Notes of a word-watcher, Hanching Chung. A first port of call for English learning.
Sphinx, zoomorphic, ashlar, ashler, stalactite
A Sphinx is a zoomorphic mythological figure, depicted as a recumbent lion with a human head. It has its origins in sculpted figures of Old KingdomEgypt, to which the ancient Greeks applied their own name for a female monster, the "strangler", an archaic figure of Greek mythology. Similar creatures appear throughout South and South-East Asia, and the sphinx enjoyed a major revival in European decorative art from the Renaissance onwards.