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Panoply

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Panoply

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:13 pm

• panoply •


Pronunciation: pæn-ê-pli • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A splendiferous or sumptuous display, as a panoply of colorful flags. 2. A complete or large collection, a panoply of ice cream flavors. 3. Ceremonial attire, full dress uniform: the general in full panoply. 4. A complete set of armor, the knight arrived in panoply.

Notes: This word may be used as a verb in the sense of "fit out in a complete suit of armor". It is accompanied by an adjective, panoplied "attired in panoply", which may be the past participle of this verb, or the word may exhibit the same adjective suffix, -ed "having", that we see in forested, balconied, windowed. The latter is the more probable explanation, since the adjective preceded the verb by almost a century. The adjective first appeared in print in 1730; the verb, in 1821.

In Play: We don't have much use today for the original meaning (4. above), so let's move the first sense of this word: "When Harley Davidson arrived at the salsa party, he found a panoply of colorfully attired, unattached women there." An example of the second sense would be: "We can find a panoply of apps at any app store, some of which are free."

Word History: The semantic development of today's Good Word is the reverse of the order of meanings above. The word originated as Greek panopli "full armor", created from pan "all" + hopla "arms, armor", the plural of hoplon "weapon". We don't know where hoplon comes from. It only appears again in English as hoplite, the word for a Greek soldier. Pan, too, the neuter form of pas "all, whole", is difficult to trace. Since it is such a short word, it underwent a considerable number of changes. It started out as a word meaning "to swell", but came to mean "pregnant" or "powerful" in most Indo-European languages. (Dr. Goodword thought this word should be among the words in the Good Word dictionary, so volunteered the word himself.)
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Re: Panoply

Postby Slava » Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:57 am

Meaning 4 can still find uses in today's world, though it's doubtful many would understand it.

The hazmat team arrived at the melt-down site in full panoply.
The SWAT team arrived at the hostage situation in full panoply.
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Re: Panoply

Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:28 pm

I've often wondered where JM Barry got the
'pan' in his Peter Pan.
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Re: Panoply

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:12 pm

I assumed it came from the god Pan, a sort of wild nature god.
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Re: Panoply

Postby Bazr » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:43 pm

Pan was the god of 'all' and played the pan-pipes in his spare time:

pan‐pipes (Pandean Pipes, Syrinx)

Instrument of classical antiquity, ancestor of the flute. Series (4 to 12 or more) of short vertical pipes of wood, cane, or pottery fixed side by side and graduated in length to give the pitches of the different notes. The player blows across the open ends. The ancient Greeks credited the god Pan (god of 'all') with its invention. Used by Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte.
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Re: Panoply

Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:39 am

It's been so long since I've seen it, I forgot
he played the pan flute. Thanks.
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