In a word: Chthonic

Each week, The Sun's John McIntyre presents a moderately obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar -- another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary. Use it in a sentence in a comment below, or at You Don't Say, and the best sentence will be featured next week. This week's word:


The Greeks always had a word for it, and this time it's an ominous one. Chthonic (pronounced THAHN-ick, rather like the drive-in restaurant by someone with a lisp) means dark, primitive, mysterious, ominous, infernal. It derives from the Greek chthon, "earth." It reeks of the Underworld and often refers to the grim deities that inhabit it. Chthonian is another spelling.

Example: As he shambled home late from his last stop in Baltimore Beer Week, he could not shake the apprehension that the ground over which he stumbled was about to open up to allow some chthonic figure to snatch at him.

From last week: The best use of louche in a sentence came from a comment by "Petunia2": Michelle was no match for Louis, that alluring, louche lover who assured her of the lush life they would share, if only she would open her heart and bank account.

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