Fighting Words

Despite the vilolent nature of humans, there are surprisingly few words that refer to fighting, combat and conflict - those that do are very obscure. These rare words use the suffix -machy, which comes from the Greek -makhia, from makhe, meaning "battle, fight," related to makhesthai "to fight" of unknown origin.

cynartomachybear-baiting using dogs
duomachya duel or fight between two people
gigantomachya war of giants; especially, the fabulous war of the giants against heaven
hieromachya war between members of the clergy
hoplomachyfighting while heavily armoured
iconimachyhostility to the worship of images or icons
logomachya battle of words; a dispute about words
monomachysingle combat; a duel
naumachya mock sea battle put on by the Ancient Romans; a naval spectacle
pneumatomachydenial of the divinity of the Holy Ghost
poetomachya contest or quarrel among poets
psychomachyconflict between the body and the soul
pygmachyboxing; fighting with clubs
pyromachyuse of fire in combat
sciamachyfighting with a shadow; a mock contest; an imaginary or futile combat
symmachyfighting jointly against a common enemy
tauromachythe art or act of bullfighting
theomachywar amongst or against the gods, as in the Homeric poems
titanomachythe war of the Titans against the Olympians

(For more violence go to Killing Words)

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