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A woman of dangerous blandishments. The allusion is to the fabulous sirens said by Greek and Latin poets to entice seamen by the sweetness of their song to such a degree that the listeners forgot everything and died of hunger (Greek, sireʹnes, entanglers). In Homeric mythology there were but two sirens; later writers name three, viz. Parthenʹope, Ligʹea, and Leucosʹia; but the number was still further augmented by those who loved “lords many and gods many.”


“There were several sirens up and down the coast; one at Panormus, another at Naples, others at Surrentum, but the greatest number lived in the delightful Capreæ, whence they passed over to the rocks [Sirennu’sæ] which bear their name.”—Inquiry into the Life of Homer.

Sirens. Plato says there are three kinds of sirens—the celestial, the generative, and the cathartic. The first are under the government of Jupiter, the second under the government of Neptune, and the third under the government of Pluto. When the soul is in heaven, the sirens seek, by harmonic motion, to unite it to the divine life of the celestial host; and when in Hadēs, to conform them to the infernal regimen; but on earth they produce generation, of which the sea is emblematic. (Proclus: On the Theology of Plato, bk. vi.)

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Singing Tree
Singing in Tribulation
Single-Speech Hamilton
Sinister (Latin, on the left hand)
Sinning One’s Mercies
Sir Oracle
Sir Roger de Coverley
Sirloin of Beef
Sisyphus (Latin; Sisuphos, Greek)
Sit Bodkin (To)
Sit Out (To)
Sit Under … (To)
Sit Up (for anyone) (To)
Sit Upon (To)
Sit on the Rall or Fence (To)
Sit on Thorns (To) or on Tenterhooks

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