phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at


Posted by ESC on August 03, 2005

In Reply to: "Write the present day meaning of the expression and explain its origins" posted by Smokey Stover on August 03, 2005

: : I really need help with these sayings. thank you so much.
: : "Write the present day meaning of the expression and explain its origins"
: : 1. A chimerical Scheme

: : 2. An apple of discord

: : 3. In the arms of Morpheus

: : 4. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts

: : 5. Hydra-headed evils

: : 6. As wise as Nestor

: : 7. Difficult as the judgment of Paris

: : 8. Between Scylla and Charybdis

: : 9. Sinon

: : 10. An Icarian Adventure

: : 11. A task of Sisyphus

: : 12. Janus-faced facts

: : 13. an Augean Task

: : 14. A Cassandra Utterance

: :
: : 15. Bellerophonic letters

: : 16. the thread of Ariadne

: : 17. To be unable to bend Ulysses' bow

: : 18. The face that launched a thousand ships

: If you like Greek mythology so much, you really should get a book, buy one or take one out of the library. There are dozens that will tell you all you need to know. It's generally pretty easy to figure out figurative uses, once you know the mythological meanings. Some of the phrases you use seem a bit unusual. I would expect, for instance, THE apple of discord, a Cassandra-like utterance, a Sisyphean task. I would not expect to see an Augean task, but rather a Herculean task, like cleaning out the Augean stables. Bellerophonic letter? Maybe Bellerophontic, but what would they be? Bellerophon, besides being a much misunderstood character, was the fellow who tamed Pegasus and drove him around. Someone may tell you what Bellerophontic letters are, but not me. If you don't want to read a book on mythology, just look up the relevant articles in an encyclopedia. SS

Here are a couple.

APPLE OF DISCORD - This expression comes from Greek mythology. "This story begins at the wedding of the hero Peleus and the water-nymph Thetis, parents of the famous Achilles. All the gods are invited to the party, saving one: Eris, goddess of discord - an understandable omission. Eris, didn't see it that way and resolved to get revenge." She stole one of Hera's golden apples and inscribed it "Property of the Fairest" and tossed it onto a banquet table "where it was squabbled over by every goddess on hand." From "Brush Up on Your Classics!" By Michael Macrone (Gramercy Books, New York, 1999). Page 178.

BELLEROPHON/BELLEROPHONITIC LETTERS -- "Identification Cards with Data Encoding Devices and Threats to Personal Privacy: The New Bellerophontic Letters [FN1] Richard Glover, Fall 1995." Accessed Oct. 25, 2002. Bellerophon was a character from Greek mythology, "a citizen of Corinth who was exiled owing to a murder which he had committed. In those days it was possible to be purified of the guilt of such a crime, and Bellerophon was in due course absolved by King Proetus of neighboring Tiryns. The king's wife, generally identified as Stheneboea, made a pass at the young hero, and when he repulsed her advances she told her husband that it was Bellerophon who made a pass at her." Mythweb Accessed Oct. 25, 2002. A second online source says: He was a son of Glaucus; originally called Hipponoüs. He changed his name after the murder. He became a suppliant at the court of King Proetus of Argos, whose wife Anteia falsely accused him of trying to seduce her. Proetus sent him to Iobates, king of Lycia, with a sealed message requesting the death of its bearer. Iobates gave Bellerophon the seemingly impossible task of killing the Chimera, a beast that was part lio n, pa rt goat, part dragon. Bellerophon, however, with the aid of the flying horse Pegasus, killed the monster. Iobates sent him on other difficult missions, but finally decided that Bellerophon was favored by the gods and gave him his daughter in marriage. At the height of his prosperity, however, Bellerophon tried to ride Pegasus to the throne of the gods atop Mt. Olympus, and Ze us in anger caused Pegasus to throw him to the ground. Bellerophon then wandered alone, crippled, blind, and humiliated, until he died. Accessed Oct. 25, 2002.