Halycon Days

Definition: a past time period considered to be peaceful, calm, and positive

This idiom is often used when referring to childhood or youth

Halycon is an ancient name for the Kingfisher bird. In ancient times, it was believed the gods had given the bird the power to calm the seas during the time when she laid her eggs.

Shakespeare used the phrase as the contemporary idiom in Henry VI:

Assign’d am I to be the English scourge.
This night the siege assuredly I’ll raise:
Expect Saint Martin’s summer, halcyon days,
Since I have entered into these wars.

Why I Looked It Up

In Where'd You Go, Bernadette, a character writes to another:

Oh, Soo-Lin, just writing this transports me to the halycon days when we were happily collected outrages about Bernadette!


Added on May 18, 2023

The LEGO Story: How a Little Toy Sparked the World's Imagination has a reference to a different form – “period” rather than “days.”

…woodworkers like Ole Kirk enjoyed a brief halycon period.


Added on May 29, 2023

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln uses a different form:

The letter opened with halycon recollections of the early days of their acquaintance…

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