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Wonderful words from the farmette


It's sunny and cold today at the farmette. With the change to daylight savings time, it's back to being dark in the morning...in fact, when I went to get the newspaper, the moon hadn't even set yet. See?

When it's really frigid and peaceful and the light is just starting to make itself known, the farmette looks and feels pretty bucolic. Odd word that - it sounds like something the cat threw up and it actually means serene and pastoral. This got me thinking about words - I am a writer, after all - and how some of them are so fascinating.

Cacaphonous is a gorgeous word that sounds just like the thing it describes. Today, the Canada geese flying overhead for their early-morning reconnaissance mission broke the dawn silence with their cacophonous calls. Which makes me think of another word that's completely scrumptious - onomatopoeia - the word that describes words that sound like what they're describing, if you get my drift.

Obstreporous is a beauty I learned from a friend many, many years ago. She was the only child of a physics professor and learned a great many multi-syllabic words early on. When I knew her, she was still exhibiting quite a lot of the noisy and difficult-to-control traits that go along with the adjective her dad assigned her.

Evanescent is a curious one along the lines of bucolic. While it sounds like it should apply to the bubbly that emerges from a uncorked bottle, it actually means fading, vanishing or disappearing. Kind of like what I'd really like the dirty white coat that's hanging on at the farmette to do - sooner rather than later.

Diastema is a cool word I learned from my dental hygienist when she was doing all that fussy measuring when you're a new patient. It describes a gap in the teeth - usually the front two - like the whopper I have. When I learned it, I actually thought it sounded like a Greek goddess - which made me slightly less self-conscious about the gigantic space that kept me from grinning toothily through my awkward teen years.

Sesquicentennial is one that's a bit hard to get your tongue around, but I like it because it has weight - 150 years worth - which is what our lovely, mostly tolerant country is celebrating this year. It also has a 'q' in it, and everyone likes 'q's, don't they?

Speaking of which, quixotic has always been a favourite. 'Exceedingly idealistic, unrealistic and impractical' is the official definition, and it came from the lovely character Cervantes created in the 17th century. I think that, in this depressingly cynical day and age, we need a few more quixotic people to balance things out. Plus the word has an 'x' as well as a 'q', so how much better does it get, really?

So that's it for today - a Sunday morning meander down the rabbit hole of musings about words. I bet there are lots of voracious readers like me who have favourites - how about you?


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