Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Tina came across the word klaxon in her reading and commented that it sounded like the name of an alien race in Star Trek. “Never turn your back on a Klaxon,” she wrote.

Klaxon is the name of a company that makes warning horns that have a loud, piercing sound. If you’ve ever watched a movie featuring submarines, you will remember the aHOOga sound that screams from the speakers when the vessel is about to submerge.

The klaxon was developed in the early part of the 20th century, and the rights to it were  purchased by a New Jersey Company. Now it seems to be a British company.

The original company came up with the “Klaxon” name. It was based on a Greek verb meaning to make a sharp, piercing sound. Sophocles applied the verb to the screeching or shrieking of birds, while Homer referred to the screaming of cranes.

SIDEBAR:  klaxon   

Available from McFarland & Co.: Word Parts Dictionary, 2nd edition

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