Word of the day

The word for today is…

harpy (noun) – 1. (Greek Mythology) One of several loathsome, voracious monsters with the head and trunk of a woman and the tail, wings, and talons of a bird.
2. A predatory person.
3. A shrewish woman.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : Winged monster of ancient mythology, late 14th century, from Old French harpie (14th century), from Latin harpyia, from Greek Harpyia (plural), literally “snatchers,” which is probably related to harpazein “to snatch”. Metaphoric extension to “repulsively greedy person” is circa 1400.

In Homer they are merely personified storm winds, who were believed to have carried off any person that had suddenly disappeared. In Hesiod they are fair-haired and winged maidens who surpass the winds in swiftness, and are called Aello and Ocypete; but in later writers they are represented as disgusting monsters, with heads like maidens, faces pale with hunger, and claws like those of birds. The harpies ministered to the gods as the executors of vengeance.


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Peter is a fourth-generation New Zealander, with his mother’s and father’s folks having arrived in New Zealand in the 1870s. He lives in Lower Hutt with his wife, three cats and assorted computers.

His work history has been in the timber, banking and real estate industries, and he’s now enjoying retirement. He has been interested in computers for over thirty years and is a strong advocate for free open source software. He is chairman of the SeniorNet Hutt City committee.

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