Welcome to the first Wordy Wednesday of 2021!
I have been dealing with some still unknown health issues of late. Intense fatigue (that isn’t new), along with joint pain and stiffness. The joint pain and stiffness I’ve just kind of ‘dealt with’ over the past five or so years, but during the summer when I became more active, the pain got much worse. My entire body would be so stiff at the end of the day, I couldn’t move without pain.
Finally, I’m doing something about it. Well, trying to. A chiropractor has helped. Now I’m having more vigorous rounds of blood work done to hopefully pinpoint what the hell is wrong.
Back to the word I’ve chosen to explore: selcouth.
Selcouth is an archaic adjective, first used before the 12th century.
It means unusual, strange, or extraordinary in appearance, effect, manner, etc; peculiar. 2. not known, seen, or experienced before; unfamiliar. Middle English, from Old English seldcūth, from seldan seldom + cūth known.
“The future queen’s selcouth beauty was both rare and striking, catching the eye of the king.”
Welcome to another edition of Wordy Wednesday, where I share a word I really like!
Today that word is: sophrosyne.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: sophrosyne is a noun that comes from the Greek sōphrosynē, from sōphrōn being of sound mind, prudent, reasonable (from saos, sōs whole, safe, sound + -phrōn; akin to Greek phrēn mind) + -sȳnē, suffix used to form abstract nouns.
Sophrosyne is an ancient Greek concept of an ideal of excellence of character and soundness of mind, which when combined in a well-balanced individual leads to other qualities, like temperance, moderation, prudence, purity, and self-control.
Sophrosyne was one of the good spirits to escape Pandora’s box and abandoned mankind in her flight back to Olympus.
Sophrosyne is considered the opposite of hubris, which is excessive pride or arrogance, especially the kind that clouds judgment.
An example: “Though some of her initial ideas were unrealistic, she maintained her sophrosyne that prevented her from pitching anything too crazy.”
Upon waking from an impromptu 5+ hour nap (oops), I’m hungry (that’s what happens when I sleep through dinnertime; I’d rather sleep than eat – which is a topic for another day!)
But it brings me to a word that I like very much: edacious.
Edacious is an adjective, meaning 1: having a huge appetite: ravenous. And 2: excessively eager: insatiable. Some synonyms include: esurient, rapacious, ravening, ravenous, voracious, wolfish gluttonous; given to excess in consumption of especially food or drink.
Today’s word is sempiternal.
The word means eternal and unchanging; everlasting. Its origins are from Late Middle English: from Old French sempiternel or late Latin sempiternalis, from Latin sempiternus, from semper ‘always’ + aeternus ‘eternal’.
But in philosophy there is a distinction between eternal and sempiternal. Eternal implies something that is infinite outside the bounds of time, like God, while sempiternal is a more earthbound way to talk about forever.
“The one thing which we seek with insatiable desire is to forget ourselves, … to lose our sempiternal memory, and to do something without knowing how or why….”– Ralph Waldo Emerson
I came across the word ‘sough’ (pronounced suhf) recently. I wrote it down and looked it up immediately.
From a definition page:
verb: sough; 3rd person present: soughs; past tense: soughed; past participle: soughed; gerund or present participle: soughing
- (of the wind in trees, the sea, etc.) make a moaning, whistling, or rushing sound.”the soughing of the wind in the canopy of branches”
noun: sough; plural noun: soughs
2. a moaning, whistling, or rushing sound as made by the wind in the trees or the sea.
From Middle English swoughen, from Old English swōgan; akin to Goth gaswogjan to groan, Lithuanian svagėti to sound.
Example from literature:
“The sough of the wind and the fleeing cloud of night was all they saw or heard.” – The Dew of Their Youth by S. R. Crockett
Today’s post is an ode to one of my favourite letters: v.
There are so many lovely ‘v’ words (vicious, vain, vivid, vitriol, velvet…) but I will define my top three: viscous, voracious, and visceral.
Viscous is an adjective that means “to have a thick, sticky consistency between solid and liquid; having a high viscosity.” I like to use this word when describing blood.
Voracious is an adjective, meaning “to devour.” One can have a voracious appetite for food; they can also have a voracious appetite for reading books (like me!).
Visceral is an adjective that is mostly used in a figurative way, for example: “characterized by or proceeding from instinct rather than intellect; dealing with coarse or base emotions.” It is still used in biology, where viscera refers to “the organs in the cavities of the body, especially those in the abdominal cavity.”
Ah, welcome to Scorpio season. It’s my time to shine!
For a long time I’ve had a keen interest in life’s mysteries, the occult, different forms of spirituality, magick, and astrology.
Scorpios are often described as being mysterious, strong-willed, ambitious, passionate, and prone to jealousy.
Love can make us obsessive, so today’s word is:
Limerence is a noun that describes ‘the state of being infatuated or obsessed with another person, typically experienced involuntarily and characterized by a strong desire for reciprocation of one’s feelings but not primarily for a sexual relationship.’
I like to believe that I’m not as prone to obsession as I was in my younger years, but I may just be lying to myself.
Oh, September. So far you have not disappointed me! The cooler breezes feel wonderful, and I don’t even mind the clouds and rain. It’s cozy.
Today’s word makes me picture a gaudy New Year’s Eve party:
Clinquant is an adjective that means “glittering with gold or tinsel.” It was first used in 1591 and comes from Middle French, from present participle of clinquer to glitter; literally, to clink.
Everyone loves a little gold, right?
I have so much I want to write. So many new ideas, on top of insights and questions and observations… But I’ve been tired. Bone-deep exhaustion fogs the majority of my waking hours; I don’t know what it’s like to not be tired anymore.
Today’s word is a happy one:
Redolent has two definitions in the Merriam-Webster dictionary that I enjoy very much:
2 a : full of a specified fragrance : scented
- “air redolent of seaweed”
The word of the day has been buzzing around in my head since yesterday. Does that ever happen to you? Do you ever get a word or a phrase stuck in your head?
It happens to me a lot. I try to write them down in my notebook, or on a scrap of paper, or the notepad on my phone.
Today’s word is:
Mellifluous is an adjective. It means a pleasantly flowing quality, suggestive of music; it tends to describe voices. Synonyms include lyrical, mellow, melodic, and musical.
To me, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Jim Morrison, David Gilmour, Billie Holiday, Cate Blanchett, and Tracy Chapman are among the people with the most mellifluous voices. Morgan Freeman has a mellifluous voice, too, of course, but that’s an easy one.
It’s interesting to me that the most pleasing voices are low, deep, and slow, and therefore typically masculine. Antonyms of mellifluous, like grating, are used to describe higher pitched female voices. Hmm. When you think of someone with an irritating, grating, squeaky, or monotonous voice, whose do you hear?