This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Thing To Do Today If Only In The Imagination: be verecund.

What's the point of a word that's only usable by nineteenth century clergymen?

'How did you find Mr Quakeful, archdeacon?'

'Painfully verecund, your grace.'

I can think of two points. 

One: for the sheer pleasure of a new word to charm our ears and form new links among our synapses. 

Two: for the fun of being able to think like nineteenth century clergymen.

'I feared as much when I found him hiding in the cope chest amongst the Lenten chasubles, archdeacon.'

'I understand Mr Quakeful was in some distress at the prospect of an encounter with your lady wife, your grace.'

'1 Thessalonians 5:8*, archdeacon.' 

'Psalm 46:1**, your grace.'

Thing To Do Today If Only In The Imagination: be verecund. This word means shy or modest. It comes from the Latin verēcundus, diffident, from verērī, to fear.  

*But let us who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love and for a helmet the hope of salvation.

**God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

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