Category Archives: Latin

Toxic Sagittarius


Considering the time of year, I thought it appropriate to dedicate a post to my fellow Sagittarians.  The ninth sign of the zodiac is represented by the archer.  Sagitta is Latin for arrow – an appropriate name for a constellation resembling an archer. Somehow, the word toxic fits into all this. Toxic is from the Greek word toxikos meaning pertaining to archery.  How did toxic come to mean what it means today if its origin pertains to archery?   Because hunters would dip their arrows in poison before going out on the attack.  Poisonous arrows were very toxic.

[Source: Etymologicon by Mark Forsyth
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Ars Magna

For those of us who delight in the origin of words, we also get pretty jazzed about anagrams. Thus, I wanted to share a great PBS documentary called ars magna on just that – anagrams.  One of the best parts of ars magna is that ars magna means ‘great art’ in Latin and is an anagram for anagrams.  Blows your mind a little, right?

It documents Cory Calhoun and shares his famous Hamlet anagram:

The original…

To be or not to be: that is the question, whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune…

The anagram… 

In one of the Bard’s best-thought-of tragedies, our insistent hero, Hamlet, queries on two fronts about how life turns rotten.


Watch Video | Ars Magna: Short Films | POV | PBS.