Tag Archives: Greek

Don’t Get Hysterical (04/11)

I knew hysteria was a medical condition, thought to be particular to women. However, I didn’t know the etymology of the word.

HYSTERICAL

1615, from L. hystericus “of the womb,” from Gk. hysterikos “of the womb, suffering in the womb,” from hystera “womb” (see uterus).

Originally defined as a neurotic condition peculiar to women and thought to be caused by a dysfunction of the uterus. Hysterics is 1727; hysteria, abstract noun from hysteric, first recorded 1801 as a medical term.

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Just Vending (03/30)

A friend of mine who works for an encyclopedia publisher shared this fact with me:

A device that dispensed holy water in a Greek temple in Alexandria, Egypt, in 215 B.C. is the earliest known vending machine.

To see how far vending machines have come, read about the one they call ‘Let’s Pizza’

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