A boustrophedon script is a writing style that is bi-directional, with every other line reversed or mirrored (so while English is read left to right, a boustrophedon would go left to right, then right to left, then repeat). The word was borrowed in 1783 to describe a type of boustrophedon used in Ancient Greece, unsurprisingly from the Ancient Greek language, where it meant "turning as an ox is plowing". That's composed of bous, meaning "ox" (from Proto-Indo-European gwos, "cattle"), strophe, meaning "turning" (from Proto-Indo-European streb, "to wind", and the adverbial suffix -edon, which translates to something along the lines of "in the manner of". Literary usage of the word boustrophedon peaked in 1886, and has recently been on a downward trend.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.