September 05, 2016
halcyon (adjective)
\HAL-see-un\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: calm, peaceful
How do you use it?
As all the activities of the school year were getting into full swing, Ben began to miss the halcyon days of summer.
Are you a word wiz?

"Halcyon" comes from a Greek myth about Alkyone, who, upon learning of the death of her husband, threw herself into the sea and was turned into a bird. Why do you think she became associated with calm and peacefulness?

According to the myth, Alkyone was changed into a bird, more specifically, a kingfisher, which the Greeks called "alkyon" or "halkyon." Legend had it that the kingfisher built a floating nest on the sea every year near the winter solstice. Aeolus, god of the winds and father of Alkyone, calmed the wind and the waves while the bird sat on its eggs in a peaceful sea. The Greek name for this period became an expression for a time of peace and tranquility. The Romans borrowed the Greek word as "alcyon" or "halcyon," which made its way into English as a poetic name for the kingfisher, and later, as an adjective to mean "calm and tranquil."
Archive RSS Feed