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The topic of this paper is a novel analysis of the adjective φριξός along with a discussion of the textual transmission of Nicander's Theriaca, lines 777-779. I will argue on philological and linguistic grounds that a varia lectio φρῖκος, attested in three manuscripts, deserves to be acknowledged as the lectio difficilior vis-à-vis the commonly preferred φρῖκας, and that it represents a neuter s-stem with a meaning ‘stinger’. This noun can be interpreted as the continuant of Proto-Indo-European *bhriHk-os ‘pointed thing’ which is probably also attested in Welsh brig ‘summit, tree-tops’. This s-stem served as the derivational base of the adjective *bhriHk-s-ó- ‘making onself pointed’ preserved in Greek φριξός ‘standing on end, bristling’, which thus reflects an archaic Proto-Indo-European word-formation type.