12 Words From Mythologies Around The World


It’s in human nature to explain to tales and in a lot of approaches, our stories—our mythologies—work their way into each individual aspect of our daily life, from meme culture to the language we converse. You may possibly be familiar with some of the terms derived from the names of Greek and Roman gods and characters (herculean, echo, narcissist, to name a couple). But some of the words and phrases with related origins are additional obscure and may well surprise you, and still other individuals are drawn from fully diverse cultural lineages! Lots of of our contemporary text are inspired not only by Greco-Roman mythos but also by West African, Indigenous, Far East Asian, and Nordic folktales, gods, heroes, and legends.

Here’s a nearer glimpse at some of our day to day phrases and the a lot of diverse mythologies that have contributed to their use and interpretation nowadays.


Although many of us may possibly view the Golden Point out as the land of sunshine, delicate winters, and loads, this idyllic graphic of California is 1st glimpsed in Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo’s novel Las Sergas de Esplandián (“The Adventures of Esplandián”) from the 1500s. At a time when Spanish invasion and exploration of the Americas was at its peak, Las Sergas de Esplandián describes a fictional island dominated by Queen Calafia of the Indies, for this reason the title “California.” It is feasible Rodríguez de Montalvo derived California from the Arabic khalif or khalifa (a religious chief of Islam), or the term Califerne from the 11th-century epic French poem The Tune of Roland. When the Spanish to start with encountered the Baja California peninsula, it was in the beginning thought to be an island and so was dubbed for the fictional island in Rodríguez de Montalvo’s novel. Sooner or later, this title would apply to the area that we now know as California in the US and Baja California in Mexico today.


Chimeric is an adjective utilized to explain a thing “imaginary, fanciful” or in the context of biology, chimeric describes an organism “having elements of distinctive origins.” The phrase chimeric is derived from the identify of an ancient Greek monster, the chimera. Ordinarily depicted as a obtaining the two a goat and lion head sprouting from its again and a serpent as a tail, the chimera was a terrifying and formidable opponent.


When this word may contact to intellect Christianity and the realm of demons and condemned souls, hell is also linked with an additional notion of the underworld. In accordance to Norse mythology, the prominent god Odin appointed the goddess and daughter of Loki, Hel, to preside over the realm of the useless. Hel’s name subsequently became related as the term for the underworld alone. The word hell entered Aged English someday prior to the year 900 CE.


When a windstorm whips up torrential rains, it can undoubtedly seem to be like a god’s fury has been named down. This may well demonstrate why hurricane is derived from a Taíno storm god, Hurakán. The Taíno were an Indigenous tribe of the Caribbean, so it unquestionably can make perception that their deities would keep the name now related with major tropical storms. Working its way from Spanish into English, hurricane was very likely 1st recorded in English around the mid-1500s.

What’s the big difference among a hurricane and a twister?


Ordinarily depicted with wings, Nike was the Greek goddess of victory. Her impact was not constrained to athletics, and she could oversee any field from artwork to songs to war. Nike is said to have earned this title as one particular of the initial deities to offer you her allegiance to Zeus through the Titanomachy, the fantastic battle concerning the Titans and gods for Mount Olympus. Of training course, with a successful streak like that, it is no wonder a common sports attire organization would identify itself following her.


Plutocracy signifies “the rule or electrical power of wealth” or “of the rich, notably a government or condition in which the wealthy class policies.” The pluto in plutocracy arrives from the Roman god of prosperity, Pluto. Frequently recognised ideal by his Greek identify, Hades, Pluto also presided around the underworld. The place does the prosperity aspect in? Precious metals and gems are usually located underground. The word plutocracy was recorded in the English language all-around 1645–1655.


