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halcyon

happy, peaceful

TRANSLATION

halcyon = friedvoll, friedlich; ruhig —— halcyon days = glückliche Tage (wird oft verwendet, um eine idyllische Zeit in der Vergangenheit zu beschreiben, die besser als heute in Erinnerung bleibt) —— halcyon [kingfisher] = Eisvogel

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“Go back, for a moment, to the HALCYON DAYS of late 2015, the last time Saudi Arabia and Iran had diplomatic relations.”

The Economist / Middle East & Africa — ‘China brokers an Iran-Saudi rapprochement’ (10th March 2023)

Did you
know?

halcyon
adjective

- characterized by happiness, great success, and prosperity (often used to describe an idyllic time in the past that is remembered as better than today

- calm; peaceful; tranquil (weather)

halcyon
noun

- a bird identified with the kingfisher and held in ancient legend to nest at sea about the time of the winter solstice and to calm the waves during incubation

Merriam-Webster / Cambridge Dictionary


WORD ORIGIN

"Halcyon" is derived from the ancient Greek word "ἀλκυών" alkyón, which refers to the kingfisher bird. The term comes from a charming myth in Greek mythology.

According to the myth, Alcyone (or Halcyone), the daughter of Aeolus (the god of wind), married Ceyx, the son of the evening star. They were so happy that they often referred to each other as "Zeus" and "Hera", which angered the actual Zeus. He punished them by killing Ceyx in a sea storm.

When Alcyone was informed about her husband's death by the god of sleep in a dream, she threw herself into the sea. Touched by their love, the gods transformed them both into kingfisher birds.

It was believed that Alcyone made her nest on the beach and while she was laying her eggs, not even the wildest winds would blow for seven days in each direction. This period of calm became known as the 'halcyon days' - a term that has since evolved to mean a period of peace or tranquility.

Hence, the term "halcyon" has come to refer to a sense of calm, peacefulness, and happiness, particularly in reminiscence of the past.


SYNONYMS

agreeable, alluring, amiable, arcadian, balmy, beaming, beatific, blissful, blooming, bucolic, calm, carefree, comforting, composed, content, cozy, delightful, dreamy, easy, enjoyable, equable, euphoric, exultant, gentle, glad, gleeful, HALCYON, harmonious, heavenly, hushed, idyllic, joyous, jubilant, like a millpond (a quiet morning, a still lake, a tranquil forest, an undisturbed sea, basking in sunshine, birdsong at dawn, early morning tranquillity, the calm after a storm, the calm of a summer evening, the quiet of a moonlit night, the silence of snowfall, the still of the night, like tranquillity distilled), mellow, mild, pastoral, peaceful, placid, pleasant, pleasing, restful, serene, soft, soothing, still (as a pond, tranquil, undisturbed, unflustered, untroubled, unworried, utopian, warm, whisper-quiet, windless, worry-free, zen

For a bit of variety, here are phrases that mean peaceful in other languages, "paz interior" (inner peace in Spanish), "stille" (quiet in German), "paix" (peace in French), "fred" (peace in Catalan), "mir" (peace in Russian), "siochain" (peace in Irish), "pokoj" (peace in Polish), "rauha" (peace in Finnish), "vrede" (peace in Dutch), "pace" (peace in Italian), and "fredlys" (peaceful in Danish).


SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“As I get older, I remember more and more those wonderful HALCYON summer vacation days with my parents.”


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