(Greek [Murmidones] > Latin: [Myrmidones, Myrmidons])

One of a legendary Greek warrior people of ancient Thessaly who followed their king Achilles on the expedition against Troy. Now, it means a "loyal, unquestioning follower".

myrmidon (MUR mih don) (s) (noun), myrmidons (pl)
1. A subordinate person in the armed services or a soldier who fulfills the orders of a superior without hesitation, protest or disobedience: The term of myrmidon comes from the classical mythology of Myrmidons, a fierce, warlike people of ancient Thessaly in northern Greece, whose king was Achilles and whom they accompanied to the attack on Troy.
2. A person who unquestioningly carries out the commands of another, usually of an unscrupulous and powerful individual: Jeff, the tough boy in school, had a couple of myrmidons to do whatever he wanted and who would never tell him to stop intimidating the other children.

The British have used myrmidon in a wider sense; to indicate any hired thug, and the myrmidon of the law as a pejorative to signify "policeman" or other officers of the law who are employed to execute orders.

— Based on information located in 1000 Most Challenging Words by Norman W. Schur; Hawkhurst, Kent, England and Weston, Connecticut, U.S.A.
Someone who performs orders without any resistance .
© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

myrmidonian (adjective), more myrmidonian, most myrmidonian
A reference to warlike people of ancient Thessaly, Greece: The myrmidonian soldiers were known as rough characters who served for leaders who had no regard for what was morally right.

As the devoted followers of Achilles, the myrmidonian members came to be used in modern times to mean subordinates who obey the orders of their superiors without any hesitation.

There are now members of the law; such as, bailiffs, sheriffs, police officers, and other law officials who are regarded by some people as myrmidonian officials who shoot unarmed people.

Currently, there are some governments that have been making myrmidonian gas or chemical attacks and bombings on rebels and innocent civilians who are in the areas that are being destroyed.