Are you in need of a pick-me-up? A medicine, a new dress, or a day at the seaside?
Perhaps the tonic you long for most is tonic water, which is fizzy water flavoured with quinine. Tonic water is most often used for making gin last longer, though it also makes a good tempura batter for elderflower fritters.
A tonic can also be the stressed bit of a word. It's the TON bit of tonic, for example.
Then there's what musicians call the tonic, which is nothing to do with feeling livelier but instead, oddly, to do with not wanting to move at all.
For instance, if you start to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (no, no, it's all right, it's not as if you're ever going to see any of those people on the train again, is it?) but you stop singing just before giving voice to the last note, you'll find you're left with a strong on-the-edge-of-a-cliff feeling, and you'll have a powerful desire to sing the last note to get back your sense of being on firm land. That last "back-on-firm-ground" note is the tonic note of your (I'm sure splendid) rendition.
Tonic sol-fa is a way of learning to sing. It's explained here:
And could we find a better tonic to cheer us up?
I'm not sure we could.
Word To Use Today: tonic. This word comes from the Greek word tonos, tension, from teinein, to stretch.