Are any of you fans of a.w.a.d. (a word a day)? Every day this week I’ve gleefully hoovered up a.w.a.d.’s offerings and tucked them into my “Great Words” file. This week’s focus has been on words with a high degree of specificity, which I’m a big fan of. Plus, all of the week’s words have been ones I’ve not encountered before. Which I also love.
Ever wonder what to call all that stuff surrounding your knee?That would be crural (KROOR-uhl) , meaning relating to the leg, from the Latin crus (leg).
Have you been stumped for a nifty way to say that something has five parts? That would be quinary (KWY-nuh-ree), meaning: 1. Relating to five, 2. Fifth in a series, 3. Having five things or arranged in five.
And how’s this for an example of quinary in a sentence?
If I had a “Great Sentence” file, the above sentence would zoom to the top of that list.
Now here’s quite possibly my favorite all-time word: petrichor, which describes that wonderful smell rising off the street after rain comes after a long period of no rain. Petrichor was another gem unearthed for me by the a.w.a.d. people. In addition to the a.w.a.d.ers, we have two Down under Aussie guys, Bear and Thomas, to thank for petrichor’s creation.
petrichor (pron.:/ˈpɛtrɨkər/ or /ˈpɛtrɨkɔər/) is the scent of rain on dry earth. The word is constructed from Greek, petra, meaning stone + ichor, the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology. It is defined as “the distinctive scent which accompanies the first rain after a long warm dry spell”.
Do words come any more beautiful than this? I don’t think so.