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Headword: Πτερυγίζειν
Adler number: pi,3017
Translated headword: to flap one's wings
Vetting Status: high
Meaning to accomplish nothing. From fledglings making an attempt to fly. Aristophanes in Wealth [writes]: "but you are babbling and flapping your wings."[1] Meaning you are causing a commotion. For a wing is noisy and causes a commotion. Or [meaning] you are talking frivolously, or you are laboring in vain. From a metaphor of fledglings that are not able to fly because of the shortness of their life. Or [meaning] you are conversing in vain. From fledglings,[2] who make trial of their wings but are not able to take flight. Thus [the word means] you also wish to speak in opposition and you try to, but you accomplish nothing.
Greek Original:
Πτερυγίζειν: ἀντὶ τοῦ μηδὲν ἀνύειν. ἀπὸ τῶν ἐπιβαλλομένων πέτεσθαι νεοσσῶν. Ἀριστοφάνης Πλούτῳ. ἀλλὰ φλυαρεῖς καὶ πτερυγίζεις. ἀντὶ τοῦ θορυβῇ. τὸ γὰρ πτερὸν ἠχῶδες καὶ θορυβητικόν. ἢ κοῦφα λαλεῖς. ἢ ματαιοπονεῖς. ἀπὸ μεταφορᾶς τῶν νεοσσῶν τῶν μὴ δυναμένων πέτεσθαι διὰ τὸ βραχὺ τῆς ἡλικίας. ἢ μάταια διαλέγῃ. ἀπὸ τῶν νεοττῶν, οἳ πειράζουσι μὲν τὰς πτέρυγας, ἵπτασθαι δὲ οὐ δύνανται. οὕτω καὶ σὺ θέλεις μὲν ἀντειπεῖν καὶ πειράζεις, ἀνύεις δὲ οὐδέν.
[1] Aristophanes, Wealth [Plutus] 575, with comments from the scholia there. Likewise in Photius, Lexicon pi1472 Theodoridis; and cf. Hesychius pi4210.
[2] This part of the entry uses a Atticizing form of the word for fledgling (νεοττῶν ), whereas the other references to fledglings in the entry use the standard Koine form νεοσσῶν .
Keywords: comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; imagery; medicine; poetry; zoology
Translated by: William Hutton on 18 August 2013@01:55:07.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (expanded n.1; more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 18 August 2013@05:12:57.
David Whitehead on 22 October 2013@10:05:47.
David Whitehead (coding) on 25 May 2016@04:06:31.


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