inspired to discuss the myth behind this expression. I adore Ovid*, so I thought that I would share his [...]

Mything Words - Agora

by Erin on February 17, 2012

Ah, the market. In parts of the Middle East, they call it a bazaar or possibly, in some areas, a souq. However, in ancient Greece, the marketplace was referred as an agora.
The agora was more than an area for commerce in the ancient cities of Greece. It was a place to gather, to speak, [...]

Mything Words – Aphrodisiac

by Erin on February 12, 2012

It is easy to see the influence of a goddess from Greek myth in the word aphrodisiac. And yes, if that goddess was Aphrodite, then congratulations.
The standard dictionary definition of this word is something along the lines of “exciting desire”.
This time of year, just before Valentine’s Day, it is worth noting that foods, flowers, even [...]

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