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Sunday, July 30, 2006

nephelococcygia

On those days when you've laid on your back and found horses and castles and dragons in the clouds, did you wonder if there was a word for what you were doing (no - "skiving off on the back lawn" is six words)

The word is nephelococcygia - apparently thought up by Aristophanes for his comedy, "The Birds" (414 BC). In the play, two characters turn into birds and plan a cloud city which they decide to call "Nephelococcygia." another character in the play calls them mad so the word came to mean Cloud Cuckooland
You can hear it pronounced here

This cloud is called "Betty eating her green chew stick"

nephelococcygia
Betty

3 comments:

Matthew said...

I just discovered that word today - it's so wonderful to learn that there is a single word exists for a familiar concept!

Erica said...

now you just have to wait for the right moment to drop it into a conversation :)

Anonymous said...

The word also means "living in la-la land, cut off from reality." You could use it when talking about President Bush, if your views coincide with mine.