Adopting words: senticous

Now, this is really a great word if you’re looking for the perfect word to describe a cat, or a cactus, or a briar patch, or someone who’s rather harsh. The word is senticous — what does it mean? Read below. 

senticous

adj. 1657

: prickly, thorny

He pricked himself on a senticous bush as he searched about for his golf ball.

The Phrontistery says this word was in use for one year — 1657.  I can’t find much else on it. 

I’ve used this word many times already — mainly to describe my mood. It works perfectly. Give it a try!

Adopting words: bimarian

For this week of lovey-dovey-ness and emotions running high, I thought I’d save a word that has to do with the sea. In several different schools of thought (not all, but definitely Western ones) water and emotions are connected. Even the words for sea and love in Latin — mare and amare — are similar. 

 

bimarian

 

adj. 1731

pertaining to two seas

Sentence: My travels have been mainly bimarian, but I would like to see more than just the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.


 

Phrontistery says this word was in usage for just one year, but it’s such a great word I’m sure we can bring it back.

show me your words

So now that my weekly word-blogging has begun, perhaps some of you would like to start using those words? In a poem perhaps?

You could speak of the bimarian quality of Canada (that word is next week, folks) or what is vanmost on your mind when you think of this Great White North. You could comment on the senticous nature of some of Canada’s native plants, or the world’s amandation of Canada’s achievements. 

I’m talking about, of course, my pet project Poems for Obama. The end is nigh — it’s time to show me your words, Canada!

We need your poems! The President is coming to Canada on the 19th of February, so we want to get cracking so we maybe have something to show him? Yes?

Send me your poems! Well, send them to my mom. Her email’s on the Poems for Obama blog. 

And I will see you at…um…the beach?

Adopting Words: amandation

A blog about the word amandation, to save it from extinction.

This weeks word is “amandation”! It probably doesn’t mean what you think it means. Keep on reading to learn more!

amandation

n. 1656 – 1755

act of sending away, dispelling, dismissing

Sample sentence:  Tony’s curt amandation of his guests earned him a reputation for being a nasty jerk
Phrontistery lists this word as being used for 99 years — from 1656 to 1755. I can’t find it in the OED but it may be related to Amanda
fem. proper name, lit. “worthy to be loved,” fem. of L. amandus, ger. of amare “to love” (see Amy).
If so, it’s interesting to note the almost polar differences between the two words. 
UPDATE: A reader, Minnesotastan, pointed me to a much more likely word relation: mandate.  Mandate means “an order” and a means “away” (apathy, atheist, etc) — to order away. Sounds much more likely than any connection to “amanda”.

Adopting Words: vanmost

A blog about a word that is in danger of going extinct.

Huh? How can you adopt a word?

Well, you may not realize this, but dictionaries are only receptacles of words that are in common usage. The less we use those words, the less likely it is they will be included — and thus are dropped from the dictionary and our vocabularies.

There are some great words out there. Just check out Save the Words if you don’t believe me.

I’ve adopted a word today, and I’m going to blog about it. I’ll do this again, when I adopt a new word. And then I’ll use these words in my everyday communication. Hopefully I’ll help to save them.

vanmost

adv., 1865

in the front; foremost

Sample sentence: Her health was vanmost on her list of priorities. 

According to The Phrontistery vanmost was only in use for one year — 1865. I wasn’t able to find vanmost on the Online Etymology Dictionary, but I did find vanguard:

c.1450, vaunt garde, from M.Fr. avant-garde, from avant “in front” + garde “guard.” Communist revolutionary sense is recorded from 1928.

And I’m quite sure the two words are related through “van”. 

 

Well, that’s it for today. Be sure to tune in next week for another word to bring back to common usage! 

Good luck, and good night. 

-Katje van Loon 

The Smell of Hope in the Morning

We’ve come to the end of an era, my friends. Not a particularly lovely era. A dark age, to be precise. We’ve come through the night and a new day has dawned, bright and shining (and misty in Nanaimo) — a new day, and we can have hope again, because change has come. 

He’s human, of course. We all are. I do not think we should worship the man. I think we should be grateful for what he’s brought us — hope — and for the chance we have to get things fixed. I think we as Canadians should be grateful there is a leader in charge of our neighbor to the south who will actually give a rat’s ass about what goes on in Canada, what matters to Canadians, and the relationship between our countries, which has become strained of late. 

I think Obama cares. But I think we have to take the initiative to let him know. I think we need to take the first step, the step that says “Dear Obama — we are Canadian, and this is what matters to us — this is what being Canadian is.”  CBC has done this with Obama’s Playlist — a collection of 49 songs from north of the 49th parallel that demonstrate Canuckitude. And now Kaimana Wolff, inspired by CBC’s project, has started Poems for Obama, a drive to collect 49 Canadian poems to send to the 44th president as an, albeit late, inaguaration present. 

I’m submitting my poem transit stories, and Kaimana is submitting some poems as well. We already have submissions from poets such as Susan Musgrave — you don’t need to be published or famous to submit. Just Canadian, or close enough to make no nevermind (living in Canada as a Canadian is more important that a piece of paper declaring your citizenship). We want poems that demonstrate what being Canadian is — poems with real Canadian content. 

We’re sure you can do this, Canada. Come on — let your light shine. 

-Katje
who is partying like there’s no tomorrow