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Cerberus (SUR-buh-ruhs) noun
A powerful, hostile guard.
[From Latin, from Greek Kerberos.]
Cerberus (also Kerberos) was the three-headed dog that guarded the entrance to Hades, the infernal region in classical mythology. Ancient Greeks and Romans used to put a slice of cake in the hands of their dead to help pacify Cerberus on the way. This custom gave rise to the idiom "to give a sop to cerberus" meaning to give a gift to quiet a troublesome person.
Cancerbero (from Spanish can: dog) is one of the Spanish terms for a goalkeeper in fútbol (football). Kerberos is the name given to an authentication protocol for computer networks.
Pictures of Cerberus.
"Making their task even more difficult has been a sentinel at the entrance to this political inferno named Paul Christensen, a Cerberus if ever there was one." Jon Ralston; County's Refusal to Bid Insurance Contract Sparks Nasty Flap; Las Vegas Review-Journal; Apr 25, 1991.
This week's theme: words derived from the names of mythical creatures.
A compliment is something like a kiss through a veil. -Victor Hugo, author (1802-1885)