Permeable

December 19, 2017Read More

permeable
\PER-mee-uh-bul\
adjective

: capable of being permeated : penetrable ; especially : having pores or openings that permit liquids or gasses to pass through

The Latin prefix per-, meaning “through” and the Latin verb meare, meaning “to go” or “to pass.” There is a connotation of “penetrating through” a susceptible mind, being pervious to reason.
What permeates? It is more than just liquids and solids and gasses and matter – it is light, sound, smells, thoughts, beliefs, energy and the like. We frown upon scar and cracks and chinks in our armor, but I believe it is a Japanese proverb that says, “Our cracks are where the light can shine through.” It is a magical new moon that is full of possibilities. I have had a long and inspirational day, so I will leave you with this:

“An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t put you down unless you allow it to get inside you.”

Let your dreams be bigger than your fears and make 2018 be your year!

Lothario

December 18, 2017Read More

Lothario

\loh-THAIR-ee-oh\
noun

: a man whose chief interest is seducing women

Lothario comes from The Fair Penitent (1703), a tragedy by Nicholas Rowe. In the play, Lothario is a notorious seducer, extremely attractive but a haughty and unfeeling scoundrel underneath a charming exterior. He seduces Calista, an unfaithful wife, and later the fair penitent of the title. After the play was published, the character of Lothario became a stock figure in English literature. For example, Samuel Richardson modeled the character of Lovelace on Lothario in his 1748 novel Clarissa. As the character became well known, his name became progressively more generic, and lothario (often capitalized) has since been used to describe a foppish, unscrupulous rake. I have never heard of this…so it was news to me. I was just thinking Trump-esque. I had to bust out the Legos for this one. My initial vision was a Dos Equis, most interesting man in the world, surrounded by a gaggle of girls….but as I started picking through our mini figure collection – which is quite vast, even though I swear I say NO to Synonym whenever she wants to make a pack of three at the Lego Store…I started gathering guys…guys that girls tend to crush on: men in uniform, athletes, army men, cops, bad boys, super heroes, wealthy businessmen,TR, Superman, Ironman, Batman! There you have it! Stay thirsty my friends!

Terpsichorean

December 17, 2017Read More


Terpsichorean
\terp-sih-kuh-REE-un\
adjective

: of or relating to dancing

In Greek and Roman mythology, Terpsichore was one of the nine muses, the goddesses who presided over learning and the arts. Terpsichore was the patron of dance and choral song (and later lyric poetry), and in artistic representations she is often shown dancing and holding a lyre. Her name, which earned an enduring place in English through the adjective terpsichorean, literally means “dance-enjoying,” from terpsis, meaning “enjoyment,” and choros, meaning “dance.” Choros is also the source of choreography and chorus (in Athenian drama, choruses consisted of dancers as well as singers). The only other word we know that incorporates terpsis is terpodion, an obsolete term for a piano-like musical instrument that was invented around 1816 but never really caught on.

Whether we realize it or not, life is a great big dance. We have choreographed steps and timing; we move to the rhythm of our own drum and keep time with the style of music we see fit. These photos with quotes were two that I did in a series I was working on last year. I took them during dance recital week. I just loved them. (No terpsichorean is not going to enter my daily vernacular – yes it is a neat word and perhaps one that will remind me of others in the future. I have often looked into the muses – this adds to my repertoire!) We are dancing our way out of this year!

Fructify

December 16, 2017Read More


fructify
\FRUK-tuh-fye\
verb

1 : to bear fruit

2 : to make fruitful or productive

Fructify derives from Middle English fructifien and ultimately from the Latin noun fructus, meaning “fruit.” When the word first came to fruition, in the 14th century, it literally referred to the actions of plants that bore fruit; it later was used transitively to refer to the action of making something fruitful, such as soil. The word also grew to include a figurative sense of “fruit,” and it is now more frequently used to refer to the giving forth of something in profit from something else (such as dividends from an investment). Fructus also gave us the name of the sugar fructose, as well as usufruct, which refers to the legal right to enjoy the fruits or profits of something that belongs to someone else.

We often talk about the fruits of our labor. In this world we push for productivity and bearing of fruit. If someone doesn’t produce or reproduce, they are frowned upon or misunderstood. We want our investments of time and money to pay off and fructify. If we aren’t seeing results, we need to cut our losses and try something else. People and companies make us lots of promises, but they don’t always deliver. We seek instant gratification without realizing that things need time to grow. One of my favorite quotes is that even nature knows that you can’t bloom all the time. We are about to close the book on 2017 and open a new one for 2018. May you have a fruitful and productive year; go forth and fructify!

