Back to Bed: Some Compounds for a Sleepy Saturday

Updated with some new words. As always, inspired by Paul Holdengraber’s tweet:

κλινήρης: klinêrês, “bed-ridden”

κλινοβατία: klinobatia, “confinement to bed”, lit. “bed-wandering/walking”

κλινοκαθέδριον: klinokathedrion, “easy-chair”, lit. “bed-chair”

κλινοπάλη: klinopalê, “bed-wrestling”

κλινοπηγία: klinopêgia, “bed-making”

κλινοποιός: klinopoios, “bed-maker”

κλινοχαρής:  klinokharês, “one who delights in bed”

κοιτωνοφύλαξ: koitônophulaks, “guardian of the bed-chamber”

κοῖτος: koitos, “bed”

κοιτίς: koitis, “casket”

κοιτίδιον: koitidion: “a little bed or little casket”

κοιτάζω: koitazô, “to put to bed”

κοιταῖος: koitaios, “lying abed”

κλινίδιον: klinidion, “a little bed”

κλινοχαρής: klinokharês, “delighting in bed”

κλινηφόρος: klinêphoros, “bed-carrier”

λέκτριος: lektrios, “lying abed”

λεκτροκλόπος: lektroklopos, “bed thief, i.e. adulterer

Alexis, fr. 287

“Yesterday you drank too much and now you’re hungover.
Take a nap—this will help it. Then let someone give you
Cabbage, boiled.”

ἐχθὲς ὑπέπινες, εἶτα νυνὶ κραιπαλᾷς.
κατανύστασον· παύσῃ γάρ. εἶτά σοι δότω
ῥάφανόν τις ἑφθήν.

νύσταγμα: nustagma, “nap”

νυσταγμός: nustagmos “drowsy”

νυστάζω: nustagô, “to nap, nod off”

νυσταλέος: nustaleos, “drowsy”

νυσταλογερόντιον:  nustalogerontion, “sleepy old man”

Even on weekdays, I get ornery without a nap. Although, to be fair, I worry that this is partly because I am like the bard Ion

Plato, Ion 532c

‘What then is the reason, Socrates, that I can’t pay attention or say anything worthy of account but simply fall asleep whenever someone talks about any other poet while, when anyone talks about Homer, I spring awake, I focus sharply, and I have an abundance of things to say?”

 ΙΩΝ. Τί οὖν ποτε τὸ αἴτιον, ὦ Σώκρατες, ὅτι ἐγώ, ὅταν μέν τις περὶ ἄλλου του ποιητοῦ διαλέγηται, οὔτε προσέχω τὸν νοῦν ἀδυνατῶ τε καὶ ὁτιοῦν συμβαλέσθαι λόγου ἄξιον, ἀλλ’ ἀτεχνῶς νυστάζω, ἐπειδὰν δέ τις περὶ ῾Ομήρου μνησθῇ, εὐθύς τε ἐγρήγορα καὶ προσέχω τὸν νοῦν καὶ εὐπορῶ ὅτι λέγω;

Image result for ancient greek bed vase

My five-year old son talks in his sleep. And I don’t mean that he merely makes sounds–he holds entire conversations with himself. Sometimes there are arguments. As I discovered this morning, however, there is no Ancient Greek word for “sleeping-talkng” or “sleep walking”.

Based on the compound “walking on air” (ἀεροβατεῖν) I propose ὑπνολέγειν (“sleep-talking”) and ὑπνοβατεῖν (“sleep-talking”). But I must admit that my faith is a bit rattled. So, here are some sleep-compounds from ancient Greek.

ὑπνομαχέω: (hupnomakheô) “fight against sleep”

ὑπνοποιός: (hupnopoios) “sleep-making”

ὑπνάπατης: (hupnapatês) “cheating of sleep”

ὑπνοφόβης: (hupnophobês) “frightening in sleep”

ὑπνοφόρος: (hupnophoros) “sleep-bringing”

ὑπνοδεσμήτος: (hupnodesmêtos) “bound-by-sleep”

ὑπνοτραπἑζος: (hupnotrapezos) “table-sleeper” (an epithet for a parasite)

Gorgias on Sleep and His Brother (Aelian, Varia Historiia 2.30)

“When Gorgias of Leontini was at the end of his life and, extremely old, he was over taken by a certain weakness, he stretched out in his bed slipping off to sleep. When one of his attendants who was looking over him asked how he was doing, Gorgias replied “Sleep is now starting to hand me over to his brother.””

Γοργίας ὁ Λεοντῖνος ἐπὶ τέρματι ὢν τοῦ βίου καὶ γεγηρακὼς εὖ μάλα ὑπό τινος ἀσθενείας καταληφθείς, κατ’ ὀλίγον ἐς ὕπνον ὑπολισθάνων ἔκειτο. ἐπεὶ δέ τις αὐτὸν παρῆλθε τῶν ἐπιτηδείων ἐπισκοπούμενος καὶ ἤρετο ὅ τι πράττοι, ὁ Γοργίας ἀπεκρίνατο ‘ἤδη με ὁ ὕπνος ἄρχεται παρακατατίθεσθαι τἀδελφῷ.’

Gorgias of Leontini was an orator who lived nearly one hundred years. In Greek myth, Sleep (Hypnos) and Death (Thanatos) are brothers. Here’s the Euphronios Krater that shows the pair carrying off the mortally wounded Sarpedon.