Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Water Words Login/Join
 
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted
This week we'll present words dealing with water, with a metaphorical sense.

slough (rhymes with "glue") - a depression filled with deep mud or mire; a stagnant swamp;
also a state of deep despair or moral degradation

In the allegory Pilgrim’s Progress by Bunyan, Christian has to cross a deep bog called the Slough of Despond.

quote:
Michael Owen is a striker who has mislaid his ability to strike. Since he is also such a high-profile player this has led to all sorts of speculation … But … he may have discovered the route by which to escape from his personal slough of despond.
-- Richard Williams, The Guardian, September 25, 2002
(I gather this pertains to British football.)

 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted Hide Post
limpid – clear, transparent; as, a limpid stream
also
easily intelligible; clear: writes in a limpid style
also
calm, serene
quote:
The mathematician's best work is art, a high perfect art, as daring as the most secret dreams of imagination, clear and limpid. Mathematical genius and artistic genius touch one another.
-- Gösta Mittag-Leffler, quoted in N Rose, Mathematical Maxims and Minims

[Soprano Margaret Lloyd's] voice is so fresh, limpid, beautiful, and musically intelligent that she didn't have to affect any fake 'little —girl' voice to be utterly charming."
-– Chicago Tribune, November 1998
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted Hide Post
wellhead; wellspring – a source, spring, or fountain.
also a principal source; a fountainhead: a wellspring of ideas

Distinction: a wellspring is not usually just the beginning point but also source of continuing supply. (J.N. Hook, The Grand Panjandrum)
quote:
Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it; but the instruction of fools is folly. -- Prov. xvi. 22

Our public-school and university life is a great wellhead of new and irresponsible words. -- Earle
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted Hide Post
quagmire – land with a soft muddy surface.
also a difficult or precarious situation; a predicament.

The word in use:
quote:
While the Nobel Prize in Literature … should have signaled the pinnacle of Camus's career, it came at a time when he was struggling in the deepening quagmire of the Algerian war.
--Isabelle de Courtivron, "Rebel Without a Cause," New York Times, December 14, 1997
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted Hide Post
antedeluvian – of the period before Noah's flood;
also very antiquated, so extremely old as seeming to belong to an earlier period; as, an antediluvian vehicle.

In total, the word's latin etymology means "before washing away", suggesting a need to clean things up. Antedeluvian "before Noah's flood" = ante- "before" + diluvium "a flood". Going further, diluvium for "flood" traces back to mean "to wash away" (dis- "away" + -luere, comb. form of lavere "to wash").
quote:
The correctional service's own prison expert...called the penitentiary structure 'antediluvian'.
-- Toronto Star, May 29, 1999
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted Hide Post
niveous – resembling snow; snowy; also snow-white

There's an odd schism in how the lexicographers handle this word.
AHD gives "resembling snow; snowy", but omits the specific definition as "white". So do the other on-line dictionaries: generally, they do not specifically note niveous as "white".
But the thesauri -- even the one at AHD's site -- consistently list niveous as a synonym for "white".
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  
 


Copyright © 2002-12