Friday, May 2, 2008

halcyon: Dictionary.com Word of the Day

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Word of the Day for Friday, May 2, 2008

halcyon \HAL-see-uhn\, noun:

1. A kingfisher.
2. A mythical bird, identified with the kingfisher, that was fabled to nest at sea about the time of the winter solstice and to calm the waves during incubation.
3. Calm; quiet; peaceful; undisturbed; happy; as, "deep, halcyon repose."
4. Marked by peace and prosperity; as, "halcyon years."

It seems to be that my boyhood days in the Edwardian era were halcyon days.
-- Mel Gussow, "At Home With John Gielgud: His Own Brideshead, His Fifth 'Lear'", New York Times, October 28, 1993
It is a common lament that children today grow up too fast, that society is conspiring to deprive them of the halcyon childhood they deserve.
-- Keith Bradsher, "Fear of Crime Trumps the Fear of Lost Youth", New York Times, November 21, 1999
It was a halcyon life, cocktails and bridge at sunset, white jackets and long gowns at dinner, good gin and Gershwin under the stars.
-- Elizabeth M. Norman, We Band of Angels

Halcyon derives from Latin (h)alcyon, from Greek halkuon, a mythical bird, kingfisher. This bird was fabled by the Greeks to nest at sea, about the time of the winter solstice, and, during incubation, to calm the waves.

Dictionary.com Entry and Pronunciation for halcyon


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