View Full Version : Hail fellow members of the Thalassic fraternity

Joe Dupere
02-23-2009, 03:46 PM
What a cool term. I had to look it up, thalassic is from the greek and means,
"of or pertaining to smaller bodies of water, as seas and gulfs, as distinguished from large oceanic bodies"

It came from a book titled "The Most Beautiful House in the World" by Witold Rybczynski. It's about an architect who has a dream of building a boat, needs to build a workshop, and ends up building a house instead. I liked the book, it was sort of a personal journey with a lot of history of architecture added in along the description of his building project.

As a side note, it also comes from the same word as Thalia, the Muse of Comedy, which is sort of appropriate when it comes to mostly middle aged white guys trying to be boat builders!!

Joe, FPoP

02-23-2009, 03:53 PM
Thalassic (adjective)

Pronunciation: [thê-'læ-sik]
Definition: Pertaining to the sea; marine.
Usage: This is a euphonic onomatopoeic alternative to "marine." The liquid [l] and hissing [s] give the word more semblance of sea sounds than does "marine." The mind swoons at the thought of the illustrious members of the thalass- word family: "When England ruled the seas, it was a thalassocracy," "In college Mary is studying endangered thalassians—sea turtles," and "It's cool to study thalassography by walking along the seashore."
Suggested Usage: We may speak of thalassic smells or colors and the thalassic civilizations around the Mediterranean Sea. Thalassic rocks are those composed of sediments of the sea. We can dream thalassic dreams until the occasion for a thalassic respite from work presents itself. Wouldn't you much prefer a thalassic respite to shelling out for a vacation at the shore?
Etymology: The adjective "thalassic" goes back to Greek thalassa "sea." It was made memorable by Xenophon in his "Anabasis" as the cry of the Greek mercenaries recruited by Cyrus the Younger to fight in Persia. Upon return to their homeland, when they first saw the Black Sea that would lead them to Greece, they shouted, "Thalassa, thalassa."