It was derived from the name of a
Greek maiden who beat Athena in a weaving contest; what taxonomic term is
Etymology, Etymology, and more Etymology
as well as grammar, usage, euphemism, slang, jargon, semantics, linguistics, neologism, idiom, cant, and argot.
The critically-acclaimed board game
consists of tough questions about the nuances of the English language.
The word arachnid - which derives from
the Greek arachne, spider - denotes arthropods of the class Arachnida, such as
spiders, scorpions, and ticks. They have segmented bodies.
In mythology Arachne was a Greek maiden who was
turned into a spider after defeating Athena in a weaving contest. Note: a more
precise answer would be "Arachnida" because the is the taxonomic
In the spirit of the game I have a nit to pick with
your brief account of Arachne's story. Arachne boasted that she was more
skilfull than Athena. She lost the contest, acknowledging the Goddess's vastly
more beautiful tapestry. Athena changed her into a spider to punish her for her
hubris.(Oooooo! Look! More Greek!)
[Note: The first version of the question asked:
"What entomological term is it?" That provoked this response]
"I am a long time admirer of your game, but I think
you made a mistake this time. Pondering today's question I thought of
"arachnid" at first but then dismissed it because EVERYONE KNOWS SPIDERS AREN'T
So I began a fruitless effort
to connect actual entomological terms like lepidoptera, hymenoptera (Greek god,
but wrong one), coleoptera, and decided it must be some word I don't know
having to do with silkworms.
had to give up and look at the answer. Maybe, I thought, entomology includes
the study of spiders so I looked it up in my American Heritage, and it said no,
just insects. I should have known from the etymology of entomology: en+tom in
Greek = in+sect in Latin."
Charles H. Bennett
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