dragon

Definitions

General English

  • noun an unfriendly woman who seems frightening

Military

  • noun
    (written as Dragon)
    an American hand-held anti-tank guided missile (ATGM)

Slang

  • noun a formidable (and therefore unattractive and/or unavailable) female. The earlier colloquialism was adopted as a code term by male financial traders in the City of London and was recorded (with other categorisations such as oof, mum, etc.) by psychologist Belinda Brookes in the Independent on Sunday, 9 July 1995.

Origin & History of “dragon”

English acquired dragon via Old French dragon and Latin dracō from Greek drákōn. Originally the word signified simply ‘snake’, but over the centuries this ‘snake’ increased in size, and many terrifying mythical attributes (such as wings and the breathing of fire) came to be added to it, several of them latterly from Chinese sources. The Greek form is usually connected with words for ‘look at, glance, flash, gleam’, such as Greek drakein and Sanskrit darç, as if its underlying meaning were ‘creature that looks at you (with a deadly glance)’.

Dragon is second time around for English as far as this word is concerned: it originally came by it in the Old English period, via Germanic, as drake.

Dragoons (17th c.) (an adaptation of French dragon) were originally mounted infantry, so called because they carried muskets nicknamed by the French dragon ‘fire-breather’.
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