A Jovial Pandemonium Essay

859 Words4 Pages
A Jovial Pandemonium The English Language is a constantly growing and constantly evolving language. The Oxford English Dictionary is said to have somewhere over 600,000 words in it. Many of these words have since evolved to the point where their early definitions make no sense today. Jovial has long since been used as a reference to happiness, but in the old days it was used to describe a god-like person. Pandemonium, on the other hand, has always been associated with chaos, yet in its first definition, it was a home. With two completely different words, how in the world could “a jovial pandemonium” make any sense when it seems impossible to have happy chaos? When we think of the word “jovial,” we think of jolly, i.e. a jovial occasion. The Oxford English Dictionary, however, gives “jovial” a different meaning. It defines “jovial” as “Of or pertaining to Jove; Jove-like, majestic” (OED). So, “jovial” means to be like Jove, but exactly who is Jove? According to Merriam-Webster, Jove is another name for Jupiter, the Roman counterpart of Zeus (632). Merriam-Webster also defines Jupiter as “The chief Roman god, husband of Juno, and god of light, of the sky and weather, and of the state and its welfare and laws” (635). In essence, “jovial” means to be god-like, but how did it come to mean happiness? For those who follow astrology, The Oxford English Dictionary also defines “jovial” as “Under the influence of, or having the qualities imparted by, the planet Jupiter, which as a natal planet was regarded as the source of joy and happiness” (OED). Interestingly enough, this definition is almost identical to the Merriam-Webster definition of Jovian, “of, relating to, or characteristic of the god or planet Jupiter” (632). So there we have it, if Jovian is a noun referring to someone with the same characteristics as the planet Jupiter, a source of happiness, then

More about A Jovial Pandemonium Essay

Open Document