Back to Greek and Roman Mythology
Arachnid: A type of arthropod that includes spiders, ticks, and scorpions. It comes from the name Arachne, who was turned into a spider by Minerva.
Atlas: A book containing maps of various locations. Atlas was a titan condemned to hold up the sky on his shoulders.
Jovial: good-humored. When he wasn?t tossing around lightning bolts, Jupiter (also known as Jove) would probably be in this mood.
Labyrinth: either a maze with many twists and passages or a tortuous procedure. Comes from the name of the maze Daedalus built for King Minos of Crete.
Mercurial: having the qualities associated with the god Mercury, such as a quick wit, eloquence, and changeability.
Vulcanize: to treat rubber with hot sulfur in order to make it more elastic. Vulcan was the god of fire and forged the weapons and jewelry of the gods.
Calliope: A musical instrument with a set of steam pipes that is played via a keyboard. Calliope was the name of the Muse of Epic Poetry.
Cloth: any type of natural fabric. Clotho, one of the Fates, gave her name to this material.
Echo: The reflection of a sound wave. Echo was a wood nymph whose voice was taken from her by Juno, and she was thereafter only capable of repeating others.
Cereal: Any grain, such as wheat, oats, barley, etc. Named after Ceres, goddess of farming and agriculture.
Martial: relating to or suggestive of war. Named for Mars, god of war.
Chronicle: A list of events in the order they happened. Named for Cronus (Saturn), father of Jupiter and leader of the titans.
Python: a massive snake that kills its prey by constriction. Named after Python, a monster that lived in a cave near Delphi and was killed by Apollo.
Psyche: The soul or mind, named for Psyche, the wife of Cupid.
Orator: one who speaks in public. Derives from oracle, places where the gods and mortals would go for help.
Narcissistic: excessive self-admiration. Narcissus was a man who fell in love with his reflection.
Protean: versatile. Proteus was the son of Neptune and could change appearance at will.
Bacchic: having to do with Bacchus/Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility. To me it?s not just a coincidence he?s god of these two things at one time.
Procrustean: fitting people or ideas into a ridged pattern, like Procrustus did with people when he jammed them into his iron bed and stretched them out.
Titanic: of massive size, like the titans, the gigantic sons of Uranus and Gaia.
Plutocrat: government of rich people. Pluto lived in the underworld, surrounded by mineral wealth.
Music: harmonious and rhythmic arraignments of sound. Named after the Muses, goddesses of the arts and sciences.
Panic: a sudden, intense, contagious fear. The god Pan was known for causing such fear in people.
Herculean: a seemingly impossible task, such as the twelve labors Hercules had to perform to win his freedom

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