Thursday, February 9, 2012

E is for Ecdysiast

I get a bit excited about certain words.  For example, I like the word MINION. It's a good word.

I thought I could put some of my favourite words into my A-Z blog.

So, today we have: ECDYSIAST

Brace yourselves - here's the Wiktionary definition:

ecdysiast (plural ecdysiasts) 
An erotic dancer who removes their clothes as a form of entertainment; a stripper.   

From Ancient Greek ἔκδυσις (ekdusis, “stripping”), from ἐκδύω (ekduō, “I take off”), from ἐκ (ek, “out”) + δύω (duō, “I get in”) 

(dancer who removes their clothes): exotic dancer, stripper 
 Related terms

What I found fascinating was the related terms:
ecdysis (plural ecdyses) 
The shedding of an outer layer of skin in snakes, crustaceans and insects; moulting.

And this:
ecdysone (plural ecdysones) 
A hormone in insects and other arthropods that promotes molting.

Ah.  So that's what it is.   :)

How it came about, from Wikipedia:
H. L. Mencken is credited with coining the word "ecdysiast" – from "ecdysis", meaning "to molt" – in response to a request from Gypsy Rose Lee for a "more dignified" way to refer to her profession.

Are you ready for the accompanying picture of ecdysis?  



  1. Hi Em, lovely warm fuzzy word. I have no problem with snakes, handled many as a volunteer guide at the National Zoo in Canberra. They couldn't be handled when shedding, or "blue" as the keepers called them, referring to their look just before they shed. I also like minion. The winners of the Valerie Parv Award were dubbed my minions and we have a minions' breakfast at each Romance Writers of Australia annual conference to welcome the incoming minion/award holder. Are female minions called filly minions? Just asking.

  2. Hi Valerie,

    Isn't it a marvellous word? I like how it is reminiscent of 'enthusiast', too. Enthusiastic ecdysis. Which is how it should always be.

    Bravo to you and your snake handling. Is it something one gets used to? I'm fine with draping myself with the friendly (aka non-venomous) types, but here in SA we have some delightful little brown snakes that are quite happy to latch on to the nearest ankle and deliver a life-ending burst of juice. We generally give them a wide berth, but even that was difficult when there was one in my bathroom. ;/

    As for female minions, perhaps they might be minionettes?

    Many thanks for dropping in and commenting, Valerie (I apologise for the ipad formatting, now fixed).

    I might have a little lie down now. Valerie Parv visited my blog!

    Take care, Em.

  3. LOL, loved the picture.

    I love Minion as a word. I've got a flash fiction story entitled that :D



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