Today’s word is: diabolical.
Diabolical is a fun adjective that comes from the Old French diabolique, or ecclesiastical Latin diabolicus, from diabolus ‘devil’; the form diabolical dates from the early 16th century. Like the word devil, its roots trace back to the Greek diabolos, a word that literally means “slanderer.”
Diabolical meanings: 1. Characteristic of the Devil, or so evil as to be suggestive of the Devil.
And 2. Disgracefully bad or unpleasant; evil.
I like a good diabolical grin, personally.
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.”
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