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Headword: *de/lta
Adler number: delta,201
Translated headword: delta
Vetting Status: high
The fourth letter.[1]
It also signifies the female genitalia. "Delta-plucked women".[2]
Greek Original:
*de/lta: to\ te/tarton stoixei=on. shmai/nei de\ kai\ to\ gunaikei=on ai)doi=on. de/lta paratetilme/nai.
[1] Similarly, according to Adler, in the Ambrosian Lexicon. (On stoikheion "letter", see eta 614.) The letter delta and its name were borrowed from the Semitic daleth (Hebrew ד) to represent a voiced dental stop. The shape of the letter allowed it to be applied to various triangular entities, such as the delta of a river, the constellation Triangle, and -- see further, next note -- the female pubic triangle. LSJ entry at web address 1.
[2] Aristophanes Lysistrata 151 (text at web address 2). See the commentary by J. Henderson (Oxford 1987), p.85, slightly modifying his earlier remarks in The Maculate Muse (New Haven 1975) 146.
M. Lejeune, Phonétique historique du mycénien et du grec ancien, (Paris 1972) p. 29
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: comedy; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; gender and sexuality; imagery; medicine; women
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 24 January 2002@23:42:41.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified translation; augmented note) on 25 January 2002@03:32:30.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 13 March 2008@01:06:19.
Catharine Roth (fixed links) on 13 March 2008@01:08:07.
Catharine Roth (updated bibliography) on 5 June 2008@11:03:57.
Raphael Finkel (added Hebrew) on 5 June 2008@12:24:57.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 18 June 2012@06:56:50.
Catharine Roth (upgraded link) on 18 June 2012@12:27:53.
David Whitehead (expanded a note) on 9 October 2015@07:19:43.


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