Meaning of Epithet

What is Epithet:

An epithet is an adjective that expresses a quality of the noun to which it is associated. It is used to characterize or qualify someone or something, adding or highlighting some of its characteristics. The word, as such, comes from Latin epithĕton, and this in turn comes from the Greek ἐπίθετον (epitheton), which means 'more', 'added'.

Epithets are used to refer to people, divinities, historical figures, kings, saints, soldiers, warriors. In such cases, it tends to follow the name. For example, Bolívar "the Liberator" to refer to Simón Bolívar, Alfonso "the Wise" in allusion to Alfonso X of Castile, Juana "la Loca" in reference to Juana of Castile, Alexander "the Great" to refer to Alexander III of Macedonia , etc.

Literature also uses epithets to highlight some of the qualities or characteristics of a character. Homeric epithets are famous, such as Achilles, the one with light feet, or Ulysses, fertile in tricks.

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