For the next couple weeks, I’m going to do a little mini-series on some adjectives we have that are based on the names of ancient mythological gods. As I was reading through a list of some of these, I found it so fascinating!
So we’ll start off with Zeus. Now, I know what you’re thinking–I don’t know of any words with Zeus as the root! Which is true…sort of. Zeus was his Greek name, but English is derived far more from Latin than Greek. And what was Zeus’s Latin name?
Jupiter…also known as Jove.
By jove! Now we’re on to something! 😉
Of course, when you hear Jupiter, your first thought is the planet, right? Well, interestingly enough, that’s actually where this word of the week comes from. Jupiter was given as a name not just to any planet–it was given to the BIGGEST planet. And when people were born “under the sign of Jupiter” (astology has its roots waaaaaaaaaay back in time), they were thought to be of a more cheerful disposition than the rest of us. And so came the word jovial ~ literally “pertaining to or under the influence of Jove,” by which they mean the planet of Jupiter.