Word of the Week (194): SKYPHOS (probability 32988), by David Sutton

A SKYPHOS (plural SKYPHOI) was a drinking vessel used in ancient Greece. It has a Latinised variant SCYPHUS (plural SCYPHI).

Another ancient Greek drinking vessel was the COTYLE, with plural COTYLES or COTYLAE. Then we have the CYLIX (plural CYLICES), a shallow two-handled drinking cup; this has a variant KYLIX, with plural KYLICES or KYLIKES. There is also the LEKYTHOS (plural LEKYTHOI), a narrow-necked Greek flask; this again has Latinised variants LECYTHUS (plural LECYTHI) and LEKYTHUS (plural LEKYTHI).

A RHYTON (plural RHYTONS or RHYTA) was a drinking cup with a hole in the point to drink by.

The KRATER was a large Greek vessel used for mixing wine. The KALPIS (plural KALPISES) was a water jar. The OLPE (plural OLPES or OLPAE) was a kind of Greek jug, while the PITHOS (plural PITHOI) was a large jar used for storage of e.g. oil. The ARYBALLOS (plural ARYBALLOSES) was a globular oil-flask with a neck.

Latin also gives us the CANTHARUS (plural CANTHARI), a large two-handled drinking cup. This is not to be confused with a CANTHARIS, a blister beetle or Spanish fly, which in the plural CANTHARIDES can mean a blistering agent and stimulant made from the dried bodies of such beetles and formerly used as an aphrodisiac.


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