Sally M (sallymn) wrote in 1word1day,
Sally M

Sunday Word: Splendiferous

splendiferous [splen-dif-er-uh s]
(Informal) splendid, magnificent; fine; extraordinarily or showily impressive


I want to write something most splendiferous to-day, and I am sure to find it in your face. (J M Barrie, Tommy and Grizel)

Near the garden is an extraordinary couture dress by Ms Chiuri and Mr Piccioli for Valentino; its metal-thread embroidery translates Cranach’s Adam and Eve, and its flora and fauna, into splendiferous ornament. (Jason Farago, 'Heavenly Bodies' Brings the Fabric of Faith to the Met, New York Times, May 2018)

Try the crispy fried faux-duck or the door-stopper-sized two-"cheese" and tomato toastie, and then order one of their splendiferous vegan custom cakes adorned with fruits, velvety icing and big native flowers.(Lenny Ann Low, Kurumac review: Japanese cool makes for a calming experience, New York Times, Nov 2019)


Considered a playful elaboration since its re-birth in 1843, but in 15c it was good English, from Medieval Latin splendorifer, from splendor + ferre 'to bear, carry,"'from PIE root bher- (1) 'to carry,' also 'to bear children.' Compare 15c splendidious, also splendacious (1843). Bartlett (1859) offers this, allegedly from 'An itinerant gospeller... holding forth to a Kentuckian audience on the kingdom of heaven':

"Heaven, my beloved hearers," said he, "is a glorious, a beautiful, a splendiferous, an angeliferous place. Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, it has not entered into the imagination of any Cracker in these here diggings what carryings on the just made perfect have up thar." (Online Etymology Dictionary)

Tags: adjective, english, english: informal, english: medieval, latin, wordsmith: sallymn

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