The adjective protean [ proh-tee-uhn ] describes how some thing readily assumes unique kinds, styles, or features. Something that is protean is “extremely variable.” This term originates from the title of Proteus, a small Greek sea god who served underneath Poseidon. Proteus was prophetic and stated to be capable to gaze into the earlier, current, and foreseeable future. Even so, he was pretty stingy with his knowledge, so most challengers would have to surprise him and wrestle him—while Proteus constantly reworked into different (normally unsafe) styles, such as a lion or a snake! If the challenger held on all over the transformations, Proteus would answer their problem in truth right before jumping again into the sea.


Quetzalcoatlus is a genus of pterosaur from the Late Cretaceous time period. Its continues to be were being found in 1971 in Texas. As a flying dinosaur from the Americas, its name derives from the god Quetzalcóatl, or “the feathered serpent,” in Nahuatl. Generally depicted as just that (in addition to obtaining incarnations that ranged from axolotls to puppies to corn), Quetzalcóatl was a well known god of creation and order in the pantheon of the Mexica people today. His area included highly effective and sustaining forces these as the solar, the wind, agriculture, knowledge, and creating.


Popping up just about everywhere from video game titles to blockbuster flicks, the phrase ragnarokrahg-nuh-rok ] just sounds great. It is typically utilized as a synonym for the stop of the world—and that is what it at first referred to. In Norse mythology, this apocalyptic second will take place when a few roosters crow and the monster hound, Garmr, breaks no cost of his cave. A frightening battle among gods ensues along with all-natural disasters. The Old Norse phrase Ragnarǫk that it derives from is a compound of “gods” (ragna) and “fate” (rok).

What are other words that occur from Old Norse? Find out below.


Known in most of the English-speaking globe as a well known automobile manufacturer, Subaru is a Japanese word for the 7 Sisters, or Pleiades, constellation. The Subaru logo even options the six stars obvious to the bare eye in the constellation. In 2021, astronomers Ray and Barnaby Norris proposed that the constellation referred to as “Seven Sisters” by numerous historical peoples (which these days seems to be like 6 obvious stars) as soon as had a seventh obvious star whose mild has been swallowed up by the light-weight of another.


If we want an illustration of mythology rooted in our day-to-working day, we needn’t seem any further more than the days of the week. To begin with, Romans named their days of the 7 days just after the planets, which incorporated the sun and the moon (Sunday and Monday). As the Roman Empire expanded to involve Germanic-speaking peoples, the names of the weekdays ended up tailored to mirror the names of gods acquainted to the regional populations.

Currently, five out of 7 times of the week are connected to the names of mythological gods, four of which are Previous Germanic/Norse in origin. Tuesday is rooted in the title of the Norse god of war and justice, Tyr. Wednesday descends from Woden (alternatively, Odin), a broadly revered Germanic-Norse god who presided above therapeutic, knowledge, demise, war, poetry, and sorcery. Thursday is derived from the thunder god Thor. Ultimately, Friday owes its name to Frigg, the goddess of marriage, prophecy, clairvoyance, and motherhood. The outlier of the weekday team is Saturday, which traces its identify back again to Saturn, the Roman god of time, wealth, and renewal.

Though students are unsure as to when the Germanic-Norse diversifications of the times of the week ended up released, it is estimated to have transpired in between 200-500 CE to predate the unfold of Christianity and the ultimate collapse of the Roman Empire.

⚡️ To find out additional, acquire a look at our extensive days of the week written content:


Though odd today generally usually means “bizarre” or “unusual,” its more mature use has been to refer to a little something that is “uncanny” or relating the supernatural. This one-way links into the authentic definition of unusual, or then wyrd, as remaining equipped to handle fate or destiny. The Previous English derivation of the Germanic term was initially recorded ahead of 900 CE as wyrd then in Center English as an attributive noun in the phrase werde sisters, which referred to the Fates. In accordance to Greek mythology, the three goddesses recognised as the Fates regulate the destinies of the lives of gentleman. In the early 1600s, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, utilized werde sisters to refer to these witches in the engage in.

Take these fabled and amazing phrases with you everywhere you go by traveling to our word record here!


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