To honour the spookiness of October, today’s word is arcane.
The first known use of arcane was in 1547.
Arcane is an adjective; meaning known or understood by very few; mysterious; secret; obscure; esoteric.
Something arcane is understood or known by only a few people.
Related words are esoteric, impenetrable, cabalistic, mysterious, mystic, occult, recondite, unaccountable, unknowable.
Word origin: from Latin arcānus secret, hidden, from arcēre to shut up, keep safe.
Have you ever felt an affinity to a time or place you’ve never physically experienced?
Felt drawn to a period of history for no logical reason?
I enjoy the concept of past lives; of reincarnation. It is comforting to me that perhaps my soul has been here on earth before, always learning – forever learning, even.
When I was a child, around 8 years old, I checked out a book about children who lived through the Jewish Holocaust. Reading their stories broke my heart. Imagining myself in their place, wondering if I would have had the same courage in the face of death. I went on to read Anne Frank’s diary, along with every personal account I could get my hands on. (Just last week I finished The Light Of Days: The Untold Story Of Women Resistance Fighters In Hitler’s Ghettos by Judy Batalion. It’s an honest, unflinching and brutal look at what women went through in Hitler’s ghettos during World War II; I highly recommend reading the book).
Other time periods I feel an affinity to: 1700s Russia, 1700s France, 1400s-1600s England, and Cleopatra VII’s Egypt.
The word affinity can be a noun or an adjective. It first appeared around 1275–1325; via Old French from Latin affīnitāt – connected by marriage, from affīnis bordering on, related.
From vocabulary.com: “If you get along with someone very well, you have an affinity with them. Sometimes opposites attract, so you might feel a strange affinity to someone who is seemingly very different from you. When you are attracted to someone or something a great deal, we say that you have an affinity, a natural connection.”
From definitions.net: “A natural attraction or feeling of kinship to a person or thing.”
In sociology, affinity refers to kinship of spirit.
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.”
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.
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?
Since I have hit a wall creatively, I have decided to begin something new. Every Wednesday, I will post a word I really REALLY enjoy. There are many words in the English language – some gross me out, some remind me of soft and fluffy things, while others evoke dark things that thrive in deep shadowy places.
Today’s word is:
Truculent is an adjective. It means fierce; cruel; vitriolic; scathing; aggressively hostile; belligerent. Its origin is Latin, the roots of which mean savage and pitiless.
Can you think of anyone who fits this description?
I can think of a few. From real life, and from pop culture.
Who comes to mind:
- Wolverine (hello aggressively hostile)
- Donald Trump (vitriolic)
- Yosemite Sam
Bad guys tend to be truculent – but some heroes can fall in there, too.
Be careful 😉