ithyphallic (adj.)

1795, in reference to a type of meter used in ancient Greek poetry (earlier as a noun, "poem in ithyphallic meter," 1610s), from Latin ithyphallicus, from Greek ithyphallikos, from ithyphallos "phallus carried in the festivals," from ithys "straight, straight upward" + phallos "erect penis" (see phallus). Credited to Archilochus, the meter was that of the Bacchic hymns, which were sung in the rites during which such phalluses were carried. Thus, in Victorian times, the word also meant "grossly indecent" (1864) and sometimes was used in scholarly works in its literal sense of "with erect penis" (1837).

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