You hear it all the time and you know what it means... at least you think you do. But are you confident enough to use the word yourself? When I hear a word like Draconian, I know what it means but only because I've heard the word in context. So I look words like this up in the dictionary because I want to know what it really means so that I can include it into my vocabulary and especially into my novel writing.
Draconian means barbarously severe, harsh or cruel, not to be confused with draconic which refers to dragon like. (That's assuming dragons are nice.) The word Draconian refers to an ancient Greek ruler named Draco. In 621 B.C.E. Draco implemented a strict code of laws. I guess Draco was terribly cruel and over two-and-a-half thousand years later he is still remembered. Suellen Ocean is the author of the historic novels The Celtic Prince and The Lies of the Lion available at Ocean-Hose. Buy here: http://www.pacificsites.com/~oceanhose/