Pope Gregory the Great (d. 604) described the Seven Deadly Sins in his Moralia in Job. The sins are This week we'll give the obscure words that are the "official" names of the seven deadly sins (pride, envy, anger, greed, gluttony, lust, and sloth), plus some slightly less obscure words.
We begin with pride or vanity, of which St. Thomas Aquinas said "inordinate self-love is the cause of every sin."
superbia - unreasonable and inordinate self-esteem
orgulous – prideful; haughty
The latter may be preserved in our dictionaries because of the opening words of Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida:
I see that putting an apostrophe into the possessive form of "it" has not been included as one of the deadly sins...
I think any list of the Seven should list lust last lest lust be lost.
The sin of anger:
ira - belligerence aroused by a real or supposed wrong (the formal name of the deadly sin)
ira furor brevis est - Anger is a brief madness.
oxythymous - quick-tempered; easily riled
irascible - prone to outbursts of temper; easily angered
Irascible? Doesn't everyone know it already?
The visual thesaurus, although it has a few hiccoughs in it, and is a most excellent work I can hardly tear myself away from, gives ‘pettish’ as a rough synonym, which I'd never heard of before. However, ‘peckish’ somewhat anomalously appears though it is correctly defined by them.
Debatably, from the Ten Commandments in Exodus 34, number 2 is the one
quote:Yes, but it is a fine word that people don't often use. Now, oxythymous is not all that common, and I imagine that is why wordcrafter gave us two words.
While I enjoy very obscure words here, I also enjoy being reminded of ones that I haven't used for awhile.
Bear, I agree with you about irascible, but oxythymous is so extremely uncommon -- one might even say useless -- that I felt I should include more.
The deadly sin of "gluttony" (formal name "gula" from Latin gula gullet) refers to excess. It is not limited to food; it would include, for example, such things as conspicuous consumption by the nouveau riche.
gulosity – greediness; excessive appetite
This definition makes one wonder if gulosity should be presented under the sin of gluttony or under the sin of greed. Roget's Thesaurus classifies it under the heading "gluttony," from which I glean that it refers to greed and appetite for food. Can readers confirm or refute this?
The sin of envy is known as invidia. Hieronymous Bosch's painting titled The Seven Deadly Sins depicts invidia as two dogs and a bone, per the Flemish proverb "Two dogs with one bone seldom reach agreement."
Chaucer's parson, in The Parson's Tale, explains that there are two sorts of envy:
For the first sort of envy, I know of no word other than the obvious "jealousy". Can any of our readers supply one?
For the second sense of "envy" we have our previous word schadenfreude (week of Nov. 16, 2002). That word was taken from German, but English already had a little-known synonym:
epicaricacy - a joy at the misfortunes of others
This word does not appear in OED, but can be found in respected earier dictionaries. It was discussed on our board by Mr. Ammon Shea, who discovered it amid the dusty volumes.
[This message was edited by wordcrafter on Thu Oct 9th, 2003 at 21:04.]
Did the sin's name come from the Latin word or was it the other way 'round?
Dies Irae - Day of Wrath - is a phrase that's been with us for a long time.
Dies Irae - Day of Wrath
Modern application: The day the IRS discovers you've cashed in your IRA.
Lust - formal name luxuria
Our "luxuria-word" will be sexual, but the deadly sin of luxuria may have a broader meaning than sex. It seems to mean a driving force to do things that are harmful to you, usually for some useless reason. For example, one who lusts after ease might take a cushy but low-paying job, living in a poverty to the detriment of his family.
lenocinant – lewd, lascivious
[Latin lenocinans, a form of the verb lenocinari to pander, cajole; akin to leno pimp.
One wonders where Jay Leno's name comes from.]
In the Lothario thread there are some more words meaning "lust."
Sloth: formal name Acedia. The concept is akin more to apathy than to laziness.
acedia – spiritual torpor and apathy; ennui.
Found this while browsing. Perhaps it belongs in our 'Untranslatable Foreign Words' forum, or in the current 'Food and Drink' thread in this forum. The full article is in The Spectator of March 8, 2003.
This being France and the subject being food, however, the matter did not stop there. A committee, De la Question Gourmande, has now been set up whose sole task is to extract an admission from the Vatican that enjoying food is no sin in itself. Its patrons include chefs, intellectuals and the simply very rich, who want in on the malarkey.
Other languages, Poilane argued, have more specific translations. English has gluttony, though Poilane cannot resist a passing dig at British cooking - 'gourmandise is not translatable into English'. Italian has gold, Spanish gula and German Iusternheit, which translates as eating like an animal that does not know when to stop. All these terms refer to people who stuff their faces to no purpose. The gourmand, on the other hand, is engaged in a noble pursuit, the proper appreciation of God's gifts.