One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Of or belonging to Nemea; specifically (in Classical Mythology) designating a monstrous lion said to have terrorized the Nemean region until killed by Hercules as the first of his twelve labours.
2Greek History. Designating one of the national festivals of ancient Greece, held at Nemea in the second and fourth years of each Olympiad. Usually as "Nemean games", "Nemean festival".
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in Arthur Golding (d. 1606), translator. From classical Latin Nemeaeus of or belonging to Nemea, Nemean (in post-classical Latin also Nemaeus; from ancient Greek Νεμεαῖος (also Νέμειος, Νέμεος) from Νεμέα (classical Latin Nemea), the name of a wooded district near Argos in Greece + -ιος, suffix forming adjectives) + -an.
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