One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
proper nounGreek Mythology
A god of flocks and herds, typically represented with the horns, ears, and legs of a goat on a man's body. His sudden appearance was supposed to cause terror similar to that of a frightened and stampeding herd, and the word panic is derived from his name.
Probably originally in the sense ‘the feeder’ (i.e. herdsman), although the name was regularly associated with Greek pas or pan (= ‘all’), giving rise to his identification as a god of nature or the universe.
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