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  • That which corrupts women. (Luciferous Logolepsy)

    May 16, 2008

  • I've seen 'thelyphthoric' listed in some specialized dictionaries of unusual words. It is listed on the site Luciferous Logolepsy and in Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary and Peter Bowler's _Superior Person's Book of Words_. The definition given is "that which corrupts women". The 'thely-' and 'phth' roots would be Greek, so the definition is feasible, but I've never seen it in any "official" dictionaries.

    June 10, 2009

  • One place where thelyphthoric is listed is in The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (1971, Oxford University Press), which marks it as both obsolete and a nonce word. Two citations appear, from 1780 and 1794, I think.

    From, where the word was featured as "Today's Word" on 3/6/05: Today's word was the creation of Martin Madan, who wrote in 1780 "Thelyphthora or, A treatise on female ruin: in its causes, effects, consequences, prevention, and remedy." Madan put this word together from Greek thelus "woman" + phthora "destruction, ruin." Both Greek words have resisted efforts of etymologists to dissipate their mystery. "

    January 25, 2013