[Loch-Ruadh] Word of the Day, March 21
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 Shipleys Dictionary of Early English, 1955
Feast Day of St. Benedict, a patron of poisoning victims. Ebenezer Brewers 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 Coxes 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.
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