Gravamen

December 15, 2017Read More

gravamen
\gruh-VAY-mun\
noun

: the material or significant part pf a grievance or complaint

The Latin verb gravare, meaning “to burden,” and the Latin adjective gravis, meaning “heavy,” are tied to gravamen, which refers to the part of a grievance or complaint that gives it weight or substance. In legal contexts, gravamen is used, synonymously with gist, to refer to the grounds on which a legal action is sustainable – OH we just had sustain on Tuesday! Gravis has given weight to several other words, including gravity, grieve, and the adjective grave, meaning “important” or “serious.”

We all face any number of serious burdens on a daily basis – sometimes as the complainer and sometimes as the compain-ee. We can’t please all the people all the time. May our errors not be so terrible that we cannot learn from them and strive to improve ourselves. We often make things out to be a bigger deal than than they need to be. This is part of our nature to blow things out of proportion. Ask yourself, will it matter in a minute? a day? a month? a year? 5 years from now? Probably not. Grief is definitely a serious burden.

Diaphanous

December 14, 2017Read More


diaphanous
\dye-AF-uh-nus\
adjective

1 : characterized by such fineness of texture as to permit seeing through

2 : characterized by extreme delicacy of form : ethereal

3 : insubstantial, vague

The Greek word phainein underlies: epiphany, fancy, phenomenon, sycophant, emphasis, phase. The groundwork for diaphanous was laid when phainein (meaning “to show”) was combined with dia- (meaning “through”). From that pairing came the Greek diaphanēs, parent of the Medieval Latin diaphanus, which is the direct ancestor of our English word.

When something is transparent you can see through it. I guess that is what can make it confusing and insubstantial all at once. I knew this word from Project Runway and their creations of gowns with sheer, diaphanous fabric. I have lots of sheer curtains – thin enough to let light shine through, yet thick enough to somewhat obscure the view so I am not on display. In life, we tend to try not to be diaphanous so we can mask our feelings and remain mysterious.

Sustain

December 13, 2017Read More

sustain
\suh-STAYN\
verb

1 : to provide with nourishment

2 : keep up, prolong

3 : to support the weight of : prop ; also : to carry or withstand (a weight or pressure)

4 a : to buoy up

b : suffer, undergo

5 a : to support as true, legal or just

b : to allow or admit as valid

Middle English sustenen, fro Anglo-French sustein-, stem of sustenir, from Latin sustainēre to hold up, sustain from sub-, sus- up + tenēre to hold —more at SUB-, THIN.

Sustain as a noun is
: a musical effect that prolongs a note’s resonance – first used in 1972

I can’t even explain how perfectly some of these words align with my life. So many meanings. It blows my mind a little how this word cab both support us or crush us. It can allow for things or cause suffering. It is legal yet dragged out.
Sustainability has been a buzz word to fight for the cause of saving our environment. What we sustain lives on.

Orphic

December 12, 2017Read More

orphic
\OR-fik\
adjective

1 : (capitalized) of or relating to Orpheus or the rites or doctrines ascribed to him

2 : mystic, oracular

3 : fascinating, entrancing

Orpheus was a hero of Greek mythology who supposedly possessed superhuman musical skills. With his legendary lyre, he was said to be able to make even the rocks and trees dance around. In fact, when his wife Eurydice died, he was nearly able to use his lyre to secure her return from the underworld. Later on, according to legend, he was killed at the bidding of Dionysus, and an oracle of Orpheus was established that came to rival the oracle of Apollo at Delphi. Because of the oracle of Orpheus, orphic can mean “oracular.” Because of Orpheus’ musical powers, orphic can also mean “entrancing.”

At first glance this word looks like orphan…but oracle…seeing the future, communication through lyrics. The universe has been sending me messages. Maybe you get them too. They are subtle and a bit cryptic, but eventually they all make sense, as they reveal more and more pieces of themselves. It really is quite orphic!

“I know people who believe in ghosts but don’t believe in themselves.” ~Hedberg
Always believe in yourself!

