This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Word To Use Today: nuptials.

Oh, nuptials is a lovely word. It means, of course, to do with weddings or courtship. Birds, for instance, often grow special nuptial plumage, like this, which give a mandarin drake its finest feathers.

Even insects go in for the odd spot of nuptials: in their case nuptial flights. This is what those swarms of winged ants are doing when they fill the air on calm summer days.

You may possibly have heard that we humans are having some nuptials in England today. In fact we're really having a proper do. If you wish the young couple well (and we surely wish every young couple well) then the goddess Juno is

 quene and patronesse of the commocyons nuptial

as William Caxton put it so beautifully in one of the earliest printed English books; so a quick prayer to Juno may possibly ensure the rain holds off at the most critical moments.

But even if it doesn't, I do hope that everyone who watches the wedding of Prince William and Miss Middleton enjoys the nuptial commotions very much indeed.

And a long and happy life to everyone currently involved in the convolutions of a nuptial dance!

Word To Use Today: nuptials. This word came into English from the French, and before that from the Portuguese nupcial, the Italian nuziale and the Latin nub─ôre, to marry.


  1. The Nuptial Commocyons (I will use that spelling henceforth) were fan-blooming-tastic! See what I did there? I used TMESIS! Nothing if not a diligent pupil, me!

  2. And Juno (or someone) even sorted out the weather for everyone, too.

    Yes, it was an utterly glorious day!