What the heck is an enchiridion? I asked myself that exact same question the first time I saw the word in use (which was rather recently). It sounds like it should be some sort of a large extinct mammal with big tusks. As it turns out, an enchiridion is a handbook or small manual. Large extinct mammal? Small handbook? Eh, same thing. A Handbook By Any Other Name...
There are all kinds of different names for handbooks and field guides that can sound either mundane or exotic. Vade mecum. Compendium. Primer. I guess how exotic it sounds depends entirely on who is using the word. From where I'm sitting enchiridion
sounds pretty darn exotic. This, of course, makes it perfectly
suited for Ettinborough's allegorical guide to fantastic creatures because if Ettinborough can be anything it is dreadfully wordy!
Enchiridion is a Late Latin term (derived from the Greek word ἐγχειρίδιον (enkheiridion)) referring to a small manual or handbook.
[en-kahy-rid-ee-uh n, -ki-]
noun, plural enchiridions, enchiridia [en-kahy-rid-ee-uh, -ki-]
1535-45 < Late Latin < Greek
Conclusion? If I'm doing the writing plan on seeing "enchiridion" spelled about 42 different ways. I have way too many "wut r werds" moments. Also, never make me say the word "enchiridion" in person. It'll be embarrassing and hilarious for me and you, respectively. Ent-cherry-o-don? En-chee-rid-eon? This is going to take some practice.