Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.
I’m glad I looked this one up. I was surprised by its origin, and how it has changed through time. It comes from two Greek words: pan, meaning all; and hopla, meaning arms, or weapons. A well-armed soldier was a hoplites.
The original sense was of a heavily armed soldier, one who had all the necessary gear for both defense and offense. It was used in the well-known passage in Ephesians 6:10-18 that describes all the armor needed for complete protection in spiritual warfare, the “whole armor of God.”
We use the word today to refer to a complete, splendid collection or array, such as a panoply of Christmas lights; the panoply of stars spread across the sky, or even such things as an amazing panoply of insults or sarcasm.
I’ll think twice before I use this word again. It has a whole new meaning for me now. It would apply, for instance, to the collection of gold and silver implements in the Tower of London where the Crown Jewels are on display—a panoply of riches. Breathtaking, hard to stop looking, fascinating–and extremely well guarded by a panoply of Beefeaters in their unique costumes.
See? Words mean things!