Ancient words of the day: Arcadian Idyll

Arcadian Idyll: an idealised vision about rural life, a country paradise. Arcadia was and still is, a mountainous region in Greece. It was populated mainly by shepherds and the sleepy and fluffy flocks of sheep. In reality, rural life in Arcadia was harsh, poor and beholden to the ravages of unpredictable weather.    However thatContinue reading “Ancient words of the day: Arcadian Idyll”

Ancient word of the day: Kraken

A Kraken is a mythical behemoth. A man-eating and fearsome gigantic cephalopod that drove fear into the hearts of sea-going Scandanavians. The word kraken comes from the Swedish word “krake”, which means twisted. Seen traditionally as a beast to be feared and respected, it also embodied a sense of deep oceanic magic and mystery. KrakenContinue reading “Ancient word of the day: Kraken”

Ancient Word of the Day: Grimmelings

Although similar to the gloaming, grimmelings is a slightly different natural phenomenon at both ends of the rotating sun’s traverse across the sky. Grimmelings – The first or last gleams of the day (Scots, esp. Orkney). From the Norwegian “grimla”, to glimmer before the eyes, to twinkle or blink. Also “grimlins”. Or “the harlot’s hour”:Continue reading “Ancient Word of the Day: Grimmelings”

The quirky meander through the origins of language in the Polish calendar

With a few exceptions that are Latin, the Polish month names of the year take more from the Pagan world of seasonal changes, rather than from the Latin calendar that we all know and use in English. What’s even more interesting is that even though Poland is historically a Catholic country, they chose to distanceContinue reading “The quirky meander through the origins of language in the Polish calendar”

Ancient Word of the Day: Hibernal

Hibernal From Latin hībernālis (“wintry”), from hiems (“winter”), hibernal is term for something that refers to winter. On this, the long, long night of Winter Solistice of the southern hemisphere, the dawns and the gloamings grow ever deeper and more thickly velveteen black. Although this point in time marks the darkest, longest night and from this kernel grows the essence ofContinue reading “Ancient Word of the Day: Hibernal”

Ancient words of the day: Glamour and grammar

Glamour is an 18th Century corruption of the word grammar. Or the occult processes that were traditionally associated with learning during the middle ages. The words grammar and glamour are also associated with the word grimoire – a spell-book. Glamourie: witchcraft, magic, fascination or a spell Glaumerify: to cast a spell over or bewich Glamour-bead:Continue reading “Ancient words of the day: Glamour and grammar”

Ancient word of the day: Tsundoku

The Japanese word, “Tsundoku”, which literally means “reading pile”, dates back all the way to the Meiji era (1868-1912). It’s a unique word for which there is no English equivalent. If you’re an avid reader though, you will well understand that feeling…it’s pure happiness, the feeling of knowing that you have many more books readyContinue reading “Ancient word of the day: Tsundoku”

Ancient word of the day: Dægeseage

The ancient word of the day is Dægeseage. This is an old English word for daisy. The origin of Dægeseage is literally daisy or day’s eye. Which makes sense when you think about the quaint little flower and its tendency to follow the arc of the sun through the sky from dawn to dusk, soaking in as much light and goodness as possible.

Ancient word of the day: Bóithrín

The word bóithrín comes from small (ín) Cow (bó) path. This is a path can either be man-made or created by cow meandering. Bóthar for road and botharín for small road – in the diminutive form. This became boreen or bohereen in Hiberno-English.