April 24th, 2014

words are sexy

Thursday word: limotherapy

limotherapy (lim-oh-THER-uh-pee) - n., the treatment of disease by reduced diet or fasting; hunger-cure.

Not practiced very much any more, but a medical dictionary from the turn of the 20th century notes that it "has been" used in the treatment of aneurysm, by which I think it means a stroke. The Greek root here is limós, hunger, which also appears as the second half of bulimia (where the first is an intensifying prefix derived from bous, ox -- go fig). Possibly this could be extended to modern detoxifying therapies, but my understanding is those involve more than simple fasting but include purgative doses. On the other hand, I can definitely see considering going cold turkey as a sort of limited limotherapy.

It's not limotherapy -- it's Yom Kippur.

me Shakespeareman

Shakespearean Imagination

Friends, what cheer?

It's Wednesday again (or as good as), which means another installment of Shakespearean Imagination!

This week marks the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s baptism, and by extrapolation, his birth! Scholars are uncertain of his exact birthday, but records show he was baptised on 26th April 1564, which would indicate a birthday somewhere 2-4 days prior. Stratford-Upon-Avon officially notes Shakespeare’s birthday as 23 April, but again, there are no official records to confirm that.

In any case, experts agree that Shakespeare was born during this week in 1564, so in honor of the Bard’s 450th birthday, I give you one of my favourite Shakespeare-invented words:

swagger : swag•ger /ˈswagər/ (verb)(noun)(adjective):

- walk or behave in a very confident and typically arrogant or aggressive way

- a very confident and typically arrogant or aggressive gait or manner

- denoting a coat or jacket cut with a loose flare from the shoulders

Synonyms as a verb: strut, parade, stride, boast, brag, bluster, crow, gloat, posture
Synonyms as a noun: strut, confidence, arrogance, ostentation, bluster, vainglory

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

For more information on the celebrations around Shakespeare's birthday, there's a whole website here. The celebrations are this weekend!