There’s a word for everything

I learned a new word this morning–callipygian, “having well-shaped buttocks.” From the Greek kalli- (beautiful) + pyge (buttocks). A statue of Aphrodite in Syracuse was thus named, and the word sprang from there.¹

You’ll recognize the “beautiful” root in calligraphy (beautiful writing) and calisthenics (beautiful strength). Many other related but less familiar English words also start with calli-.

It seems wise for me to eschew my usual commentary, omitting the witty remarks I typically supply to describe some personal association I have with the word. I did used to do calligraphy, though, before everyone had a dozen beautiful fonts available right on their desktop. I even made a little money in college putting names on certificates when student organizations gave out recognitions.

So I’ll say nothing, other than to dedicate this post to my friend John over at Nobody Move!, my favorite crime blog. He, more than perhaps anyone I have regular contact with, has a deep appreciation of all things callipygian. And callimastic.
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¹ Online Etymology Dictionary

About Verla

Wordfreak. Linguist. WA State licensed P.I. #3377. Principal, Viera Investigations. Spanish-English interpreter. Sole proprietor, Encanto Language Services. Erstwhile librarian. Texan by birth, cheesehead by upbringing, latina by soul, PacNWer by choice. Jewelry artist, Different Drummer Designs. Owner, world’s most gigantic dachshund. Driver, world’s almost smallest car. Chocoholic. Lover of things purple.
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4 Responses to There’s a word for everything

  1. John D says:

    Callipygian, not to be confused with dasypygal. :)

  2. nihongozuki says:

    I know Ancient Greek a little. It’s pleasure to know new words… Thank you.