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AWADmail Issue 544A Weekly Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Tidbits about Words and Language
This week's Email of the Week is from Sue Wright (see below), who will get to choose an Uppityshirt, and there's a heck of a selection.
From: Pat Hankins (claypath earthlink.net)
I look forward to AWAD every day but this week was special. I learned about a word, contemplated the Thought and delighted in Leah's imaginative and whimsical illustrations. I look forward to her next contributions. Thank you for making my day.
Pat Hankins, Meansville, Georgia
From: M Henri Day (mhenriday gmail.com)
Interesting to note that the nominal form of this word has inspired the name of the stock exchange in many European countries: bourse, borsa, bolsa, börs, børs, etc., etc. That's what I call concretisation!
M Henri Day, Stockholm, Sweden
From: Brett Beiles (brettb hardyboys.co.za)
A while ago I visited my doctor because of a swelling on an elbow.
After examining it, he announced, "You have a barsa."
Brett Beiles, Westville, South Africa
From: David Skulski (david.skulski gmail.com)
This fine word immediately brought to mind a musical work that was an important part of my career in historical music, the Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares in Seaven Passionate Pavanes (London, 1604) by John Dowland (rhymes with "Poland"). Each pavan (a stately dance) is a variant of his famous song, Flow my Tears.
David Skulski, Vancouver, Canada
From: Sue Wright (Suelwright aol.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--lachrymal
The word lachrymal brought back a 35-year-old memory. Our only son was doing his sophomore year at his university's Rome campus. Just turned 19, he had left -- my "baby". Imagine my surprise to receive a letter from him saying, "I had the most delightful wine called Lacrima Christi. I hope we can have it again when I come home at Christmas." How six months abroad had matured him. I was positively lacrymose the rest of the day!
Sue Wright, Lakeway, Texas
From: Dorothy S. Stewart (latinlogos austin.rr.com)
As a Latinist, I am very familiar with this word and its origin. Virgil's lacrimae rerum immediately springs to mind. There is a related word which you might find interesting: lacrimatorium (or tear catcher). In the Middle East, when a husband returns from a journey, his wife presents him with a decorative jar, the mouth of which is shaped like an eye into which she has cried. The amount of her tears represents her love for him. Of course, she could always just put in salted water.
Dorothy S. Stewart, Cedar Park, Texas
From: Sue Frankewicz (suefrankewicz gmail.com)
You should include the alternate spelling, lacrimal. My team was unfairly eliminated from our community spelling bee earlier this month due to this oversight and received an apology the next day from the official in charge.
Sue Fraser Frankewicz, Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts
From: RGregory (via Wordsmith Talk discussion forum)
In chemistry, the term for the class of chemicals that includes Mace and tear gas is lachrymator. It is often listed as a hazard for materials that cause tearing and spasms of the eyelids. I got hit with the vapor of phenyl isocyanate once when a safety system failed, and my tears flowed like a river, and my eyes couldn't stay open for more than about a few milliseconds! It was the most unusual experience -- I was fine, it was literally just my eyes.
From: Richard Pena (rpenaa aol.com)
Reminds me of lachrymose that, if I recall correctly, was one of the six stages of drunkenness. They are verbose, jocose, morose, lachrymose, bellicose, and comatose.
Richard Pena, Bonita, California
From: Claudine Voelcker (claudine.voelcker googlemail.com)
In Alsace where I grew up, we used to wassail the cows and oxen and horses too just before going to midnight mass on Christmas Eve. They would also get extra provender to thank them for their work over the year and let them know it's Christmas.
Claudine Voelcker, Munich, Germany
From: Rita Bhimani (ritabhimani gmail.com)
I made an invitation card some twenty years ago, with the following limerick for one of my parties. It went thus:
After a long, hot summer of madness
Rita Bhimani, Kolkata, India
From: Steve Mansfield (stephen.mansfield nhs.net)
In early January next year we shall be helping to wassail the apple trees of Cookley, just south of Birmingham in the English Midlands.
Toasted bread and streamers will be hung in the trees, shotguns (well, fireworks) will be fired through the branches, speeches will be made, and 'Wassail' will be shouted, dances danced, and the occasional performance-enhancing glass of cider may also be consumed, for purely medicinal purposes of course.
Steve Mansfield, Stockport, UK
From: Kerrie Blennerhassett (k_blennerhassett hotmail.com)
We go to a wassail at a cider farm in Sussex. It is considered a pagan festival, where the old spirits are ushered out and new good spirits (or could be good/bad spirits) are welcomed in. It is great fun with a big bonfire, dancing and much merrymaking. Just what you need after the doldrums of Xmas have set in.
Kerrie Blennerhassett, UK
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:Words are the soul's ambassadors, who go / Abroad upon her errands to and fro. -James Howell, writer (c. 1594-1666)