ithyphallic

ithyphallic

[ith-uh-fal-ik]
adjective
1.
of or pertaining to the phallus carried in ancient festivals of Bacchus.
2.
grossly indecent; obscene.
3.
Classical Prosody. noting or pertaining to any of several meters employed in hymns sung in Bacchic processions.
noun
4.
a poem in ithyphallic meter.
5.
an indecent poem.

Origin:
1605–15; < Late Latin īthyphallicus < Greek īthyphallikós, equivalent to īthý(s) straight, erect + phall(ós) phallus + -ikos -ic

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ithyphallic (ˌɪθɪˈfælɪk)
 
adj
1.  prosody (in classical verse) of or relating to the usual metre in hymns to Bacchus
2.  of or relating to the phallus carried in the ancient festivals of Bacchus
3.  (of sculpture and graphic art) having or showing an erect penis
 
n
4.  prosody a poem in ithyphallic metre
 
[C17: from Late Latin, from Greek ithuphallikos, from ithuphallos erect phallus, from ithus straight + phallosphallus]

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Word Origin & History

ithyphallic
1614, "poem in ithyphallic meter," from Gk. ithys "straight" + phallos "erect penis" (see phallus). The meter was that of the Bacchic hymns, which were sung in the rites during which such phalluses were carried. Thus, in Victorian times, the word also meant "grossly indecent" (1864).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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