Tuesday, August 18, 2009


In honor of the Discovery Channel series Raging Planet.
Hurricane (n) - A violent tropical cyclonic storm located in the Atlantic Ocean or the eastern Pacific. From the Spanish word huracan which, in turn, is derived from the Taino (Arawak dialect) words Hura (wind) and Can (central), or Center of the Wind.

Typhoon (n) - The same cyclonic storm located in the western Pacific and the Indian Ocean. From Greek mythology, Typhon was the last child of Gaia, a massive monster with a hundred serpent heads that touched the stars who warred with the Greek Gods and nearly destroyed the world. A storm demon and the father, the mother is Echidna, of many of the classic Greek monsters like the Hydra and the Sphinx. Also, in Cantonese, tai fung translates to big wind and reinforces this word for Asian storms.

Cyclone (n) - First appeared in English in 1848, it was a word coined by a British East India Company official to describe an Indian Ocean typhoon. From the Greek kyklon, meaning whirling around.

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