This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Sunday Rest: auspicious. Word Not To Use Today.

The word auspicious is the sort of will-he won't-he sneeze where you're confronted by an anxious and gasping face and you find yourself wondering whether to pretend you haven't noticed your companion appears to be dying, or else to dive for cover under the nearest table.


...(will he? Won't he?)...



Auspicious usually means favourable or hopeful (it's sometimes used to mean special, too, but that's likely to bring down scorn upon the speaker so I wouldn't advise it).

Fortunately, however silly the word auspicious might be, it doesn't mean that being hopeful ever entirely goes out of fashion.

It's just that sometimes it's very much harder work.

Sunday Rest: auspicious. This word comes from the Latin auspex, an observer of birds, from avis bird plus specere to look. A Roman fortune-teller watched birds including eagles, vultures, woodpeckers, owls and ravens, and he got his answers by both watching their flight and listening to their voices.

There have been owls hooting round here, lately. What they were saying I cannot say, but it sounded most like noooo...


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