This week we look at words of the senses, beginning with an insulting one.
hircine – smelling like a goat
Hircine can also mean just "like a goat", but it pertains primarily to smell. A word for "like a goat", without that smell connotation, is caprine.
– John Audubon, naturalist, quoted in Duff Hart-Davis, Audubon's Elephant
hirsute – covered with abundant hair
treacly – cloyingly sweet
– Elizabeth Austin, Washington Monthly, March, 2003
empyreumatic – smelling like burnt flesh
alliaceous – smelling (or tasting) like garlic or onions
– (Colorado Springs) Gazette, Dec. 10, 2002
The theme brings to mind a word with great potential to be misunderstood -- "vomeronasal."
Extra credit for knowing the relation to "bromine."
Well, I know that "bromine" comes from the Greek bromos, "stench". I suppose you could say that bromine gets up your vomeronasal area.
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.
toothsome – 1. temptingly tasty to the mouth 2. attractive, alluring (esp., sexually appealing to the eye)
– The Advocate, August 30, 2005
In other words, it makes the mouth water. Obviously suitable for figurative use.
The word combines a Greek root (for 'saliva') with a Latin one.
"Sialalogue" recalls prior discussions of hybrid Greek/Latin compound words, like astronaut, automobile, carbohydrate, horticulture, television...
Note carefully that the fourth letter of today's word is an m, not an n.
formication – the feeling of ants or other insects crawling over one's skin
[Latin formicare 'crawl like an ant']
I cannot give you a suitable quotation, but the following Ogden Nash poem may reinforce the connection between formi- and ants.
Through constant industry industrious.
Would you be calm and placid
If you were full of formic acid?
How about this one from John Irving via a couple of minutes googling...
The Fourth Hand, John Irving
"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
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An old quotation of 1859 is that of Octave Landry's (1826-1865) celebrated report of ascending paralysis [ a type of inflammatory polyneuritis now often called Guillain-Barré syndrome] in a 43 year old paver in 1859 . After premonitory fever, malaise and pain in the limbs he developed :
" weakness, formications in the tips of his fingers and toes”, and only in the third week developed paralysis of the limbs, fever, difficulty in breathing, speaking and chewing and swallowing. "
The word formication is still in medical use, and the sensation of burning, tingling and crawling may be felt inside as well as on the skin.
Sorry to be lavatorial, BUT:
The ant has got a painful rear:
Burning, tingling its bottom sear,
Formication comes to mind,
Formic acid up his behind.