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#76774 - 07/24/02 11:28 AM Re: Omphale
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Omphale (3 syl.). The masculine but attractive Queen of Lydia, to whom Hercules was bound a slave for
three years. He fell in love with her, and led an effeminate life spinning wool, while Omphale wore the
lion's skin and was lady paramount.
The celebrated picture of Hercules spinning in the presence of Omphale, by Annibal Carracei, is in the
Farnese Gallery.

"Omphale" sounds like root of "navel". I wonder what the connection is. Comments?


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#76775 - 07/24/02 11:30 AM Re: On dit
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
On dit (French). A rumour, a report; as, “There is an on dit on Exchange that Spain will pay up its back
dividends.”


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#76776 - 07/24/02 11:33 AM Re: Onus
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
O'nus (Latin). The burden, the blame, the responsibility; as, “The whole onus must rest on your own
shoulders.”


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#76777 - 07/24/02 11:34 AM Re: Onyx
wwh Offline
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Onyx is Greek for a finger-nail; so called because the colour of an onyx resembles that of the finger-nail.



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#76778 - 07/24/02 11:36 AM Re: Opal
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
O'pal From the Greek ops (the eye). Considered unlucky for the same reason that peacocks' feathers in a
house are said to be unlucky. A peacock's feather, being full of eyes, act as spies in a house, prying into
one's privacy. Similarly, it is unlucky to introduce the eye-stone or opal into a house, because it will
interfere with the sanctity of domestic privacy


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#76779 - 07/24/02 11:49 AM Re: Orca
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Orca The Orkney Islands, or Orcades.

I wonder about the etymology of this name, what relationship if any to "orca" the killer whale.


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#76780 - 07/24/02 11:51 AM Re: Orchard
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Orchard properly means a kitchen garden, a yard for herbs. (Saxon, ortgeard- i.e. wort-yard.) Wort
enters into the names of numerous herbs, as mug-wort, liver-wort, spleen-wort, etc.


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#76781 - 07/24/02 11:53 AM Re: Orcus
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
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Orcus The abode of the dead; death. (Roman mythology.)


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#76782 - 07/24/02 11:57 AM Re: Ordeal
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Ordeal (Saxon, great judgment), instituted long before the Conquest, and not abolished till the reign of
Henry III.
Ordeals were of several kinds, but the most usual were by wager of battle, by hol or cold water, and by
fire. This method of “trial” was introduced from the notion that God would defend the right, even by
miracle if needful.


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#76783 - 07/24/02 12:07 PM Re: Orkneys
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Orkneys Either the Teutonic Orkn-cys (the water or islands of the whirlpool), in allusion to the two
famous whirlpools near the Isle of Swinna; or else the Norwegian Orkeyjar (northern islands), the
Hebrides being the Sudreyjar, or southern islands.


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