The Surprising Link Between Dogs, Celebrities, and the Queen!

Love, jealousy, betrayal, friends turning each other into animals…all hiding in one tiny SAT word!

In episode 43 of the Vocabbett podcast, we dive into the story (stories, really!) behind the word cynosure

You’ll never believe the path it’s taken, starting at the humble backside of a dog and ending as a word befitting the queen. 

Not in a position to listen? Here’s the gist!

  1. Cynosure comes from the ancient Greek words for “dog’s tail.”
  2. There’s a constellation (which most of us know as the Little Dipper), which the ancient Greeks referred to as the “dog’s tail.”
  3. The “dog’s tail” constellation has the North Star in it.
  4. The North Star was the focus of all eyes (since it was used for navigation in a pre-Google Maps world).
  5. People began to associate the dog’s tail with being the center of attention, the brightest star in the sky, rather than a dog’s tail.

You may know this constellation as Ursa Minor, which means “little bear.” There’s a story behind the transition from dog to bear, but you’ll have to listen to the podcast to hear it!

It comes from mythology, and like most mythological stories, begins with Zeus’ wandering eye…

about erica

freebies

How it works

Home

podcast

Welcome to Vocabbett! If you're here to improve your high-level English vocabulary – whether it's to move abroad, study for the SAT, or improve your life – you're in the right place.

contact

blog