All month long, I’ve brought you words derived from Greek mythology, in honor of the goddess Maia, which May is named for.
Have you ever been alone in the woods, and you were certain that someone was following you. The leaves rustled too loudly to be a squirrel. The snapping twig bore the weight of something large — and too close. Perhaps it was Pan, the Greek god of mischief. The feeling inspired by that moment—panic—comes from his name. This good-natured god of the woods and fields could turn cranky at times when awakened from a nap.
Today, panic is still a word to describe inexplicable fear. So, the next time you’re seized with uncontrollable fear…you probably just woke up an angry goat-god.
Other words this month:
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