ephebic was our Word of the Day on 07/08/2013. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
An ephebus was a youth in ancient Greece who had reached the age of puberty. The name is from the Greek word ephēbos, from "epi-" ("upon") and "hēbē" ("youth" or "puberty"). Ephebi (the plural of "ephebus") aged 18 or 19 were at one time required to undergo two years of stringent military training, but the requirement became less compulsory and the training less rigorous and militaristic over time. The youthfulness of the ephebi inspired both the adjective "ephebic" and the noun "ephebe." The latter can mean "a young man," as illustrated by John Walsh in the Independent Extra, March 23, 2010: "When you're 40, the sight of your one-time room-mate Philip, once a skinny ephebe with golden ringlets, now transmogrified into a burly renegade with a head like a Sumo bouncer and a body to match, is frightening."
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