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[edit] halcyon

HAL-see-on

noun, adjective

Etymology

1545, 14 days of calm weather at the winter solstice, when a mythical bird (identified with the kingfisher) was said to breed in a nest floating on calm seas. Identified in mythology with Halcyone, daughter of Aeolus, who when widowed threw herself into the sea and became a kingfisher. [1]

Definition
  1. a kingfisher, especially one of the genus Halcyon
  2. a fabled bird, identified with the kingfisher, that was supposed to have had the power to calm the wind and the waves while it nested on the sea during the winter solstice
  3. calm and peaceful; tranquil
  4. prosperous; golden [2]


[edit] hallmark

HAWL-mark

noun

Etymology

Centuries ago, King Edward I of England decreed that gold and silver had to be tested and approved by master craftsmen before being sold. If tested items met the quality standards of the guild hall's masters, they would be stamped with the mark of the hall -- the special seal of approval of that assay office. These laws have been vigorously enforced, especially since the beginning of the18th century, making it possible to analyze legible marks on British gold and silver to identify its degree of fineness (purity), where and when it was presented for assay, who was responsible for it's manufacture (the maker's mark effectively the artisan's monogram or signature or a company logo), and if a duty was paid. The principal assay office has always been Goldsmith's Hall in London, but goods might also be presented at the provincial assay offices of Birmingham, Chester, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Newcastle, Norwich, or Sheffield, each with its own distinctive town or "hall" mark. [3]

Definition

a typical characteristic or feature of a person or thing [4]


[edit] hamburger

HAM-ber-ger

noun

Etymology

By the middle of the 19th century people in the port city of Hamburg, Germany, enjoyed a form of pounded beef called Hamburg steak. The large numbers of Germans who migrated to North America during this time probably brought the dish and its name along with them. [5]

Definition
  1. a sandwich consisting of a cooked patty of ground or chopped beef, usually in a roll or bun, variously garnished
  2. ground or chopped beef [6]


[edit] hawkshaw

HAWK-shaw

noun

Etymology

U.S. slang, from Hawkshaw, the name of the detective in The Ticket-of-Leave Man, 1863 a play by English dramatist Tom Taylor (1817-80); it also was used in the comic strip "Hawkshaw the Detective" (1913-1947) by U.S. cartoonist Gus Mager (1878-1956). [7]

Definition

a detective [8]


[edit] hector

HEK-ter

verb

Etymology

after the character Hektor, Trojan hero, oldest son of Priam and Hecuba, in the Iliad. [9]. The sense of bullying probably can be traced back to a seventeenth-century London street gang whose members called themselves "Hectors." [10]

Definition
  1. to talk and behave towards someone in a loud and unpleasantly forceful way, especially in order to get them to act or think as you want them to [11]
  2. to intimidate or harass by bluster or personal pressure [12]


[edit] heliolatry

noun

Etymology

in Greek mythology the sun was personified as Helius. Homer often calls him Titan and Hyperion. He was a son of the Titans Hyperion and Theia and brother of the goddesses Selene, the moon, and Eos, the dawn. The names of these three were also the common Greek words for sun, moon and dawn. [13]

Definition

worship of the sun [14]


[edit] helium

HEE-lee-um

noun

Etymology

in Greek mythology the sun was personified as Helius. Homer often calls him Titan and Hyperion. He was a son of the Titans Hyperion and Theia and brother of the goddesses Selene, the moon, and Eos, the dawn. The names of these three were also the common Greek words for sun, moon and dawn. [15]

Definition

a light colorless inert gaseous element found especially in natural gases and used chiefly for inflating airships and balloons, in lamps, in cryogenic research, and as a component of inert atmospheres (as in welding) [16]


[edit] herculean

her-CUE-lee-un

adjjective

Etymology

from Hercules (Greek Herakles) name of a famous hero, son of Zeus and Alcmene [17]

Definition

having or needing great strength or effort [18]


[edit] hermaphrodite

her-MA-fro-dite

noun

Etymology

from Greek Hermaphroditos, son of Hermes and Aphrodite, who, in Ovid, was loved by the nymph Salmacis so ardently that she prayed for complete union with him and as a result they were united bodily, combining male and female characteristics. [19]

Definition
  1. an animal or plant that exhibitis an anomalous condition in which both male and female reproductive organs and secondary sexual characteristics are present in the same individual [20]
  2. an animal or plant exhibiting hermaphroditism
  3. something that is a combination of disparate or contradictory elements [21]


[edit] hermetic

her-MEH-tik

adjective

Etymology

from the belief that Hermes Trismegistus invented a magic seal to keep vessels airtight [22] Hermeticism is a set of philosophical and religious beliefs based primarily upon the writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, who is put forth as a wise sage and Egyptian priest, and who is commonly seen as synonymous with the Egyptian god Thoth. [23]

Definition
  1. airtight
  2. impervious to external influence
  3. recluse, solitary [24]


[edit] hertz

HURTS

noun

Etymology

after Heinrich Rudolf Hertz (1857–1894), German physicist who was the first to produce radio waves artificially [25]

Definition

a unit of frequency equal to one cycle per second [26]


[edit] hooker

HOOK-ur

noun

Etymology

often traced to the disreputable morals of the Army of the Potomac during the American Civil War (1861-1865) under the tenure of General "Fighting Joe" Hooker (1863). The word probably was popularized by this association at that time, but it is said to have been in use in North Carolina c.1845 ("If he comes by way of Norfolk he will find any number of pretty Hookers in the Brick row not far from French's hotel."). One theory traces it to Corlear's Hook, a disreputable section of New York City. Perhaps related to hooker "thief, pickpocket" (1567), but most likely an allusion to prostitutes hooking or snaring clients. [27]

Definition

a prostitute [28]


[edit] hoover

HOO-ver

verb

Etymology

1925–30, after the Hoover company, a manufacturer of vacuum cleaners [29]

Definition

to clean with a vacuum cleaner [30]

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