IKTHOOS? What is "ikthoos"?
Glad you asked!
Well, it all started with a neck tie that looks like a fish - a pink and blue steelhead to be exact. I wore it as counselor for the 1990 summer camp for the youth of my church. I was dubbed, "Fishman." ... and it stuck. While brainstorming for a corporate name, I thought, "I could call it 'Fish'."
The Greek word for fish is "ichthys." The early Christian church also made it a code word. That's why even today you see all those Christian fish symbols on the back of cars.
The early Christians -- who were under intense persecution -- let the word be an acronym, which to them meant "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior." * So, when they drew the fish symbol on the wall or in the sand, that was shorthand for saying they believed in Christ. To suspicious authorities, they could say "Hey, it's just a fish." But, other Christians knew.
This double meaning also dovetailed well with all the fish references concerning Jesus' life. Many of his disciples were fishermen, a miracle was performed feeding a multitude from a little boy's picnic basket of fishes and bread, and even Jesus himself told his followers to be "fishers of men."
The Greek word "ichthys" has survived through the years... Even today an "ichthyologist" is a fish biologist -- which you will sometimes see spelled as "ichthiologist."
There are even variations in spelling for the root word, when it's translated to English from Greek. You will see it in print as "ichthus" and "ichthos." However, in Greek or English, the word is PRONOUNCED "ickthoos." So, I am using the phonetic spelling -- the pronunication -- as the name for my business and website!
* Ichthys consists of five letters from the Greek alphabet:
(which are the symbols for Iota, Chi, Theta, Upsilon, Sigma)
When these five letters are used as initials for five words, we obtain this Christian Declaration (in Greek):
Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter
This is an acrostic for '"Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior."
This is one time when you can truthfully say, "It's Greek to me!"