arctic

[14] Etymologically, the Arctic is the region of the ‘bear’. Nothing to do with polar bears, though. The characteristic constellations of the northern hemisphere are the ‘Little Bear’ (Latin Ursa Minor), which contains the northern celestial pole, and the Plough, otherwise known as the ‘Great Bear’ (Latin Ursa Major). The perception that they resemble a bear (Greek arktos) goes back to ancient times, and the Greeks used the derived adjective arktikos, literally ‘relating to bears’, to denote ‘northern’. By the time this reached English, via Latin ar(c)ticus and Old French artique, it was being applied specifically to the northern polar regions. (The original English spelling, reflecting the French form, was artic. The more etymologically ‘correct’ arctic came in in the 17th century, but uncertain spellers are still apt to regress to artic.) Antarctic [14] for the corresponding southern polar region likewise comes ultimately from Greek (antarktikos, with the prefix anti- ‘opposite’). Arcturus [14], the name of a very bright star in the constellation Boötes, means literally ‘bear watcher’ or ‘bear guardian’ (Greek Arktouros), a reference to the fact that the tail of the Great Bear points towards it.

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

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  • Arctic — ist der Name einer polnischen Mineralwassermarke, siehe Arctic (Mineralwasser) Orte in den Vereinigten Staaten: Arctic (New York) Arctic (Rhode Island) Arctic Springs (Indiana) Schiffe: MV Arctic SS Arctic USS Arctic eines ehemaligen Schleppers… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • arctic — ÁRCTIC, Ă, arctici, ce, adj. Care este situat în regiunea Polului Nord; care are caractere proprii acestei regiuni. – Din fr. arctique, lat. arcticus. Trimis de ana zecheru, 16.10.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  ÁRCTIC adj. nordic, (astăzi rar) boreal,… …   Dicționar Român

  • Arctic — Arc tic, a. [OE. artik, OF. artique, F. arctique, L. arcticus, fr. Gr. ?, fr. ? a bear, also a northern constellation so called; akin to L. ursus bear, Skr. ?ksha.] Pertaining to, or situated under, the northern constellation called the Bear;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • arctic — [ärk′tik, är′tik] adj. [ME artik < OFr artique < L arcticus < Gr arktikos, lit., of the (constellation of the) Bear (Gr arktos), northern, arctic] 1. of, characteristic of, or near the North Pole or the region around it 2. very cold;… …   English World dictionary

  • Arctic — ► ADJECTIVE 1) relating to the regions around the North Pole. 2) living or growing in such regions. 3) (arctic) informal (of weather) very cold. ► NOUN (the Arctic) ▪ the regions around the North Pole. ORIGIN …   English terms dictionary

  • Arctic — Arc tic, n. 1. The arctic circle. [1913 Webster] 2. A warm waterproof overshoe. [U.S.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Arctic — Current flowing south from Baffin Bay and Greenland to cool the coasts of Labrador, Newfoundland and most of New England; Arctic Ocean washing the north coast of Asia, Europe, and North America including Alaska and Canada …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • Arctic — (adj.) late 14c., artik, from O.Fr. artique, from M.L. articus, from L. arcticus, from Gk. arktikos of the north, lit. of the (constellation) Bear, from arktos bear; Ursa Major; the region of the north, the Bear being a northerly constellation.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • arctic — frigid, freezing, frosty, icy, gelid, glacial , *cold, chilly, cool Antonyms: torrid …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • arctic — [adj] very cold chill, chilly, cool, freezing, frigid, frosty, frozen, gelid, glacial, icy, nippy, polar; concept 605 Ant. tropic …   New thesaurus

  • Arctic — For the ships, see MV Arctic, SS Arctic, USS Arctic. For other uses, see Arctic (disambiguation) Location of the Arctic …   Wikipedia

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