mjj (flemmings) wrote,
mjj
flemmings

Language

I suppose I must join 1word1day. I know some of the words, including yesterday's one, apogee. We have a kid who says something very close to that all the time. His dad actually called us once to ask what K was asking for when he kept saying abogee and pointing to the fridge. We still don't know. It's not apple juice because he never gets apple juice. It's now distinguished from milk and water and cracker. I think it means 'that thing I want that might appear if I ask for it enough.' (This is a common and frustrating phenomenon. Kids will point to a shelf, and even though we offer them everything on the shelf, they reject it all and continue to point with increasing insistence and wails, hoping that we will make the phantom Whatever magically appear, since we make everything else magically appear. Tell you, sometimes it's hard being God.)

But I actually wanted to link to Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day. Uhtcearu - n., (obs.) lying awake worrying before dawn.

"...to break that down to its Old English components, uht(a) is the last hour of the night, just before dawn, and caeru is the ancestor of care in the sense of concern, which at the time had added meanings of anxiety/sorrow. This is used (in surviving records) only once in Old English, which makes it a hapax legomenon, but has been reappearing in word lists of interesting forgotten words in its nominative plural form, uhtceare."

Old English poetry likes to stick words together to express lovely ideas. Like its descendent German, but not nearly as thumpingly.
Tags: language, rl
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