One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A legendary serpent with a head at each end.
- ‘The amphisbaena is supposed to be scary because it can bite you from both ends.’
- ‘Leonardo Da Vinci wrote accounts about the amphisbaena as a living creature, giving details on how the serpent caught rodents as prey by confusing it with its two heads.’
- ‘The Chichester Cathedral misericord of the amphisbaena is shown to be a memento mori by the surrounding carvings.’
- ‘Adventurers fighting an amphisbaena need to be doubly careful, since both heads are capable of attacking and even swallowing assailants with ease.’
- ‘He slew 27 dragons, 15 amphisbaenas, and 3 sorceresses in whose invisible dungeons many knights errant were kept prisoner.’
Late Middle English: via Latin from Greek amphisbaina, from amphis ‘both ways’ + bainein ‘go’.
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