properly means a gnat curtain. Herodotus tells us (ii.
95) that the fishermen of the Nile used to lift their nets on a pole,
and form thereby a rude sort of tent under which they slept securely,
as gnats will not pass through the meshes of a net. Subsequently the
tester of a bed was so called, and lastly the canopy borne over kings.
(Greek, kwuwy, a gnat; kwiwpeiou, a gnat-curtain; Latin, conopeum,
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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