Word of the Day

Thursday, October 24, 2002


\HAL-see-uhn\ , noun;
A kingfisher.
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.
Calm; quiet; peaceful; undisturbed; happy; as, "deep, halcyon repose."
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.
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