One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
bad dream, night terrorsView synonyms
- ‘The ephialtes, or nightmare, is called by the common people witch-riding.’
- ‘The black seed also taken before bedtime, is very effectual for such as in their sleep are troubled with the disease called Ephialtes.’
- ‘To prevent the Ephialtes or night-mare we hang up a hollow stone in our stables.’
- ‘Ephialtes could apparently manifest as both erotic and nonerotic nightmares.’
- ‘The influential Greek physician Galen examined the causation of the nightmare or ephialtes during the second century AD.’
Early 17th century: Greek ephialtēs, possibly from ephiallesthai ‘leap on’.
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