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Nocturnal is a familiar word, meaning "pertaining to the night". But are there words referring to other times of the day?

This week we'll look at time-words, including several of that sort. We are supplementing a previous theme of time words, called It's About Time.

vespertine – of, related to or happening in the evening
[Vespertine flowers bloom in the evening.]
    Up Broadway Chandler moved with the vespertine dress parade. For this evening he was an exhibit as well as a gazer.
    – O. Henry, Lost on Dress Parade

    Will you let me go upstairs and change into something a little more vespertine?
    – Stephen Fry, Revenge: A Novel
 
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"vespertine" is new to me, although I know the term "vespers," a Christian worship service that takes place during the late afternoon or evening.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: saranita,
 
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postprandial – after a meal; particularly after dinner

Sometimes much after, as in the following case.
    A Postprandial Apology: Residents of a mountain village where an English missionary was killed and eaten in 1867 will offer an apology to the man's descendants. The only known white victim of islands once called the Cannibal Isles, the Rev. Thomas Baker was killed because he rudely touched a chief's head and was subsequently cooked. Chief Ratu Filimoni Wawabalavu had invited Mr. Baker's descendants for the apology. It is still considered rude in Fiji to touch another's head without permission.
    – New York Times, Oct. 15, 2003
 
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Wow - what an interesting story! Just goes to show ya, you have to get to know the culture!


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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If vespertine means pertaining to the evening, what word means pertaining to the morning?

matutinal – relating to the early morning, esp. the period just after waking
    This [the lack of heat] was to influence a number of Selina's habits, including nocturnal reading and matutinal bathing. A morning bath in the arctic atmosphere of an Illinois prairie farmhouse would not have been eccentric merely, but mad …
    – Edna Ferber So Big
 
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Yesterday we answered the question, "If vespertine means pertaining to the evening, what word means pertaining to the morning?" Today let's ask, "If postprandial means 'after dinner', what word means 'before breakfast'?

antejentacular – before breakfast

This word is seriously obscure, not to say odd. It seems to be Jeremy Bentham's coinage, but I don't find it ever used in context (one does not count "look at this word" as a 'use in context'). Thus, even though OED lists the term, it is not used frequently enough to be considered an 'accepted word' by normal standards.
    Our last visit was to my old and valuable friend Jeremy Bentham. … We found him … taking exercise by way of fitting himself for his labours, or, to use his own strangely invented phraseology, taking his antejentacular and postprandial walks…
    – The Gentleman's Magazine, January, 1841

    You know instinctively that anyone who calls his morning walks something as pompous as "antejentacular circumgyrations" is likely to be pretty cut off from life.
    – David Boyle, The Sum of Our Discontent
 
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crepuscular – resembling or relating to twilight
    And so the particles … altering so vividly the colors of the sunlight that passed by them, and by staining the crepuscular sky with vermilions and passion fruits and carmines and royal mauves, so they ensured more potently than any other effect that Krakatoa would soon become the most famous volcano in world history.
    – Simon Winchester, Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883
 
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quote:
Originally posted by wordcrafter:
postprandial – after a meal; particularly after dinner]

In the ? good old days, Doctors wrote parts of their prescriptions for patients in Latin or in arcane codes for the pharmacist to dispense. Many drugs were prescribed twice or thrice daily after food, i.e. postprandially. The alternative, but almost identical expression was post cibum, abbreviated to p.c. And a drug taken before meals—ante cibum was designated a.c.
So if your GP is of archaic habits you may read:
R/ Aspirin 300 mg. tid. pc
I may reveal the origins of symbols R/, and t.i.d. if your curiosity is aroused. (Always assuming that the doctor's script is legible).
 
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I remember being struck by the phrase "postprandial perambulations" in something I read years ago. I think it was a PG Wodehouse novel but that could be memory playing tricks. Anyway it's a much better phrase than "after dinner walk".
 
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quote:
Originally posted by wordcrafter:
crepuscular – resembling or relating to twilight[LIST]


Crepuscular is also often applied to the habits of animals, including certain humans. Bats, midges, many owls, certain mosquitoes and some armadilloes are familiar examples. Don't reply with an exhaustive list, please, it might put me to sleep.
 
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If crepuscular refers to twilight, what word refers to dawn?
aurorean – belonging to dawn, or resembling it in brilliant hue

This is a rarely-used word. I'll illusttrate it with a beautiful metaphoric usage.
    ... another Aurorean kiss, just brushing the dew on her lips ...
    – George Merideth, The Ordeal of Richard Feverel
 
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Nathaniel Ward liked to coin words. One page of his 1647 work has five words which, according to OED, no one else used before or since: nudiustertian, nugiperous, exadverse, mong (in his sense) and drossock.

So his usage is the only source from which to find what those words mean. I disagree with OED’s definition for nudiustertian, which several word-lists copy. OED looks to the Latin root; I look to Ward’s use. I’ll quote, and leave you to decide for yourself.

nudiustertian – pertaining to the day before yesterday (OED)
nudiustertian – the very latest, as fashion (Wordcrafter)
    I heare a nugiperous Gentledame inquire what dresse the Queen is in this week: what the nudiustertian fashion of the Court is; I meane the very newest: with egge to be in it in all haste …
 
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All very difficult. I am sure the OED’s literal translation < nudius tertius the day before yesterday, lit. ‘today the third day’, from the 2nd century> is correct. But the interpretation is clearly arguable. When we presently speak of ‘yesterday’s man’, we mean someone dated, and out of current fashion. But, maybe the Romans had a different connotation, implying that it was indeed something very recent and new, as stated by Wordcrafter and indeed by Mr Ward.
I am not a disciple of Eris, so unless I were in in fastuous mood, It’s not a word I would be likely to slip into conversation too readily. But I must say it is an impressive if somewhat Ciceronian term.
Ahem, Ahem, Ahem Big Grin
 
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sennight – seven days and nights (half a fortnight)
This word, once common, lost out to the briefer week.

    One day he'll be tired of [her] tantrums and a woman like Jane Seymour will seem like a pleasant rest." I shook my head. "She'd bore him to tears in a sennight."
    – Philippa Gregory, The Other Boleyn Girl
 
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WC, sennight — that's a beauty. I shall pinch it, and use it about all the younger ladies I like, before they can justly dismiss me as a boring, stupid, old has-been.
Which reminds me of the pre-emptive policies of your great intellectual giant in domus alba.
 
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Maybe I should get a life or something, but I have actually used sennight occasionally, often to the bemusement of my audience. Smile

I think the last time was a couple of months ago, when I was taking a week's leave from work, and, as I left, called out to my colleagues "See you all in a sennight!"


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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How else ought one to refer to a half fortnight or hebdomad? Week? How weak!


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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