Triple Threat: Wend, Zoomorphic, Cachinnate

December 11, 2017Read More


wend
\WEND\
verb

: to direct ones course, travel

Wend is related to the verb wind, which means, among other things, “to follow a series of curves and turns.” It is also a distant relative of the verb wander. Wend itself began its journey in Old English as wendan, which was used in various now-obsolete senses relating to turning or changing direction or position and which is akin to the Old English windan (“to twist”). Wend has twisted itself into various meanings over the years. Most of its senses—including “to come about,” “to depart,” “to change,” and “to betake”—have since wandered off into obscurity, but its use in senses related to going or moving along a course has lent the English verb go its past tense form went (as a past tense form of wend, went has long since been superseded by wended). The current sense of wend, “to direct or to proceed,” is holding steady on the path.

zoomorphic
\zoh-uh-MOR-fik\
adjective

1 : having the form of an animal
2 : of, relating to, or being a deity conceived of in animal form or with animal attributes

Zo- (or zoo-) derives from the Greek word zōion, meaning “animal,” and -morph comes from the Greek morphē, meaning “form.” These two forms combined to give us the adjective zoomorphic in the 19th century to describe something that resembles an animal. English includes other words that were formed from zo- or zoo-, such as zoology (made with -logy, meaning “science”). And there are also other words that were formed from -morph, such as pseudomorph, for a mineral having the outward form of another species. (The combining form pseud- or pseudo- means “false.”)

This was so interesting and led me to look up some spirit animals before choosing a flamingo for my image. Synonym led us in a 20 Questions game at dinner on Friday night, but the food came and I forgot about it, until the next morning when we were gazing at the falling snow and she asked if I wanted to play again and reminded me we never finished. Her clues were that it lives at the zoo sometimes, it doesn’t have fur and it isn’t nocturnal and is not on a farm. Needless to say – SPOT on, but I didn’t guess it. Flamingo! I looked up the symbolism for a flamingo:
If Flamingo is your Animal Totem;

You know how to use your heart to find the right solutions to your problems. You find comfort in groups situations, know how to maintain your individuality within large groups and totally enjoy being around people. You are often flirtatious and flamboyant in the way you dress. You know how to balance a busy lifestyle and often find yourself in a supportive role when someone is having relationship problems. You know how to help them heal and move on. You enjoy playing with psychometry and have a gift for this practice. Your decisions in life usually come from the heart.

cachinnate
\KAK-uh-nayt\
verb

: to laugh loudly or immoderately

Cachinnate derives from the Latin verb cachinnare, meaning “to laugh loudly,” and cachinnare was probably coined in imitation of a loud laugh. As such, cachinnare is much like the Old English ceahhetan, the Old High German kachazzen, and the Greek kachazein—all words of imitative origin that essentially meant “to laugh loudly.” Our words giggle and guffaw are unrelated to those (and to each other) but they too are believed to have been modeled after the sound of laughter. HAHAHA

Ok, so here’s my story. I was all set to wend my post about the word wend, when my computer decided it was DONE! Truth be told, I don’t shut it down and I have been overloading it and working it hard for the last 7 weeks….so it went on strike. The next day it took most of the day to get my windows closed (oh there were LOTS) and then to get High Sierra loaded, plus it snowed…I need to get it together before I get too far behind the eight ball so to speak and then it becomes a cachinnating matter. Synonym was laughing over how I am teaching her some mighty big words, like zoomorphic. She is often drawn to animals and their likenesses. Funny enough she is working on a totem pole in art class. Last week she told me she started with a panda and it was “in progress. To be determined what else if anything gets added.” Stay tuned folks, because Monday is Art class! Life tends to wend us this way or that way. It is something I am learning to question less and trust more. Emulate animals more, worry less, cachinnate more!

Maieutic

December 8, 2017Read More

maieutic
\may-YOO-tik\
adjective

: relating to or resembling the Socratic Method of eliciting new ideas from another

Socratic debate, according to wikipedia, “is a form of cooperative argumentative dialog based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and draw out ideas and underlying presumptions.” Maieutic comes from maieutikos, the Greek word for “of midwifery.” In one of Plato’s Dialogues, Socrates applies maieutikos to his method of bringing forth new ideas by reasoning and dialogue; he thought the technique was analogous to the way a midwife delivers a baby (Socrates’ mother was a midwife – wow what a connection there!). A teacher who uses maieutic methods can be thought of as an intellectual midwife who assists students in bringing forth ideas and conceptions previously latent in their minds. This is definitely a technique Homonym employs in his classroom. Asking questions as an inroad to figuring out what you really believe in is an age old technique. Questions lay the fertile ground where seeds of knowledge and awareness can be planted and cultivated. Just be careful what you dig up. I have been on a big quest for answers, but what I am finding is that there are no answers – only more questions.