The word for today is…

mentor (noun, verb):

1 capitalized : a friend of Odysseus entrusted with the education of Odysseus’ son Telemachus
2a: a trusted counselor or guide
b: tutor, coach

: to serve as a mentor for : tutor

Source : Merriam -Webster

Etymology : Mentor is pretty ubiquitous in today’s world as a word for anyone who is a positive, guiding influence in another (usually younger) person’s life, but no matter your age we’re here to guide you through the word’s history. Mentor comes originally from ancient Greek literature: in Homer’s epic The Odyssey, Odysseus is away from home fighting and journeying for 20 years. During that time, Telemachus, the son he left as a babe in arms, grows up under the supervision of Méntor, an old and trusted friend. When the goddess Athena decides it is time to complete the education of young Telemachus, she visits him disguised as Méntor and they set out together to learn about his father. A version of Méntor (written as Mentor) later appeared as a major character in the Odyssey-inspired French novel Les aventures de Télémaque (1699) by François Fénelon, after which it became a generic noun for “trusted guide” in that language before being borrowed into English with the same meaning.

If you enjoyed this BFD word of the day please consider sharing it with your friends and, especially, your children.

David is a retired surgeon originally from London who came to New Zealand twenty-seven years ago after being delayed in Singapore for thirteen years on leaving the UK. He was coerced into studying Latin...