n. A compound of κάλαμος, a reed or writing instrument, and σφάκτης, a murderer. Thus: one who kills with a pen.
Philo’s In Flaccum contains the only extant usage, about a corrupt Alexandrian official: ὃν πολλάκις ὁ δῆμος ἅπας ὁμοθυμαδὸν εὐθυβόλως καὶ εὐσκόπως καλαμοσφάκτην ἐξεκήρυξεν (132.2).
Now, I may be taking the word too literally, but can you guess the movie scene that comes to mind when I hear this word? 🙂
Goodfellas. In a bar, Pesci stabs some fat dude in the neck for making a sly comment. Fat dude dies. Great scene.
Brian, ουχί! Not Goodfellas–go thou and study your mafia movies more closely! 🙂
Yes, Daniel, Casino it is!
I originally thought it’s this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbzQxTfHtgY
Ah, I had forgotten that one! There’s also, recently, Hanna, where one of the characters has a “pen in the neck” (you need to read that one out loud to get the joke).