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Thursday, September 23, 2010

What's the origin of the word "panic"?

: panic etymology

Why: The dog ran away this morning when the smoke alarm went off and I was still wearing a towel. Aijaijai!
Answer: Oh, this is funny kind of:
  • from Greek panikon, litterally "pertaining to Pan," in sense of "panic, fright" - short for panikon deima or Panikos, "of Pan":
the god of woods and fields who was the source of mysterious sounds that caused contagious, groundless fear in herds and crowds, or in people in lonely spots
  • c. 1600 - "mass terror" (as an adj.) (with fear, terror, etc.)
  • 1757 - "widespread apprehension about financial matters"
  • 1955 - "panic button" in a figurative sense, originating from parachuting
Source: EtymOnline

The More You Know: I just stumbled upon this book cover. I wonder if he got sued.

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