Winter QoTD #12

The word X originates from Greek Mythology:

Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos of Crete, fell in love with Theseus, a Greek hero who came to Crete to slay the Minotaur who lived in a subterranean Labyrinth. Ariadne gave Theseus a ball of yarn which he unwound as he entered the Labyrinth. This particular instance of Ariadne giving Theseus a ball of yarn marked the use of X in its current meaning. After slaying the Minotaur, Theseus followed the thread back to the entrance of the Labyrinth, rejoined Ariadne, and successfully escaped Crete.

If Hansel and Gretel’s trail of breadcrumbs weren’t eaten by birds, we would have a completely different word for the current meaning of X. Id X.

Send your responses as comments to the post. The answer will be here after 24 hours along with the next QoTD!


7 thoughts on “Winter QoTD #12

  1. Ironically, the answer itself is ‘clue’. According to Greek mythology, when Theseus entered the Labyrinth to kill the minotaur (a half-man, half-bull), he unraveled a “clew” – a ball of string – behind him, so he could find his way back.

    The word “clue” didn’t even exist until the mid-1500s when people started to vary the spelling of “clew.”

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