in Wacky Word Wednesday

If you’ve ever struggled to find the words to describe a happy, prosperous, or peaceful time, come on down- the halcyon days await!

quo top 

 

 

Halcyon /ˈhælsɪən/

-adjective

Calm and peaceful; happy and carefree days

quo botHalcyon Image

The etymology behind the word halcyon is perhaps one of the most interesting to be heard. According to a Greek legend, the kingfisher nested in the sea around the time of December, and its floating nest bought calm to the wind and water. One day, Ceyx, the son of the morning sea, became lost at sea. His lover Alcyone, daughter of the god of the winds, became inconsolable. As a result, the gods took pity on them both, turning them into kingfishers so they could continue a blissful life together. When they mated each year, the gods calmed the winds and seas so Alycone could brood her eggs safely.

When the word first appeared in the English language, it was written as alkuon, in reference to the Greek legend. However, when it transformed into meaning peaceful or calm, it adapted the Latin form of halcyon.  By the 16th century, Shakespeare was using halcyon as figurative speech for calm days, as seen below in an excerpt from Henry VI, Part 1, 1592:

“Assign’d am I to be the English scourge.
This night the siege assuredly I’ll raise
Expect Saint Martin’s summer, halcyon days,
Since I have entered into these wars.”

 

Currently, halcyon is used to express a nostalgic longing and recalling of endless sunny days of youth, even though the original halcyon days were in the depth of winter.

  • Sarah was very content during her halcyon days of childhood
  • The halcyon days of summer will soon be replaced by the harshest of winters.
  • Whenever Michael hears the sounds of waves crashing, he remembers the halcyon days he spent in Thailand.

 

We’ll let your minds wander to the kingfisher and his power to charm winds and calm water, but remember to come back to reality next week for more wacky words!

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

If you’re interested in learning more about CSOFT’s globalization and localization solutions, don’t forget to subscribe to our RSS feed for automatic updates.

Leave a Comment

Comment