Vocabulary: Mellifluous

From Escape pod episode 435 (valentines day)

Made of Cats: A Love Story
by Judith Tarr

The covarubian’s chief negotiator was somewhat smaller, and somewhat deeper purple than the others, and it’s translator spoke in an especially mellifluous tone. “Indeed” it said. “Those who came before have been most generous with their gifts. Yet we believe none has given what you truly most desire. From our investigations we have discovered that there is one deep drive in every human organism. One thing that your species craves above all else.”

I expected the word to mean lilting or musical.  However the read made it sound more enthusiastic or excited.


  1. having a smooth rich flow <a mellifluous voice>
  2. filled with something (as honey) that sweetens

Gut instinct tells me that the 2nd definition was the original one and that use to describe the voice as analogy eventually became the more common use.  I also can’t help but notice the relationship to melon and mellow for definition 2, and “melody.”  for definition 1.  My reading also led me to the greek muse of tragedy “Melpomene” which literally means “songstress” for further melodious overlapping.  And this reminds me of my old theory that all Greek mythology is just a bunch of bad puns to the Greeks themselves.

etymology: from the Greek meli for “honey


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