Pygmalion



[pig-mey-lee-uh n, -meyl-yuh n] /pɪgˈmeɪ li ən, -ˈmeɪl yən/

noun
1.
Classical Mythology. a sculptor and king of Cyprus who carved an ivory statue of a maiden and fell in love with it. It was brought to life, in response to his prayer, by Aphrodite.
2.
(italics) a comedy (1912) by George Bernard Shaw.
/pɪɡˈmeɪlɪən/
noun
1.
(Greek myth) a king of Cyprus, who fell in love with the statue of a woman he had sculpted and which his prayers brought to life as Galatea

also the Pygmalion word, a British euphemistic substitute for bloody in mid-20c. from its notorious use in Bernard Shaw’s play of the same name (1914: “Walk? Not bloody likely!”). The Greek legend of the sculptor/goldsmith and the beautiful statue he made and wished to life, is centered on Cyprus and his name might ultimately be Phoenician.
Pygmalion [(pig-may-lee-uhn)]

In classical mythology, a sculptor who at first hated women but then fell in love with a statue he made of a woman. He prayed to Venus that she would find him a woman like the statue. Instead, Venus made the statue come to life.

Note: The play Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw, adapts this theme: a professor trains a girl from the gutter to speak and behave like a lady, and then he and his new creation become attached to each other. This play became the basis for the musical comedy My Fair Lady.

Pygmalion [(pig-mayl-yuhn, pig-may-lee-uhn) (1913)]

A play by George Bernard Shaw, about a professor, Henry Higgins, who trains a poor, uneducated girl, Eliza Doolittle, to act and speak like a lady. Shaw based his story on a tale from Greek mythology about a sculptor who carves a statue of a woman and falls in love with it (see under “Mythology and Folklore”).

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