In Greek mythology, there was a terrifying monster known as the Calydonian Boar. It was called the "Calydonian Boar" because it was a monstrous pig that terrorized the town called "Calydon".

Now, in the Greek language, "don" means "tooth", so, as the title says, what does the "caly" in "Calydon" mean?

  • 4
    The Greek for tooth is not don, but odous (stem odont-); the name of the town is unrelated to this word, and is probably to be segmented Calyd-ōn, since -ōn is a common derivational ending.
    – TKR
    Jan 27 '20 at 5:19
  • Although in Modern Greek they do say ˈðɔndi or ˈðɔdi.
    – fdb
    Jan 30 '20 at 12:05

The origin of the town's name is ultimately unclear, and is missing from many dictionaries. The -don is probably a coincidence, though, and we can probably assume it's Pre-Greek or some borrowing from nearby tribes.

Similar words that might give a clue (καλύβη "kalubē", καλυδίλα "kaludila") are classified as Pre-Greek by Beekes (p. 628 for a smattering of words).

  • I don't read actual Greek, so could you Romanize the "similar words" for me? Jan 26 '20 at 16:41
  • @JohnWDailey Calybë and calydila
    – Draconis
    Jan 26 '20 at 19:04
  • @Draconis I found something on "Calybe" but nothing on "calydila". Jan 26 '20 at 19:57
  • @JohnWDailey Use Beekes, Etymological Dictionary of Greek.
    – cmw
    Jan 27 '20 at 13:09
  • 1
    Correction: town said to be named after said Calydon. Beekes' likely Pre-Greek καλυδίλα=bridge might relate to the town's mountain location? Feb 1 '20 at 21:47

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