ANST - Griffon

Gunnora Hallakarva gunnora at
Tue Jul 7 06:56:24 PDT 1998

Ches inquired:
>After seeing so many spellings for the word Gryphon I would like to know
>how many out there are really spelled that way and why? Which is correct?
>Where did the word come from? Root?

The term comes from the Greek gryps by way of Latin, which declines the
word as follows:

gryps, grypis (2nd declension masculine noun) "gryphon"

Those darn provincials could never get the "bs" sound down correctly (a
fact that Claudius noted) and so the folks speaking Latin in Gallia
pronounced it "grifs".

In Middle French this became "grifon," which the Normans imported to
England. Middle English changed the word to "griffon."

Along the way, Victorian Romanticists tried to get the word hammered back
closer to its Graeco-Roman roots, producing the bastard form "gryphon."

Today, the Webster's Collegiate dictionary says that "griffin" is the
preferred spelling, with "griffon" as an accepted alternate form. "Gryphon"
is termed an archaic variant.

Wæs Þu Hæl (Waes Thu Hael)


Gunnora Hallakarva
Ek eigi visa þik hversu oðlask Lofstirrlauf-Kruna heldr hversu na Hersis-Aðal
(Ek eigi thik hversu odhlask Lofstirrlauf-Kruna heldr hversu na Hersis-Adhal)

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