Dragon trivia

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The study of dragons is an immense subject, and could easily fill an encyclopedia. However, in the course of my research, I collected several bits of trivia which may interest dragon enthusiasts:

For example, dragons provide significant words to our language, and tales to our folklore.

Dragon terminology

A female dragon is a dragoness, a word used since the early 17th century.

A small or young dragon is a dragonet.

Anything pertaining to a dragon is dracontine.

Garguiyle was originally the name of an 8th century dragon in Rouen, France who was killed by St. Romanus. The word gargoyle comes from the name of this dragon.At least one dragon was killed by a woman, Tarasque, the dragon of Isle. St. Marguerite. This dragon was conquered by St. Martha.

A dragon’s environment

There are few natural enemies of dragons. Some are the stork, stag, and ichneumon. The latter is a relative of the mongoose, which is known to destroy crocodile eggs in Egypt. According to legend, dragons are terrified of the ichneumon and will cover themselves in mud and try to close their nostrils to avoid attack by the weasel-like animal.

Flora and fauna

In zoology, draco describes an animal’s characteristic of wing-like membranes on its flanks.

Other sciences

In alchemy, caput dragonis, or the “dragon’s head” is the term for the poisonous breath of the winged dragon.

As late as the 16th century, draconite stone was believed to come from the head of a dragon.

Draco, which is the Latin word for dragon, is also the name of a famous constellation, best seen in July. About 4000 years ago, Thuban, the fourth star from the end of the tail, used to be our North Star.

More dragon lore

There are many astronomy terms which relate the moon to dragons. Likewise, in Western and Oriental lore, dragons are supposed to participate in eclipses.

In mythology, Cadmus planted dragon’s teeth and from the ground, armed warriors sprouted.

3 thoughts on “Dragon trivia”

  1. Interesting… i’m not sure about the hiding in fear from a weasel part though! a big thing like a dragon wouldn’t do that. i think that dragons are some of the few magical-ish creatures to be native to earth – some may be visitors from other realms. but we have native dragons – although they are probably in hiding, for they, like the mer, probably don’t want to be put in zoos.
    i’d like to meet one one day. they probably have magical disguises to protect them from humans, but if i can see fae i’ll probably be able to see them.
    wish me luck in my endeavour!

  2. I’m writing a book. I need a word for the front appendage of a dragon. Claws doesn’t satisfy my co-author. I say “paw” is not the right word. Right now we have “hand”. I don’t think we should say that. The forelegs on a dragon end in feet. But in our book, they are more flexible than feet but without an opposable thumb. Can you help here?

    1. Ken,

      Consider making up a term. That’s an elegant solution, because paw, claw, and hand don’t really express it, and I can’t offer anything better. I mean, you can go to terms related to reptiles, but that’s still not a good fit.

      I’d go with “fore_____” as a starting point, with the blank filled in, but that’s just how I’d write it.

      In addition, your unique, expressive terminology can be part of the “world” you’re creating in your books. That’s always a plus when you’re creating a new aspect of mythology, based in fact.


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