Σεισμός, λιμός , λοιμός και καταποντισμός (Earthquake, famine, plague and sinking)
When two words have the same sound , in Greek we call them ομόηχες .. (ομός, όμοιος > the same or the similar , ήχος > sound). So λιμός and λοιμός are two words ομόηχες , but with a different meaning. Of course all iσ in Greek have the same pronunciation (ita, iota , ypsilon , epsiloniota, omikroniota and ypsiloniota> η, ι, υ , ει, οι, υι), unless there is a punctuation, which makes the things more complicated.But there is not such a thing like an easy language. Even those which were created to have a simple structure are getting complex in the course of their evolution.
So let us check the meaning of each word of the title. Firstly λιμός:
μεγάλη πείνα που οφείλεται σε παρατεταμένη έλλειψη τροφής. (λεξικό Κριαρά) > Great famine due to prolonged lack of food. ( we can produce also the adjective λιμασμένος , meaning the person starving to death).
On the other hand λοιμός, known in Greek also as πανούκλα :
κάθε επιδημική, μολυσματική και θανατηφόρα νόσος (λεξικό Κριαρά) > Each epidemic, infectious and fatal disease
So we have already two disasters in the same phrase and it seems to continue …Σεισμός is the earthquake, a noun that derives from the ancient Greek verb σείω-σείομαι (moving back and forth).
Think the combination of the disasters above ( if you hungry, ill and an earthquake under your feet) ..Is there any worst?
Actually , for Greek there is…if you just add another catastrophe. Καταποντισμός….What the hell does it mean?
Καταποντίζω means sink something completely , so that it will reach the bottom of the sea.
If you think that it is not the worst thing that may happen and following the Murphy’s law you can propose something worst than that, please just leave a comment below. Tell us which is your stronger combination of disasters …
Best regards , Glaucous