Ancient Word of the Day: Hell Kettle

Hell Kettle: n. A deep abyss or bottomless pool The deep pools in Darlington, Co. Durham in England are a part of fearsome local legend. These mysterious pools are said to have inspired Lewis Carroll’s endless rabbithole, where Alice tumbles into another world – in his classic book Alice in Wonderland. They are known asContinue reading “Ancient Word of the Day: Hell Kettle”

Ancient Word of the Day: Cuneiform

Cuneiform: n. The oldest known writing system that originated in Mesopotamia circa 3400BC. It was etched onto wet clay tablets using a wedge-shaped stylus. Cuneiform is the original ancient written language that underpins all modern forms of written communication. Many languages throughout a vast geographical span over thousands of years were written in cuneiform, includingContinue reading “Ancient Word of the Day: Cuneiform”

Ancient Word of the Day: Hooly

Hooly or Huly: Adv. ‘To proceed gently or softly, with steadiness or caution.’ Scottish/Irish The word Hooly first appeared in English in the 14th Century. It was found in the Scottish expression Hooly and Fairly, meaning ‘to proceed slowly, carefully and cautiously.’ Over time, the word came to have negative connotations and hooliness or hulinesssContinue reading “Ancient Word of the Day: Hooly”

Ancient Word of the Day: Lacuna

Lacuna \ lə-​ˈkü-​nər a little lake. Or a pause, gap or break in a text, painting or musical work. Latin lacūna: “little lake”. Word of the day: “lacuna”- in a manuscript, an inscription, or the text of an author: a hiatus, blank, missing portion (OED n.1) A word borrowed from Latin in the 17th CenturyContinue reading “Ancient Word of the Day: Lacuna”

Ancient Words of the Day: Anglii/Angle/Ankle

One of the oldest English words recorded is Anglii used first in the year 98 AD by Roman historian Gaius Cornelius Tacitus (ca. 56-120 AD) Anglii i.e “the Angles,” literally “people of Angul” (Old Norse Öngull). Tacitus wrote in 98AD in his book ‘Germania’ about the various Teutonic tribes he came into contact with includingContinue reading “Ancient Words of the Day: Anglii/Angle/Ankle”

Ancient Word of the Day: Nadir

Nadir ˈnā-ˌdir (from Arabic) The lowest or worst point. The sunken place of great depression or degradation. Astronomically, it is the point to opposite to the zenith. Merlin by Ralph Waldo Emerson He shall not seek to weave,In weak unhappy times,Efficacious rhymes;Wait his returning strength,Bird, that from the nadir’s floor,To the zenith’s top could soar,TheContinue reading “Ancient Word of the Day: Nadir”

Hauntingly relevant ancient Mesoptamian Proverbs about love and friendship

A mere friend will agree with you, but a real friend will argue. ~ Assyrian Proverb Tell me your friends, and I’ll tell you who you are. ~ Assyrian Proverb Friendship is for the day of trouble, posterity for the future. ~ Babylonian Proverb What comes from the heart is known by the heart. ~Continue reading “Hauntingly relevant ancient Mesoptamian Proverbs about love and friendship”

Ancient word of the day: Flukra

As the southern hemisphere turns now towards the colder months we are all finding comfort into our nests and getting cosy for the winter. In New Zealand and the southern parts of Australia we are experiencing snow in the alpine regions. So it seems appropriate now to talk about the many ancient words for snow.Continue reading “Ancient word of the day: Flukra”

Ancient word of the day: Apricity

Apricity was a term originally coined by English lexicographer Henry Cockeram to denote the “the warmeness of the Sunne in Winter”. This photo I took during a particularly chilling end of autumn day in Japan in Ginkaku-ji Temple, Kyoto. Note how the sun falls in cascades of enveloping warmth onto the golden tinged leaves. ApricityContinue reading “Ancient word of the day: Apricity”