June 21st, 2012

words are sexy

spumescent

spumescent (spyoo-MES-uhnt) - adj., frothy, foaming.


Like the white froth on waves -- literally, as while spume can refer to foam in general it's often specifically foam on surf. Coined in the late 1850s from spume (itself borrowed in the late 1300s from Old French espume, from Latin spūma) + -escent, a Latin participial ending for inceptive/inchoative verbs -- that is, for becoming like the stem.

Yes, but the bubbles on champagne are supposed to be effervescent, not spumescent.

---L.
me boats

Shakespearean Imagination

Good even, my friends!

It's still Wednesday somewhere, which means another installment of Shakespearean Imagination!

On the eve of the Summer Solstice (or Midsummer), I've decided to give you this word from A Midsummer Night's Dream:

beached : beach·d /bēCH 'd/ (v - past tense) (v - past participle) (adj) :

(as a past participle or simple past tense of the verb, beach):
1. Run or haul up (a boat or ship) onto a beach.
2. Cause (a whale or similar animal) to become stranded out of the water.

(as an adjective) :
something which has been stranded out of water, whether deliberately or no.

Synonyms: stranded - grounded - abandoned - deserted - wrecked - marooned - interestingly, the synonyms work both as verbs and adjectives also!

First seen in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (written 1595-1596). The full text of the play may be found here.

As an added bonus, because it's Midsummer (and because this is one of my favourite Shakespearean comedies!) the excerpt in which beached appears is below the cut:

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