Word of the Day: Epithet


ep-i-thet / ĕp-ə-thĕt


1. a descriptive, characterizing word or phrase used as a nickname or to refer to a person

Husband of Penelope, father of Telemachus, and son of Laërtes and Anticlea, Odysseus is renowned for his brilliance, guile, and versatility, and is hence known by the epithet Odysseus the Cunning.

www.amazon.com/Odysseus-Ithaca-Bronze-Oddysey-Mythical/dp/B00O8281W0. Accessed April 25, 2023

2. a word or phrase that is defamatory, abusive or belittling

If a man knows precisely what he can do to you or what epithet he can hurl against you in order to make you lose your temper, your equilibrium, then he can always keep you under subjection.

Howard Thurman, 1899 – 1981

3. in biology, a word in an organism’s scientific name that is subordinate to the genus and thus identifies species, subspecies, etc.

In the name Homo sapiens, Homo is the genus and sapiens is the specific epithet.

“What’s in a name? A scientific name, that is.”, California Academy of Sciences, www.calacademy.org/blogs/project-lab/whats-in-a-name-a-scientific-name-that-is, March 23, 2012