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I was once told the term "splitting headache" originated
in ancient Greece. In those times the gods ruled over
the world. The leader of the gods was Zeus. One day he
was complaining of a severe headache, so he called
in the blacksmith god Hephastus to split his skull
and relieve the intense pressure. Hephastus did as he
was told, splitting Zeus's skull. Once this occurred
a full grown woman came out. She was dressed in full
armor and had a large shield and spear. This woman
was the goddess Athena, goddess of wisdom and combat.
This how we got the term splitting headache.
When I was told this story it was told to me in a humorous
way rather than a this-is-how-it-happened tone.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Alba

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Gods
SPEECH -- Folk etymology

Date learned: 00001976 CA

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