ellesieg (ellesieg) wrote in 1word1day,

Tuesday Word: nictitate

I woke up with this word stuck in my head and spent many happy hours confusing it with advesperate (to approach evening). Advesperate has a gentle sound to it, right? It's a beautiful sunset or lamps being lit or cats sleeping in front of a roaring fire. Nictitate, however, brings to mind visions of the dead rising from their graves to feast upon the living. "I AM NIGHT, THE DARKENER OF WORLDS."

Or not, because I am probably far too eager for even remotely harsh-sounding words to have some deeply sinister meaning, and as I found when I finally looked it up, to nictitate is...to wink or blink. Some animals (birds, sharks, polar bears) have a nictitating membrane, a protective, see-through third eyelid. There's also nictate, which means the same thing.

"EVERYTHING CAN CHANGE IN THE NICTITATION OF AN EYE" [cue pipe organ music and ominous scraping sounds]
Tags: latin, n, verb, wordsmith: ellesieg

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