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  • Dulcie Crowther

Them's Fightin' words

I just discovered the Bestest. Base. Ever. For now. While looking for words related to the Titanic for my new, boat-loving friend, I found the word titanomachy. Titan means giant and <mach> means war. A titanomachy is a massive and violent war from which it takes years to recover. More specifically, it’s a war between the Titans and the Olympian gods. Like Alice, I followed the rabbit further down the rabbit hole.

There exists on the amazing website, aka Robertson’s Words for a Modern Age, a long list of words that embody two things fighting each other. Let’s play a little Jimmy Fallon Popular Mathematics. Here we go!

If you take a chicken plus another chicken and you put them in a ring together, that equals an alectryomachy. You see how that works? Let me give you another one so you can understand.

You put an angel plus another angel in a ring together, that equals an angelmachy. Now do you understand what we’re doing here?

Here’s another one. You take a bear plus another bear plus a boxing ring, it equals an arctomachy.

Now that you’ve got it, let’s make this a little harder. If you take a frog and put it in the ring with a snake, you get a batrachoherpetomachy.

This is harder so let me give you one more to make sure you understand it. You take a bear and you take a dog and you put them in a ring, it adds up to be a cynarctomachy.

Two centaurs fighting? A centauromachy.

Giants fighting? A Titanomachy.

Cells in your body fighting off the bad stuff? Cytomachy.

A fight between two demons? Demonomachy.

Two fighters in one battle with three different sports? A duomachy having a monomachy in a triomachy.

A war of words? A logomachy.

Fighting poets? A poetomachy.

Competing with balls? A spheromachy. (This could also be a description of me in an endurance race:)

My skinny caramel macchiato versus your pumpkin spice macchiato in a flavor contest? A macchiatomachy. Hey, macarena! Okay, so I made that one up. But why not have more fun with it. Let me throw this word into the ring. A mentopitamachia aka The Great Mental Pie War of 2020 - a war between my will power and a piece of banana cream pie. This battle was fought in the swampy month of September while standing in front of the refrigerator letting the air cool my already overheated body at 6:00 AM in the Caribbean. Who knew that banana cream pie could be so strong?

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