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The Blogging From A to Z April Challenge: K is for Kappa

Thursday, 12 April 2012

My posts in the The Blogging From A to Z April Challenge are all about interesting words. Words that are weird, intriguing, poetic or just plain cool.

K is for Kappa

Kappa is the tenth letter of the Greek alphabet - pretty clearly where the modern letter K comes from.

But a Kappa is also (among other things) the name of a fabulous beast: a sort of water-sprite in Japanese folklore. Kappas are troublesome or downright evil reptilian creatures that lurk in ponds and rivers. Perhaps their coolest feature is the bowl-shaped indentation on the tops of their heads. When they are away from their pond or river, this bowl has to remain full of water at all times, otherwise they freeze and can't move.

So, if you ever find yourself pursued by a rampaging Kappa, just make it spill the water out of its head and you'll be perfectly fine.

See, don't say I never give you useful information ...

Archaeopteryx Blunderbuss Chthonic Dreadnought Entropy Fulgurite Gargantua Humbucking Ichthyic Juggernaut Kappa


  1. Oh wow!! Now off I go to make me a Kappa tea!

    kappa tea! Gerrit?! LOL!

    Take care

  2. Very informative, is this where the creature from Harry Potter comes from you think?

  3. Kappa tea! LOL!

    This is a new one for me. Never heard of a Kappa before. They sure are strange creatures. Love it!

  4. Intrigued by the history of letters and words.

    Visiting as an A to Z blogger.

    All on and all in the A to Z Challenge:

    Heart of a Ready Writer – Bible & Devotional
    Meme Express – Daily Blog Prompts (A to Z)
    Nickers and Ink – Featuring favorite classic poems from A to Z
    Practically at Home – See what fellow writers are cited – with article links!
    The Mane Point –Profiling special horses from A to Z
    Working in Words – Writing How-to’s

    Click my name/icon for links to all these blogs! Happy A-to-Z!

  5. mindthegap - Quite possible. JKR (like all of us) is not averse to using creatures from folklore.

    Elise - Thanks. Glad you found it informative.

  6. Linda - Thanks. Those look like great blogs too. I'm trying to get round as many as I can so I'll be sure to look in on those.

  7. Linda - Thanks. Those look like great blogs too. I'm trying to get round as many as I can so I'll be sure to look in on those.

  8. Ahhh, the Kappa! Awesome K word Simon. Fantastical beasties are a big favorite of mine. :)

  9. Tracy - me too. Next year I might do an A-Z of them ...

  10. I remember hearing that, if faced with a kappa, you should toss something into the water in front of them to make them bend over and thereby dump the water out of their heads.

  11. Really neat myth behind this one. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Golden Eagle - Good point; that would do it!

    Nicole - Thanks for dropping by.

  13. Another good way to get rid of an unwanted kappa is to bow to it. Apparently, they are so courteous that they will always bow in return, thus spilling the water on their heads. Just goes to show that it can hurt to be polite...

    I'm loving this A to Z, by the way.

  14. Lee - Brilliant! I must remember that ...


I'd love to know what you think.