A few days ago we looked at the word behindhand, a rarely-used known counterpart of beforehand. This week well look at other lesser-known counterparts of common words. In doing so we continue a theme we discussed in * under another title.
inhume – to bury [a person] in a grave or tomb
[The -hum- portion means 'earth'. So too, a 'human' is a creature who, though having the same shape and appetites as a god, is 'of the earth'. Compare Hebrew: adam = man; adamah = earth.
As our quotes show, inhume, like its counterpart exhume, can be used either literally or figuratively.
– Bill Colson, How the magazine researched its piece on the top 50 college sports schools, Sports Illustrated, April, 1997
The dead (7,000) outnumber the cadets (4,000) at West Point [US Military Academy]. Some of the inhumed died in war, others in peace , one on the launching pad. But just as all lie under West Point, in the end their loyalties lie with West Point.
– Bill Kauffman, The West Point Story, American Enterprise, July, 1999 (ellipses omitted)
While self-fictionalization brings about the Oedipal transgression that requires the boy be resurrected as the adult storyteller, it compels him to inhume a secret, inchoate identity, the name of who he would have been had the story not been written.
– Robert Ziegler, Studies in Short Fiction, Winter, 1994
Today's adjectives are counterparts of literate and illiterate.
numerate (adj.) – able to think and express oneself effectively in quantitative terms (verb: to count; enumerate). innumerate – antonym of numerate
(noun forms: numeracy; innumeracy)
– BBC News, Nov. 19, 2004, quoting spokesman for The Confederation of British Industry, re debate sparked by Prince's comments about the schools
Ubiquitous – being everywhere at the same time; omnipresent – is a fairly common word. The noun form is ubiquity, 'being everywhere', but what are the obvious counterparts?
– Personal website of Viktor Yushchenko, reformist candidate for President of Ukraine
Something of the genius that was Athens and the order that was Rome at their heights thrived later in Renaissance Florence and again in today's New York. Without Leidner's map, surely the films of Spike Lee, the music of Lou Reed, the writing of Isaac Singer, and the paintings of Keith Haring could reseed some of New York's ubiety—its ineffable, undeniable sense of place—in a dead hole smoldering at 41 degrees north latitude and 74 degrees west longitude.
– Erik Baard, Cities Die. Should New York Be the First to Clone Itself? Village Voice, Aug. 14-20, 2002
Here lies Piron, a complete nullibiety,
Not even a Fellow of a Learned Society.
Alexis Piron (1689-1773), "My Epitaph"
Off subject: hunting for quotes unearthed this fine example of inpenetrable gobbledygook – an article abstract:
Two arguments have recently been advanced that Maxwell-Boltzmann particles are indistinguishable just like Bose–Einstein and Fermi–Dirac particles. Bringing modal metaphysics to bear on these arguments shows that ontological indistinguishability for classical (MB) particles does not follow. The first argument, resting on symmetry in the occupation representation for all three cases, fails since peculiar correlations exist in the quantum (BE and FD) context as harbingers of ontic indistinguishability, while the indistinguishability of classical particles remains purely epistemic. The second argument, deriving from the classical limits of quantum statistical partition functions, embodies a conceptual confusion. After clarifying the doctrine of haecceitism, a third argument is considered that attempts to deflate metaphysical concerns altogether by showing that the phase-space and distribution-space representations of MB-statistics have contrary haecceitistic import. Careful analysis shows this argument to fail as well, leaving de re modality unproblematically grounding particle identity in the classical context while genuine puzzlement about the underlying ontology remains for quantum statistics.
Quote "...The term numerate seems to be much more common in Britspeak than in USspeak..."
This is true; we often talk about illiterate people in the same breath as we talk about inumerate people. Sadly the afflictions, like the terms, are rather too common for comfort!
The -hum- portion means 'earth'. So too, a 'human' is a creature who, though having the same shape and appetites as a god, is 'of the earth'.
I've always been suspicious of this earthling etymology homo (gen. hominis) 'human' and humus 'earth, soil', but it's not rational on my part. Both from the PIE root *dhghem- (older reconstruction *ghðdom-) 'earth'; cf. Skt ksham, Greek χθων (khthon), Old English guma 'human'.
There's a student song called Gaudeamus igitur.
Iuvenes dum sumus!
Post iucundam iuventutem
Post molestam senectutem
Nos habebit humus.
We rejoice for
we are young.
After a pleasant youth,
after irksome old age,
the earth shall have us.
quote:I am honoured and humbled.
hic et ubique
What is the counterpart of intrepid (resolutely fearless, with fortitude and endurance in the face of danger)?
trepid – timid; timorous
(timorous – full of apprehensiveness; timid)
My personal sense is that there are subtle distinctions. Trepid bespeaks anxiety, while timorous is more extreme: fear. [They are from Latin roots meaning 'anxiety' and 'fear' respectively.] Also, these two words refer mostly to actions that reveal fear or anxiety ('a timorous gesture'), while timid refers more to a person's state of being shy or fearful. But I freely admit that the dictionaries and usage often do not make these distinctions.
"What's so funny?" Kim giggled, a slight, trepid sound seeking inclusion into whatever it was her mother found so amusing. – Joy Fielding, The First Time
The woman's voice was trepid, as if she wasn't sure. – Joy Fielding, See Jane Run
... couring [cowering], timorous beastie – Robert Burns, To a Mouse
The women were seasick too. Each time the Grâce à Dieu wallowed and slid over a wave, Lady Scope clutched her companion and whispered wildly, "Blessed Jesus, save us, we shall all be drowned!" Lady Scrope was Lord de la Pole's sister, but she was a timorous little wisp of a woman, quite unlike her brother.
– Anya Seton, Katherine
underwhelm – to fail to excite, stimulate, or impress: (adj. underwhelming)
– Richard Dymond, Bradenton (FL) Herald, Nov. 27, 2004
There are no underwhelming crab apple trees. The simple fact of the matter is that any crab apple in bloom is a beautiful thing, usually breathtakingly so.
– Craig Summers Black, Better Homes & Gardens, April, 2002
antapology – a reply to an apology
Erin McKean (OED Senior Editor) says, "This word deserves a wider use, to describe responses to apologies such as 'Well, you should be sorry!'"
. . . .McKean misunderstands. 'Apology" once had a very different meaning: until the 1700s its primary sense, still occasionally used, was 'a defense, justification'. I can only two uses of 'antapology', apart from wordlists, and each is old (1693 and 1710) and clearly refers to a reply to the old sort of 'apology', not to the modern sort. The 1693 cite is in the titles of a series of writings arguing with each other.
Today’s word is the counterpart of hibernate. Its usage is almost always in the literal, zoological sense, but the extended sense is far more interesting and useful.
estivate – (or aestivate) to pass the summer in a torpid state; also, to spend the summer, as at a special place
– Wallace Stegner, The Spectator Bird
Ms. Emshwiller teaches creative writing at New York University. She estivates in Bishop, California.
– Back-jacket blurb for Leaping Man Hill by Carol Emshwiller
Re-reading the 'estivate' discussion reminded me of an interesting trio:
Nocturnal, in biology, means active at night. Diurnal means active during the day.
Cathemeral means having periods of activity and periods of rest throughout the 24-hour cycle.
Apparently it applies only to a particular species of lemur on Madagascar, and me.