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"fire eater" in ancient Greek?

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"fire eater" in ancient Greek?

Postby Ayawisgi » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:43 pm


I'm trying to figure out how to say 'fire eater' or 'heat eater' in ancient Greek, but I'm only able to get halfway there. I know (or think I know) that fire/heat = thermo/therme, but I can't find any root that speaks to the idea of eating or consuming.

(Embarrassingly, at first I thought I could say 'thermovore', but of course that's an etymological atrocity blending ancient Greek and Latin.) Any thoughts?
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Re: "fire eater" in ancient Greek?

Postby Markos » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:26 pm

Ayawisgi wrote:...I can't find any root that speaks to the idea of eating or consuming.

One of the most famous words in the history of Greek literature is, of course, λωτοφάγοι. L.S.J. also has λωτοβοσκός, but would that likely apply to plants or animals, not people? The (presumably) unattested θερμοφάγος might be ambiguous because L.S.J. glosses θερμοπότης as "one who drinks hot liquids." If you used πυροφάγος, you'd have to make clear that the upsilon is short, since L.S.J says πυροβόρος with a long upsilon is attested for "eating wheat."

I would assume the word is attested somewhere in Modern Greek which you could (if needed) Atticize easily enough.

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