Wintry words

snowflakeEven before words became my trade, they fascinated me. I was one of those weird kids who actually looked forward to vocabulary lists and looking up all those meanings.

I loved spending the night with my BFF in high school because her father challenged us at breakfast with a new word for the day. One of Mr. C’s words was ratiocinate.

Now, I have to admit that I didn’t use ratiocinate much except when my children were younger. During my children’s heated arguments, I’d say, “Let’s keep the ratiocinating to a dull roar.” Hearing the big would quiet the raised voices until they caught on. Even now the word comes to mind more than you’d think.

Btw, ratiocinate means to reason or argue rationally. ORIGIN, according to Dictionary.com: 1635-45; < Latin ratiōcinātus past participle of ratiōcinārī to reckon, calculate, conclude, verbal derivative of ratiō reason

As I write my stories and blogs, I try to not to repeat the same words over and over. My thesaurus paperback is well worn and tea stained. I think I’m on my third or fourth copy. My fingers will automatically go to Shift F7 so Microsoft Word can instantly bring up their embedded thesaurus. Other times I go to Thesaurus.com to come up appropriate synonyms.

Lately I’ve been overusing wintery words like cold, frosty, frozen, icy, chilly, winter, hibernate to name a few. Who doesn’t with the wintery weather plummeting the country? Does your backyard look like this? Mine does.winter

I headed to my trusted sources and found some alternates for the overused words. How about these?

Hibernaculum instead of hibernate ORIGIN: 1690-1700; from Latin: winter residence

Gelid instead of icy ORIGIN: c.1600 from Latin gelidus icy cold, from gelu frost

Frore instead of frozen ORIGIN: 1200-50; Middle English froren past participle of Old English frēosan to freeze

Just think about it, Disney could have used Frore for the title of their popular movie, FROZEN.

Hiemal instead of winter ORIGIN: “pertaining to winter,” 1550s, from Latin hiems “winter”

Algid instead of cold ORIGIN: 1620-30 from Latin algidus, from algēre to be cold

I’m wondering how my newfound wintry words will work on social media or in my current work in progress. Do you think the new words will work?

If you shook your head, I think you’re correct.

There are so many, many wonderful words in dictionaries and thesauruses. Unfortunately, we use them less and less because of texting and tweeting.

My BFF’s father Mr. C would be so sad to see how we’re wasting words.

I know the trend makes me sad.

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