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for Thursday, 30 June 2022
[ drey-koh-nee-uhn, druh- ]
rigorous; unusually severe or cruel.

What is the origin of draconian?

Draconian “unusually severe or cruel” is based on Latin Dracō (stem Dracōn-), plus the adjectival suffix -ian. In ancient Athens, a city-state that is now the capital of Greece, Draco (known to his fellow Athenians as Drákōn) was a statesman who was famous—or infamous—for the unusually harsh laws he enacted. The Latin common noun dracō means “dragon, serpent” and appears in the motto of the school Hogwarts, from the Harry Potter series: Dracō dormiēns nunquam tītillandus, meaning “A sleeping dragon must never be tickled.” Latin dracō, originally an adaptation of Ancient Greek drákōn, is the source of the English dragon, dragoon, and drake. Draconian was first recorded in English in the 1810s.

Source: https://www.dictionary.com/e/word-of-the-day/

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