Illustrated Architecture Dictionary
kie MERE a
An imaginary monster compounded of incongruous parts
CAPITALIZED: a fire-breathing she-monster in Greek mythology having a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail
In Greek mythology, the Chimera was a fearsome, fire-breathing monster with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a dragon's tail. She terrorized the people of Lycia until their king, Iobates, asked the hero Bellerophon to slay her. ... Bellerophon called in Pegasus, the winged horse, and brought the Chimera down from above.
The beast lived on in people's imaginations, and English speakers adopted her name for any similarly grotesque monster, or, later, for anything fanciful.
- Merriam-Webster: Chimera (online December 2018)
Etymology: Latin chimaera, from Greek chimaira she-goat, chimera; akin to Old Norse gymbr yearling ewe, Greek cheimōn winter
"Today people often call any stone carving of a strange creature a gargoyle. However, if such carvings are not waterspouts they are not technically gargoyles. Instead they are known as chimeras."- Encyclopaedia Britannica (online December 2018)
Examples from Buffalo architecture:
- Illustration above: