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[ og-uhm, aw-guhm ] [ ˈɒg əm, ˈɔ gəm ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


an alphabetic script used originally for inscriptions in an archaic form of Irish, from about the 5th to the 10th centuries.

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More about ogham

Ogham “an alphabetic script used for inscriptions in archaic Irish” is a loanword from Irish Gaelic, but the history of this word becomes murkier and murkier the farther back in time we go. A popular hypothesis is that ogham comes from Ogma, the name of a Celtic god who created the alphabet—that is, according to some legends. An alternative is that ogham derives from an ancient Irish word meaning “point,” as in the tip of a weapon, in reference to how ogham letters were inscribed on stone. The Irish Gaelic language today, as it has since the demise of ogham 1000 years ago, uses the Roman alphabet. Ogham was first recorded in English in the 1620s.

how is ogham used?

The script used in recording this early Irish is the unusual alphabetic system called Ogham .… [M]ost of its characters consist of slashing lines, longer and shorter (notches being used at times for vowel characters), giving the impression that it was originally designed to be “written” by means of an ax or some similar sharp instrument, with wood serving as a medium.

Roger D. Woodward, “Introduction,” The Ancient Languages of Europe, 2008

Ogham is an ancient lettering system that uses patterns of parallel and crossed lines. “It is specifically Irish with some late use in Scotland, but even in Wales the ogham inscriptions are all in Irish,” Prof [Werner] Nahm says. “They started in the late fourth century. You find them in various places, on building materials and in subterranean structures.”

Dick Ahlstrom, “Old Irish colonies marked in stone,” Irish Times, June 26, 2008
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[ fan-taz-muh-gawr-ik, -gor- ] [ fænˌtæz məˈgɔr ɪk, -ˈgɒr- ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


having a fantastic or deceptive appearance, as something in a dream or created by the imagination.

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More about phantasmagoric

Phantasmagoric “having a fantastic appearance” is a compound of two elements. The first is phantasm “apparition, fantasy,” from Ancient Greek phántasma “image, vision.” This, in turn, comes from the verb phaínein “to bring to light, cause to appear,” which is the source of many fant- and phant- words in English, from fantastic and fantasy to hierophant and phantom. The second element in phantasmagoric is likely to be either from Ancient Greek agorá “assembly, gathering” (as in agoraphobia) or its derivative allēgoría “figurative language” (as in allegory). Phantasmagoric was first recorded in English in the early 1810s.

how is phantasmagoric used?

When you take a tour through the main street, you will find bonfires at every step. They are built with branches collected by villagers a few days earlier in the forest around the village. The street lighting is dimmed to accentuate the almost phantasmagoric atmosphere around you.

Sergio Peréz, “Riding through flames and fury,” Reuters, February 1, 2013
[H]e saw himself surrounded by an endless succession of the ghastly forms which belong to the superstition of the Norman, or arise in the guilty slumbers of the monk. The phantasmagoric effect was vastly heightened by the artificial introduction of a strong continual current of wind behind the draperies—giving a hideous and uneasy animation to the whole.

Edgar Allan Poe, “Ligeia,” American Museum, 1838
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[ ahr-ki-tahy-puhl ] [ ˌɑr kɪˈtaɪ pəl ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


of or having the nature of an original model or prototype.

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More about archetypal

Archetypal “having the nature of an original model,” the adjective form of the noun archetype, comes from Ancient Greek archétypon “a model, pattern.” The first element in archétypon is based on one of three related words—archḗ “beginning,” árchos “leader,” árchein “to be the first, command”—all of uncertain ultimate origin. The second element is týpos “mold, type” (earlier “blow, impression”), which may be distantly related to a variety of English st- words once connected to pushing, knocking together, cutting off, or sticking out, including steep, steeple, stepchild, stint, stock, stoop, stub, stunt, and stutter. Archetypal was first recorded in English in the 1640s.

how is archetypal used?

Often cited as the archetypal “Renaissance man,” Leonardo came from an era in which the well-rounded individual, prolific and curious of mind, was highly valued.

Lee Scott, “Why the Renaissance man–and woman–is making a comeback,” Conversation, April 26, 2016

In their book The Fourth Turning, Howe and Strauss identified four generational archetypes: Hero, Artist, Prophet, and Nomad. Each consists of people born in a roughly 20-year period. As each archetypal generation reaches the end of its 80-year lifespan, the cycle repeats.

John Mauldin, “Millennials Are Doomed To Face An Existential Crisis That Will Define The Rest Of Their Lives,” Forbes, June 24, 2016
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