Feature Word: Bite the Dust

Definition:

To die or suffer a severe setback.

Description:

Homer Iliad: ‘May his fellow warriors fall round him to the earth and bite the dust.’

Source:

Homer, Iliad

Brontophobia

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Definition:

an abnormal fear of thunder

Description:

Bronto = Greek word for ‘thunder’

+  phobia = fear

Does the word ‘Bronto’ ring a bell? Well, ‘brontosaurus’ means ‘thunder lizard’…

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Sophomoric

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Definition:

conceited and overconfident of knowledge but poorly informed and immature

Description:

Sophomores get a bad rap. A lot of people seem to think they’re foolish (no matter what they do), when they know they’re pretty wise. The history of the words ‘sophomore’ and ‘sophomoric’ (which developed from ‘sophomore’) proves that it has always been tough to be a sophomore.

Those words probably come from a combination of the Greek terms ‘sophos’ (which means ‘wise’) and ‘moros’ (which means ‘foolish’). But sophomores can take comfort in the fact that some very impressive words, including ‘philosopher’ and ‘sophisticated,’ are also related to ‘sophos.’

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Sin

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Definition:

estrangement from god

Description:

Most people think that the word ‘sin’ means that one has done a deed that is evil. The word arose from the Greeks, who used the term when an archer has missed his mark.
So, in essence, the word “sin” just means: “one has missed the mark.”

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Pandora’s Box

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Definition:

a prolific source of troubles

Description:

According to Greek mythology, the problems brought by Pandora’s box started with Prometheus. He was a Titan, one of the first Greek gods. He stole the secret of fire from his fellow gods and shared it with mortal humans. To punish humans, the gods then created Pandora. Each god gave her a gift to make her appealing (her name comes from a Greek word meaning ‘all gifted’ or ‘all giving’). Then they sent her to the mortals with a jar full of evils. Pandora’s curiosity prompted her to open the box, and all those ills escaped to plague humanity.

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Oxymoron

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Definition:

A seeming contradiction.

Description:

2 Greek derivatives:
‘Oxy’ which means ‘sharp’ ‘Moros’ which means ‘dull’ which are opposites.

It referrs to terms like ‘act natural’ ‘false truth’ ‘athletic scholarship’ etc.

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