Word of the Day

Thursday, May 17, 2012

omphalos

\OM-fuh-luhs\ , noun;
1.
The central point.
2.
The navel; umbilicus.
3.
Greek Antiquity. A stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, thought to mark the center of the earth.
Quotes:
To that incurable romantic the Trenton hovel was omphalos, the hub of existence, the center of mass.
-- Ellen Queen, Halfway House
Yes; but if not of the earth, for earth's tenant Jerusalem was the omphalos of mortality.
-- Thomas De Quincey, Suspiria de Profundies
Origin:
From Greek, omphalos did not enter English until the 1850s when Thomas De Quincey used it in his work Suspiria de Profundis. It literally meant "navel."
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