This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Sunday Rest: eleemosynary. Word Not To Use Today.

I've been aware of this word for most of my life, but it's so utterly horrible that until now I've always pretended it doesn't exist.

I suppose it's the double e that's the very worst bit - horrendously out-of-place in a Latinate word like you-know-what - and even after you've got rid of the nasty double e the word whinges its life away in a whine: mosynary. Hideous! 

The word means begun with, or depending upon, or given as, charity. Of course this only makes things even worse, because charity should be given with a humble heart, and the last thing we should be doing is drawing attention to it with long words. 

Especially hideous ones.

File:Van Dyck - Charity.jpg
Charity, by Anthony van Dyck.

Sunday Rest: eleemosynary (I actually find it physically painful to type that word). It comes from the church Latin eleēmosyna, which means alms, from the Greek eleēmosynē, compassion, from elios, pity.

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