PRONUNCIATION: (OR-fee-uhn, or-FEE-uhn)

MEANING: adjective:
1. Melodious.
2. Enchanting.
3. In the manner of Orpheus’s journey to the underworld.

ETYMOLOGY: After Orpheus, a musician, poet, and prophet in Greek mythology. His lyre-playing and singing could charm animals, trees, and even rocks. After his wife Eurydice, a nymph, died of a snakebite, he traveled to the underworld to bring her back. His music melted the heart of Hades, the god of the underworld, who allowed him to take his wife back on the condition that he not look back at her until they had reached the world of the living. They had almost made it when he looked back and lost her again. His mother Calliope/Kalliope has also given a word to the English language: calliopean. Earliest documented use: 1593.

MORPHEAN - a Greek Odo

ORPHAN - parentless owner of Sandy, the dog who barks "Orph! Orph!"

ORCHEAN - 1. testicular; 2. played by several instruments in concert