Set 6 – Five New Words For Jan 6

Theme: Words from classical mythology

1. Aesculapian or Esculapian (es-kyuh-LAY-pee-ehn)

MEANING:
adjective: Relating to medicine.
noun: A doctor.

NOTES:
The Rod of Aesculapius, a single snake around a staff is used as a symbol related to medicinal arts.

USAGE:
“Dr. Rollins, the eminent Aesculapian, is having a secret affair with A.J. Morgan.”

2. protean (PRO-tee-uhn, pro-TEE-uhn)

MEANING:
adjective:
1. Assuming many forms: variable.
2. Able to handle many different things, as roles in a play. Versatile.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Proteus, a sea god in Greek mythology, who could assume different forms.

USAGE:
“Bruce Chatwin: Such a protean character, a man of many parts. A man who loved the austere but was also flamboyant in manner.”

3. terpsichorean (turp-si-kuh-REE-uhn, turp-si-KOR-ee-uhn, -KORE-)

MEANING:
adjective: Of or relating to dancing.
noun: A dancer.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Terpsichore, the Muse of dancing and choral song in Greek mythology.

USAGE:
“Each week, performers on the Fox terpsichorean competition So You Think You Can Dance have to learn new dance routines.”

4. bacchanal (BAK-uh-nal, -nahl)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A wild and drunken celebration.
2. A drunken reveler.

USAGE:
“The move backfired, encouraging instead a bacchanal of booze, followed by a parade of puking.”

5. morphean

MEANING:
adjective:
1. Sleep-inducing.
2. Of or related to sleep or drowsiness.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Morpheus, the god of dreams in Greek mythology. He was the son of Hypnos, the god of sleep. The name of the drug morphine is also derived after Morpheus.

USAGE:
“The audience at the Institute of Directors convention began to drift off under the Morphean influence of such tired words as ‘stakeholder’ and ‘strategic’.”

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