All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
-- Shakespeare, As You Like It, ~1598
This week we will take words to exemplify each of Shakespeare's seven ages. Perhaps readers can provide more and better exemplars.
At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms. (mewl – to cry weakly; whimper; to squall)
The combined sounds of Shakespeare's verbs suggest today's word:
pule – to whimper; to whine, as a complaining child
Today's quotation, while not new, has a modern ring:
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school.
hobbledehoy – a gawky adolescent boy
What a perfect word. Its sound captures the essence of a scarecrow-awkward lad.
This word came up in a book I'm reading and certainly can be used to describe many adolescents: tatterdemalion, meaning: "wearing tattered or ragged clothing; a ragamuffin".
[This message was edited by Kalleh on Wed Nov 6th, 2002 at 21:02.]
quote:According to the Oxford Dictionary, this Shakespeare (1598) is the first recorded use of puke meaning "to vomit". Puke had previously meant a dark brown colour, but in the face of the new meaning the old meaning disappeared rapidly; its last recorded use was in 1615.
You go, Willie!
And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow.
Surely, among so many words for various forms of love, there must be words for this moony infatuation of sonneteering "a woeful ballad / Made to his mistress' eyebrow". Yet the closest I can find deal with the idealizaton but not with "man and woman".
aesthete – one of excessive or affected pursuit and admiration of beauty
aestheticize – to depict in an idealized or artistic manner
Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the canon's mouth.
irascible – prone to anger; easily provoked or inflamed
I came across the following phrase which reminded me of this thread: A different time, a different war. Each generation and its own conflagration. Sad, but true.
And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part.
pontificate – to speak or express opinions in a pompous or dogmatic way
The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound.
senescent – growing old; aging; decaying with the lapse of time
Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
We end with a couple of "sans" words, "without" words.
edentate - sans teeth
glabrous - sans hair; bald
I'm not clear whether glabrous means specifically without hair on the head, or includes loss of hair on the body. Can anyone help?
Then there is my least favorite "sans" word: Sansabelt pants!
"A-" and "e-" are prefixes meaning "without or lacking", as in apetiolate - without a petiole (leaf stalk) and ebracteate - without bracts (a bract is a modified leaf at the base of a flower or flower cluster).
Glabrous is also a botanical term, meaning "smooth, hairless" (Plant ID Terminology, 2nd edition, 2001, by Harris and Harris)and refers to the surface of plant parts, such as twigs and leaves. Glabrate or glabrescent means "becoming glabous; almost glabrous". There are also terms to describe various conditions of hairiness. Pubescent means "covered with short, soft hairs" or "bearing any kind of hairs". Scabrous is "rough to the touch, due to the structure of the epidermal cells, or to the prescence of short, stiff hairs" (I think of scabrous as "sandpapery"; elm leaves are scabrous). Tomentose is "with a covering of short, matted or tangled, soft, wooly hairs; with tomentum", while tomentulose is "slightly tomentose". Velutinous is "velvety; covered with short, soft, spreading hairs". Villous or villose is "bearing long, soft, shaggy, but unmatted, hairs" (I learned it as "with long, silky hairs"). Villosulous is the diminutive of villous. Wooly is "with long, soft, entangled hairs: lanate". And on and on and on...
Also check out "Dictionary of Botanical Words (http://www.botany.com/index.16.htm)
Glabrous means "hairless", "smooth". You wouldn't usually describe someone as glabrous when you mean "without any hair on his head"; you'd use "bald" -- unless, of course, he had no hair anywhere else either.
You might, however, say "he had a glabrous head" or "a glabrous chest".
quote: Pubescent means "covered with short, soft hairs".
Among other things, of course.