Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Ter’tium Quid.

 Terry Alts.Terza Rima. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Ter’tium Quid.
A third party which shall be nameless. The expression originated with Pythago’ras, who, defining bipeds, said—   1
“Sunt bipes homo, et avis, et tertium quid.
“A man is a biped, go is a bird, and a third thing (which shall be nameless).”
   Iamblichus says this third thing was Pythagoras himself. (Vita Pyth., cxxvii.)   2
   In chemistry, when two substances chemically unite, the new substance is called a tertium quid, as a neutral salt produced by the mixture of an acid and alkali.   3

 Terry Alts.Terza Rima. 


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