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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Curmudgeon - Wordsmith, Part 2

Hello Fellow Scriveners and Lovers of Words.

Here are a few more terms, which intrigued me, so I checked out their meaning and origin.
Curmudgeon: a crusty, ill-tempered, and usually old man (Merriam-Webster)

Etymology: 1570s, of unknown origin; the suggestion, based on a misreading of a garbled note from Johnson, that it is from French coeur mechant "evil heart" is not taken seriously; the first syllable may be cur "dog." Liberman says the word "must have been borrowed from Gaelic (and references muigean "disagreeable person"), with variant spelling of intensive prefix ker. Related: Curmudgeonly.

Why just an old man? I'm a woman and perfectly capable of being very curmudgeonly!

Evanescence: the process or fact of evanescing, disappearing, vanishing. (Merriam-Webster)

Etymology: comes from the Latin evanescere meaning "disappear, vanish."
"the evanescence of a rainbow detracts not a whit from its beauty" - (said who? couldn't find the source)

Obsequious: "obedient or attentive to an excessive or servile degree."--I don't need to worry about this one. I've never been very obedient!

Etymologylate 15th century (not depreciatory in early use): from Latin obsequiosus, from obsequium ‘compliance,’ from obsequi ‘follow, comply with.’

Any words that intrigue, puzzle, excite you?

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Serendipity - Wordsmith, Part 1

I decided to toss around some interesting words. As a writer, and particularly one who writes in her non-native language, I'm constantly trying to expand my vocabulary. I love words, most of all those whose meaning I don't know or I keep forgetting, such as:


Where does it come from and what does it mean?

Merriam Webster defines it as: "luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for."

Wikipedia: "'fortunate happenstance' or 'pleasant surprise'. 

It was coined by Horace Walpole in 1754 in reference to the Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip. 

Did you know this, my fellow scriveners or loyal readers? 

I ordered the fairy tale from the library and look forward to reading it.

And, by the way, "fortunate happenstance"--happenstance, anybody?
It means, of course, coincidence. What I didn't know: it stems from the late 19th century and is a blend of:
"happen" and "circumstance."

Enough for today. 

Are you having fun with words? What are your favorite ones?