• chyron •
kai-rahn • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: 1. (Television) An electronic system for generating captions at the bottom of video images for television and other visual electronic formats. 2. (Television) The images created by this system.
Notes: Here is a sniglet that became a word. The general vocabulary has no word for the written message or ticker tape that runs concurrently with a video image beneath the pictures on TV programs. Let's bring it out of the technical closet it is in today. The plural is chyrons.
In Play: A chyron is used to identify the speaker, to quote him or her, or to headline another news story unrelated to the one being covered: "While the senator was explaining that the pandemic was over on the news tonight, a chyron was running beneath him informing viewers that it was at an all-time high." Sometimes I feel I could use a running chyron on my multitasking life.
Word History: Chyron is an alteration of the earlier proprietary name, Chiron, of the company producing this software, originally Systems Resources Corporation. The name was changed to Chyron, an alternate spelling of the name of a centaur in Greek mythology, Chiron. Chiron (Cheiron or Kheiron) was said to be the wisest and most just of all the centaurs, so wise and just that he became the teacher of Apollo. His name is based on kheir "hand" which, in turn, was derived from PIE gher-/ghor- "to grip, grab, enclose". The PIE word, after metathesis, went into the creation of English grab and grasp. It also underlies the names of enclosures like English garden and German Garten, as in Kindergarten, and French jardin "garden", the word underlying jardiniere. (Let's now thank William Hupy for discovering this new and very useful word from the 1970s and sharing it with us today.)