Monday, April 15, 2013

A to Z Challenge 2013: M - Magi

Magi

ma·gi [māˌjī] n. pl n sing ma·gus 1. (Non-Christian) the Zoroastrian priests of the ancient Medes and Persians. 2. (Christian) the wise men from the East who came to do homage to the infant Jesus (Matthew 2:1-12) and traditionally called Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar.

Synonyms: Wise Men, sage, seer

Etymology: c.1200, "skilled magicians, astrologers," from Latin magi, plural of magus "magician, learned magician," from Greek magos, a word used for the Persian learned and priestly class as portrayed in the Bible (said by ancient historians to have been originally the name of a Median tribe), from Old Persian magush "magician" (see magic). Related: Magian.

This one is interesting to me, because being an old D&D'er, I always thought Magi was just another word for Wizard.

24 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

D&D, you steered us wrong!
I knew it had multiple meanings, including that of the three wise men.

Catherine Noble said...

Very interesting, I like these explorations of words, Matthew :)

Dani said...

I'm using this one in my writings. I like it!
Dani @ Entertaining Interests
#warriorminion

Old Kitty said...

My dad was named after one of the Magi who visited baby Jesus! I won't say which one though! LOL! take care
x

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I've seen this term in a Tammara Pierce book, but that is the only time. But those magis were women.

Melanie Schulz said...

Good word choice.

farawayeyes said...

Ah, the 'Three Magi', I know them.

mshatch said...

Hence Mages or Mages Guild. I always liked calling my 'wizards' mages because I thought it made them sound more wise.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I've seen the word used for wizards too. I really like it, though I switched mine to mage because I think people know that word more.

Claire Hennessy said...

Always good to know the actual meanings of words we bandy around! Thanks

Ornery's Wife said...

I think if I had another child I would name him Balthazar. What a fun name! :) Happy M day!
tm

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Magi is a great word choice.

SC Author said...

I think I knew this one before! I THINK. Maybe.

Michael Offutt, S.F.A. said...

She's a character in FernGully

Donna K. Weaver said...

I've always thought about The Gift of the Magi, relating to the birth of Christ. What I do find interesting is that the term--so often used in conjunction with Christianity--could also mean magician which is not considered a good thing in that religion,

Andrew Leon said...

I only ever think of O. Henry when I hear that word.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

I could never play D & D without gigglin' my arse off. Eventually the gang banned me from playing with them because I couldn't play it without being silly

A Daft Scots Lass said...

I could never play D & D without gigglin' my arse off. Eventually the gang banned me from playing with them because I couldn't play it without being silly

Joe Lunievicz said...

Magi. This is a great word. But is it pronounced Magi (goat g sound) or Magi (magic g sound). These are the things that keep me up at night.

C. Lee McKenzie said...

I knew they all had beards--at least how I saw them in all those Christmas pageants.

Shell Flower said...

I love how D&D shaped your definition of Magi!

Jagoda said...

I too enjoy looking up the etymology of words. Now see, I didn't know that magi could mean wizard. Must be from growing up Catholic.
Visiting from A to Z
Jagoda

Kristen Dyrr said...

Interesting etymology, thanks!

#atozchallenge, Kristen's blog: kristenhead.blogspot.com

Tina said...

I only knew the Christmas Christian version of the word. Interesting that it has other meanings. Never played D&D...but new plenty of friends who did. Didn't understand the appeal at all. Big Bang Theory has helped me understand it a bit...

Tina @ Life is Good
Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
@TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge