Thursday, March 28, 2013

Word of the Day -- Aegis

Aegis has several meanings: 1. : a shield or breastplate; 2a : protection b : controlling or conditioning influence; and 3: auspices, sponsorship b: control or guidance especially by an individual, group, or system.

We borrowed "aegis" from Latin, but the word ultimately derives from the Greek noun "aigis," which means "goatskin." In ancient Greek mythology, an aegis was something that offered physical protection. In some stories, it was the thundercloud where Zeus kept the thunderbolts he used as weapons. In others, the aegis was a magical protective cloak made from the skin of the goat that had suckled Zeus as an infant. The word first entered English in the 16th century as a noun meaning "shield" or "protection," and by the 20th century it had acquired the extended senses of "auspices" or "sponsorship."


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