Sphinx, a fabled animal, an invention of the ancient Egyptians, with the body and claws of a lioness, and the head of a woman, or of a ram, or of a goat, all types or representations of the king, effigies of which are frequently placed before temples on each side of the approach; the most famous of the sphinxes was the one which waylaid travellers and tormented them with a riddle, which if they could not answer she devoured them, but which Oedipus answered, whereupon she threw herself into the sea. “Such a sphinx,” as we are told in “Past and Present,” “is this life of ours, to all men and nations. Nature, like the Sphinx, is of womanly celestial loveliness and tenderness, the face and bosom of a goddess, but ending in the claws and the body of a lioness ... is a heavenly bride and conquest to the wise and brave, to them who can discern her behests and do them; a destroying fiend to them who cannot. Answer her riddle—Knowest thou the meaning of to-day?—it is well with thee. Answer it not; the solution for thee is a thing of teeth and claws.”

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

Spezia * Spice Islands
[wait for the fun]
Spedding, James
Speke, John Banning
Spence, Joseph
Spencer, Herbert
Spencer Gulf
Spener, Philip Jacob
Spenser, Edmund
Spice Islands
Spinello, Aretino
Spinola, Ambrosio, Marquis of
Spinoza, Benedict
Spirit, The Holy
Spiritual, The


Sphinx in Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable

Links here from Chalmers

Bendlowes, Edward