Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Roll out those lazy, crazy, halcyon days of summer...

from wordsmith.org
halcyon (HAL-see-uhn)

adjective 1. Peaceful; tranquil. 2. Carefree; joyful. 3. Golden; prosperous.

noun Any of various kingfishers of the genus Halcyon. (See the woodland kingfisher at right).

[From Greek halkyon (kingfisher) via Latin and Middle English. Halcyon was a mythical bird, identified with the kingfisher, that was said to breed around the winter solstice. It nested at sea and had the power to charm the wind and waves so that they became calm.]

In Greek mythology, Alcyone was the daughter of Aeolus and wife of Ceyx. When Ceyx drowned in a shipwreck, she threw herself into the sea. Out of compassion, the gods transformed them into a pair of kingfishers. To protect their nest, the winds were forbidden to blow for a week before and after the winter solstice.

"In the halcyon days, the company's total workforce between the two plants topped 3,300 but the decline in those numbers has been ongoing for some considerable time."

-- John Murphy; Concern Over Future of Plant; The Irish Examiner (Cork, Ireland); Mar 15, 2005.

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