April 20, 2016
panic (noun)
\PAN-ik\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : a sudden overpowering fright especially without reasonable cause2 : a sudden widespread fright concerning financial affairs causing hurried selling and a sharp fall in prices
How do you use it?
Once on stage, Casey realized he had forgotten all of his lines, and his confidence turned to panic.
Are you a word wiz?

No need to panic -- we just want you to take a guess as to how "panic" got its start. Which of the choices listed below do you think seems the most likely origin of "panic"?

The ancient Greeks worshipped a god of pastures, flocks, and shepherds whom they called Pan. Although he was usually thought of as a pipe-playing woodland god, Pan was also believed to become very frightening at times. The people of Athens believed it was Pan who had caused their enemies, the Persians, to flee in terror from the battle of Marathon, which became a famous Greek victory. From this frightening aspect of Pan's nature, Greek writers came up with the word "panikon," which meant "groundless fear," and which is the ultimate source of the English word "panic."
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