This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Friday, 10 April 2015

Word To Use Today: hieracosphinx.

I don't have a special useless-though-enchanting area in The Word Den, so hieracosphinx is going to have to appear as a Word To Use Today.

Well, think of it as a challenge.

A hieracosphinx is a sphinx with the head of a hawk. 

So, err...

...well, perhaps you might see a cloud that looks a bit like one.

Or perhaps this picture reminds you of someone:

Edfu17.JPG
That image is of the god Horus in the form of a hieracosphinx from the Temple of  Edfu, Egypt. (He reminds me of the organist at church when I was young - which is odd, as I can't really remember what he looked like.)

Still, do you know someone who wears winged glasses, as Horus appears to do in that image? 

Perhaps you have a head teacher or boss who's fierce, and talks in riddles?

Um...well, good luck with this one. It's a cool word, anyway, isn't it? And the plural can be either hieracosphinxes or hieracosphinges.

Word To Use Today: hieracosphinx. this word was made up by Herodotus to describe the images of hawk-headed sphinges he saw when in Egypt. It comes from the Greek words sphinx, which means, well, sphinx, and hierax, hawk.

By the way, Herodotus called sphinges with the heads of rams criosphinges. 


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