Tag: Martian Etymology

The Quickest Sword Slays the Enemy

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Legend says that this was what the Muvari warrior Erayo Cage told a squad of twenty warriors when they arrived to help take a Galbran outpost. Erayo had tired of waiting and assaulted the outpost, slaying all twenty of the Galbran by herself so that there was nothing left for the twenty warriors to do but dispose of the bodies of the dead. Later, Erayo attempted a similar exploit but she was slain by an enemy crossbow bolt. Still, her name lives in infamy as do the words she spoke. Often this phrase will be applied to any other situation where an early arrival or quick response is deemed beneficial.

 

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Shaving the Skelk Close

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‘Shaving the skelk close’ is a term which is used to describe some fate or consequence which was narrowly avoided. The term originates from an older design of skelk trap which is little used now, but actually involves a falling blade that falls like a miniature guillotine upon a skelk who is lured into the trap by a crumb of bread or cake. When the trap failed, which it often did, it was said to have ‘shaved the skelk close.’

 

Spiny Lizard

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The spiny lizard shows its spines when it feels threatened—a bright crimson ridge of thorns that rises about its neck and offers some defense against predators. Some animal shamans can sing a song to these spiny lizards, and the soothing tones will cause the spines to lower and smooth. ‘Smoothing the spines’ has come to indicate an effort to soothe harsh feelings and seek reconciliation between aggrieved parties.

 

Don’t Bite My Nose Off

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It is said that Kelves Riddan, a Munothi chieftain, once received ill news from a messenger that her troops had been defeated in battle with enemy galbran. To express her displeasure, Kelves bit off the messenger’s nose. This story spread far and wide and the phrase ‘Don’t bite my nose off’ has become equated with the idea of not taking out one’s anger on the bearer of bad news.