Word of the Week: Essence

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and soul-searching lately and one of the questions I asked myself was: what is the essence of who I am? That’s going to take a long time to figure out, if I ever do, but I thought it would be a good word for this week. Essence is the name of a magazine, a perfume/cologne, and a cosmetics company, among other things. But the name for each of these products/companies was chosen for a reason, so I dove in to find the meaning of essence. I don’t know that this information will help me in my soul-searching, but being a word nerd I always find word origins, and sometimes an unexpected definition, interesting.

essence

noun

  1. the basic, real, and invariable nature of a thing or its significant individual feature or features: e.g., Freedom is the very essence of our democracy.
    2. a substance obtained from a plant, drug, or the like, by distillation, infusion, etc., and containing its characteristic properties in concentrated form.
    3. an alcoholic solution of an essential oil; spirit.
    4. a perfume; scent.
  2. philosophy. the inward nature, true substance, or constitution of anything, as opposed to what is accidental, phenomenal, illusory, etc.
    6. something that exists, especially a spiritual or immaterial entity.

Idioms

  1. in essence: essentially; at bottom, often despite appearances: e.g., For all his bluster, he is, in essence, a shy person.
  2. of the essence: absolutely essential; critical; crucial: e.g., In chess, cool nerves are of the essence.

Origin of essence

1350-1400: Middle English essencia from Medieval Latin essentia from Latin esse (to be).

Synonyms

substance, spirit, lifeblood, heart, principle, soul, core.

Source: Dictionary.com Unabridged

Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016

 

#etymology, #weekly

Prompt for Shutterbug Showcase (Thursday, May 5th)

The prompt for Shutterbug Showcase would be shared a few days earlier to allow you time to click the picture. Please remember to tag your post ‘photopost’.

Because this is the first post, so starting with giving two prompts this week –  Continue reading

#feedback, #photopost, #weekly

Confirmed Schedule for May’s Weekly Features

Here’s the Confirmed Schedule for May’s Weekly Features

Continue reading

#feedback, #schedule, #weekly

Weekly Schedule for May 2016

Nominations now open for the weekly features schedule of weekly features from May 1st – May 31st.

Continue reading

#guestfeature, #schedule, #weekly

Prompt for Friday Feature 100 Words Story!

Hi all,

This time, we have quite a few members who are interested in participating the 100 words story. That’s quite heartening because more the participants, more  the stories for us to read. And, I am in a particularly generous mood. 😛
So, just to spice things up a bit, here are not one but TWO prompts for you to choose from.

The prompt/theme for 100 Words Story are: Addiction OR Euphoria.

Choose any one of the above themes and write a story in 100 words. You could publish it your own blog or here on the forum.
If you decide to publish it on your blog, pingback to this post
If you publish it here, please make it a sticky post and remember to use these tags – #weekly #100wordsstory

Happy Friday and Happy Writing everyone!

Barb @barbct and Vanessa @vnajac are already confirmed to be attempting this challenge. Please do read their stories and share your feedback via comments, even if you don’t partake in the challenge yourself.

#weekly

Word of the Week – Plebeian

Has anyone ever called you a pleb or have you heard someone refer to something as plebeian?

ple·be·ian (plĭ-bē′ən)

adjective: 1. Of or relating to the common people of ancient Rome; 2. Of, belonging to, or characteristic of, commoners; 3. Unrefined or coarse in nature or manner; common or vulgar: plebeian tastes.

Used in a sentence: The millionaire called the hotel a plebeian accommodation because it did not offer room service.

noun – pleb:  1. One of the common people of ancient Rome; 2. A member of the lower classes; 3. A vulgar or coarse person.

Used in a sentence: The pleb got on his knees and begged the prince for money to buy food for his family.


Latin plēbēi(us) of the plebs (adj. derivative of plēbē(s) plebs) + -an, the common people

Plebeian first appeared in English in 1533 with reference to Roman history, meaning ‘a Roman commoner’, or ‘a member of the plebs’. The plebs were the mass of ordinary people in the Roman Republic as distinct from the loftier nobles (or patricians) who ruled as senators and consuls and claimed descent from the original citizen families of Ancient Rome.

The word was already pejorative in the original Latin – apparently nobody wants to be a mere commoner – and the more negative sense of ‘a person not of noble or privileged rank’ was born almost simultaneously in English. It’s now mainly derogatory, used for ‘a person of low social status, a common or vulgar person’.

The first shortened use, pleb, appeared in 1795, in a play (Life’s Vagaries) by the Irish writer, John O’Keeffe: You’re under my roof, you pleb.

This short plosive monosyllable has been popular ever since, in both the neutral sense (a member of the ordinary people or working classes) and the loaded (an unsophisticated or uncultured person).

If anything, plebeian and pleb seem to have gained in derogatory force over the years, so that now we are most likely to take them as slights. Certainly, the colloquial shortening to pleb adds a curtness which sounds peculiarly offensive to our modern ears. Perhaps with less rigid class divisions and social boundaries than before, we are even more sensitive to being consigned to the lowliest of them – especially so in class-conscious Britain. And yet pleb, like its near-equivalent, plebe, is also a colloquial status putdown in the U.S., used within the strict hierarchies of military academies to denote a low-ranking newbie, ‘a new cadet at a military or naval academy’.


 In Britain, where classes are still important to many today, public schools of the 18th and 19th centuries deliberately modeled themselves on ancient Greece and Rome. In public school parlance, a pleb was a pupil who was not a member of the landed classes. As these public schoolboys left school to run the British Empire, it seems they took the word with them to describe the lower orders.

These days, the word is mostly used by somebody about themselves as a mark of false modesty, such as, “I’m such a pleb when it comes to modern art.” It’s rarer to hear pleb used as an insult, although chef Gordon Ramsay used it to put down rival restaurateur Sir Terence Conran in 2003, saying  “I think he is a pleb. I would rather have food at my four-year-old daughter’s prep school than eat at Quaglino’s.”

It’s similar to some sex- or race-based insults, where it’s OK to use it of oneself, but certainly not OK to use it of someone else.

And the British government has been accused several times of alluding to the word. In 2011, an agency released a newsletter highlighting the problem of what it described as People Lacking Everyday Basic Skills. Once people figured out the full import of the acronym, the agency found itself in a heap of trouble.

#etymology, #weekly-features #weekly

Calling Word-Nerds for May

We are looking to fill the Word Nerd calendar for May. Please reply and let me know what dates you would like. I will take whatever date doesn’t get picked. Does ANYONE ELSE want to write about a favorite word? Don’t be shy. You don’t have to be a word nerd just to join in the fun. Just reply to this post.

Do you want/need a reminder as your date approaches? I’ll happily send reminders to whomever needs. Please state in your reply.

4/18 Barb
4/25 Ananya
5/2 Lula Harp
5/9 Barb @barbct
5/16 amommasview
5/23 Ananya
5/30 (FYI, Memorial Day) xaranahara

A couple reminders, and I’m guilty of remembering these as well. Please remember to tag your post #etymology, #weekly so they will show up those categories. Also, when you post, there are 3 dots in the upper right hand corner, please click on that and “stick post to home”. The admins will unstick the next day.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.
Thanks for expanding our vocabulary!

@barbct
@mkjackie99
@ananyabha
@brendablagdon
@sashay909
@piyushavir
@wynstep