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View Full Version : "Adam's apple" in 5th cent. BC, Greece.



Phaedo
01-21-2009, 07:05 PM
Help me out please.

How do I say "Adam's apple" without saying it?

I don't think I can say it in Ancient Greece. Is there any substitute? “man bump” ? :)

Thanks so much.

GirlWithPoisonPen
01-21-2009, 07:09 PM
Are you using it in the narrative description or in dialogue?

If it's description, I think you can use it.

If it's dialogue maybe something like "that protrusion of the throat which marks man from woman."

Sarpedon
01-21-2009, 07:14 PM
Apparently its technical term is 'Laryngeal prominence.' I doubt that would jive any more with the ancient greeks than 'adam's apple.'

I recall, however, that the adam's apple is referred to in the Iliad. Not by that name of course, its just the translation. Perhaps you could find it in an untranslated version.

Phaedo
01-21-2009, 07:20 PM
Thanks, Girl ;) It’s in description. But seeing your “which marks man from woman” makes me want to use it in dialogue as well. That’s a great idea. Really helpful.

Sarpedon,
Thanks for the hint! I’ll get to my original of Iliad. Awesome.

Sarpedon
01-21-2009, 07:24 PM
I hope I'm not misremembering. I just seem to recall someone getting stabbed in the neck. I hope it was that part of the neck.

ideagirl
01-21-2009, 09:05 PM
Are you using it in the narrative description or in dialogue?

If it's description, I think you can use it.

If it's dialogue maybe something like "that protrusion of the throat which marks man from woman."

Just call it an Adam's apple. If the characters are supposed to be ancient Greeks but you're writing in English, you're in effect "translating" anyway. There's such a thing as way too much translation--it would be bizarre to have a bunch of ancient Greeks saying things like "Dude, that's totally bogus," haha--but in this case, since no one can think of an English synonym for Adam's apple, just use the word we use in modern English.

Phaedo
01-21-2009, 09:36 PM
Ah. nnnot sure though... Adam somehow pulls me out. Too biblical.
I like the "Dude" part though. I wish I could use it :D

Phaedo
01-21-2009, 09:59 PM
Sarpedon, thanks, you are not misremembering. I found about thirty instances of necks, collar-bones, veins, spears into the nape of the necks, under the tongue all among the teeth...

Same for throats, lots of those, spears "in the throat under the chin" and "in the throat where the collar-bones divide the neck from the shoulders" . They somehow managed to miss that spot :)

Sarpedon
01-21-2009, 10:36 PM
Dang it! They managed to hit every other spot. I guess the greeks wore bronze laryngeal prominence guards.

Puma
01-22-2009, 12:17 AM
Can you come up with a Greek equivalent that would be obvious - Zeus's voice-box, Zeus's (round fruit that would fit 5th C BC Greece), Zeus's Gristle. Or, something that describes the area like voice bobber (you know how some Adam's Apples bob up and down). There ought to be a creative way to say it. I agree that Adam's apple doesn't seem quite appropriate for your period. Puma

IceCreamEmpress
01-22-2009, 12:30 AM
Can you come up with a Greek equivalent that would be obvious - Zeus's voice-box, Zeus's (round fruit that would fit 5th C BC Greece), Zeus's Gristle.

That doesn't work, because it would be making up an idiom that didn't exist and it would draw any reader who was familiar with the culture out of the story.

They had apples in ancient Greece, though, so you could just say "the swelling in his throat that looked like an apple" or similar. I don't remember any specific mention of this anatomical feature in classical Greek literature, so I don't know what, if any, idiom was used for it.

Memnon624
01-22-2009, 12:51 AM
I think in Gates of Fire Pressfield had a javelin take a man "in the apple of his throat". I'll have to double check (if you have it handy, it's the part when the Spartans are assailing Xerxes' camp . . . the Scythian squire, "Suicide", puts a javelin through the neck of an Egyptian marine). I might be off, but I believe there's a reference to "apple" in there somewhere . . .

Best,

Scott

BarbaraKE
01-22-2009, 02:44 AM
Could you just use 'mid-throat'?

Puma
01-22-2009, 03:04 AM
Or, could you just use larynx? Isn't that Greek in origin? Puma

ideagirl
01-22-2009, 04:48 AM
I think in Gates of Fire Pressfield had a javelin take a man "in the apple of his throat".

Yay! That's definitely the best alternative to Adam's apple so far.

Vincent
01-22-2009, 04:52 AM
Thanks, Girl ;) It’s in description. But seeing your “which marks man from woman” makes me want to use it in dialogue as well. That’s a great idea. Really helpful.


I can think of more pronounced differences. And besides, isn't that a bit of a mouthful?

Ohhh, pun not intended!

Phaedo
01-22-2009, 03:33 PM
I think in Gates of Fire Pressfield had a javelin take a man "in the apple of his throat". I'll have to double check (if you have it handy, it's the part when the Spartans are assailing Xerxes' camp . . . the Scythian squire, "Suicide", puts a javelin through the neck of an Egyptian marine).


Memnon, I found it! It's on page 382 of the paperback edition.
"Suicide's first javelin drove so powerfully through the apple of the man's throat..."

Now this is brilliant. It's easily understood, no Adam is involved, and it's short.

Thank you so much!

Phaedo
01-22-2009, 03:41 PM
Thank you, people. :e2apple:

:)

Memnon624
01-22-2009, 05:29 PM
It's on page 382 of the paperback edition.

Ah, good! My memory is not as bad as I'd feared ;) I'm telling you, GoF is the bible of the 5th century BC . . .

Best,

Scott

semilargeintestine
01-24-2009, 11:51 PM
Just so you know, larynx comes from the Greek larunx, which is a relative of the word puxis, which means small box. They would probably have used better prose in literature or poetry, but my friend, who has a degree in classics and speaks ancient Greek and Latin, told me that they would have just said larunx--it would be equivalent to us saying Adam's Apple or Voice Box, since it comes from Greek and that's what they spoke.