This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Thing To Be Today: ebullient.

No, it's all right, luckily this is nothing to do with being a bully, it's to do with boiling.

A good cup of tea needs to be made with ebullient water; an ebulliometer works out the boiling-point of liquids. 

An ebullioscopy is, thankfully, nothing to do with exploratory surgery with a boiling-hot implement, but a way of finding out what a liquid is made of by the way its boiling point changes.

The water in which you cook your potatoes must undergo a process of ebullition - and that's a phrase you don't come across very often in cookery books. 

Hmm...perhaps there's an opening there....Cookery for Chemists or something...

By this point you are probably saying to yourself, with your usual acuity, but the last thing I want to do is reach boiling point, so what on earth is the silly woman going on about?

Well, boiling is to do with being bubbly, and in a human being ebullience is to do with overflowing with excitement, enthusiasm or exuberance.

It's harder for we English than for most of the rest of you, but, come on, I'm sure even we English can make the effort to raise both eyebrows if we receive the letter telling us we've won the competition.

Otherwise, there's always sport, I suppose. That seems to bring out a natural ebullience.

It would be insensitive for me to mention Test Matches but, hey, Millwall FC actually won the other day: they got more goals than the other side, and everything.

And I, for one, intend to be jolly ebullient about it while I can.

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Thing To Be Today: ebullient. This word comes from the Latin ēbullīre to bubble forth, be boisterous, from bullīre, to boil. 

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