Janiform

Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.
justscience
Junior Lexiterian
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2021 4:55 pm

Janiform

Postby justscience » Wed Jan 26, 2022 7:23 pm

Possessing two faces, after Janus, for whom January is named.

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Slava
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Re: Janiform

Postby Slava » Wed Jan 26, 2022 10:21 pm

Hi justscience, welcome to the Agora. Hope to see you here often.

I looked this up at several dictionary sites and found an oddity at Merriam-Webster. Their definition and example sentence are these:

having a face on each of two sides;
a coin bearing a janiform head.

That seems off to me. It doesn't make it clear if the head is on both sides of the coin, or if it is simply a janiform head on one side of the coin. Any thoughts?

In my current mood, all I can think of for examples of usage are anti-politician. Other than a janiform coin, can anyone think of a way to bandy this one about?
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.

justscience
Junior Lexiterian
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2021 4:55 pm

Re: Janiform

Postby justscience » Thu Jan 27, 2022 9:37 am

There is a Roman coin called a Quadrigatus that bears an image of Janus on its obverse. I have a janiform lamp that has a single face on two opposite sides. My fourth grade teacher was clearly janiform since she could see high jinks among us while writing on the board.
Janus was the deity of transition, of change, who presided over beginnings and conclusions such as wars. January is thus aptly named.
Shakespeare mentions Janus in Othello and Merchant of Venice.
As for using janiform as a scholarly insult, I'm all for it.
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