[Loch-Ruadh] Word of the Day, March 21

Cait O'Hara lady_cait at lycos.com
Fri Mar 22 10:50:38 PST 2002


A preservative against, or remedy for, evil; a panacea sought in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  The word is from Greek alexein, to keep off, and kakon, evil.  A dose against poison was called an alexipharmic; to ward off contagion was an alexiteric or alexitery.
-- Joseph Shipley’s Dictionary of Early English, 1955

Feast Day of St. Benedict, a patron of poisoning victims.  Ebenezer Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable mentions another means of avoiding fatal overdoses, via a vessel known as a Venice glass: “The drinking glasses of the Middle Ages, made at Venice, were said to break into shivers if poison were put into them…. Venice glass, from its excellency, became a synonym for perfection.”  Powdered horn of the mythical unicorn, a creature referred to as a monoceros in John Coxe’s Philadelphia Medical Dictionary (1817), was yet a third form of Protection from toxins.

Never meddle in the affairs of dragons;
For you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
-- Acacia

2,000,000,000 Web Pages--you only need 1. Save time with My Lycos.

More information about the Loch-Ruadh mailing list