Unlike mercurial of last week, martial is a word I use plenty–I imagine we all do. And I even knew where this one came from, LOL.

Martial means “warlike; pertaining to war” and for good reason–it comes from the Roman god Mars, the god of war. What I didn’t realize was that much like jovial and mercurial, this word wasn’t developed as a general adjective for those like Mars, it was an astrological term, given to those born under the sign of Mars, who were thought to have spirits more prone to fighting and exhibiting qualities of a warrior.

Martial arts, as a term to describe the fighting techniques of Japan and the surrounding areas, was coined in 1909.