E is for…


I don’t know about you, dear readers, but I can’t remember ever having a busier summer! Between work, volunteering, parenting, dog walking, and weeding my garden, I barely have time to sit down and write this post… I hope your summers are proving to be more relaxing than mine!

Okay, so this week is something of a treat. The letter E is the first to feature a word suggested by one of you. So, without further ado, I give you a fabulous word chosen by the lovely Kylie, whose blog I highly recommend checking out.

Ecstasy (noun)

Etymology:  First appears in the late 1300s, from the Old French estaise, meaning rapture, which came from the Late Latin exstasis, which in turn came from the Greek ekstasis, meaning entrancement, astonishment, displacement. Likely connected to the Latin existanai, meaning to displace (existanai phrenon means to drive out of one’s mind), which is formed by putting ek, meaning out, with histanai, meaning to place or to stand, which probably can be traced to the Proto-Indo-European root sta-, meaning to stand.

Definition:  An overwhelming feeling of happiness and joy; an emotional or religious trance-like state that is considered to be inspirational/transcendent.

Example:  Ecstasy swept through the room as the Ultra Magnus of the Cult of Oh Yeah passed out the Holy Kool-Aid.


Ephemeral (adjective)

Etymology:  First appears in the 1560s, originally said with regards to a fever. Comes from the French éphémère, which came from the Medieval Latin root ephemera, meaning lasting a day, which came from the Greek ephemeros, meaning short-lived, which is formed by joining epi, meaning on, with hemerai (or hemera), meaning day, which can probably be traced to the Proto-Indo-European root amer-, meaning day.

Definition:  Lasting for a very short time; transitory; a thing of short-lived use or interest.

Example:  While the physical effects of the Kool-Aid were ephemeral, Acolyte Fred’s embarrassment for his trance-induced actions stays with him to this day.


Once again, etymological information and definitions come from the Oxford Dictionary of Etymological English, the Oxford Dictionaries Online and the Online Etymology Dictionary.


Image credit: Google Images

6 thoughts on “E is for…

  1. I love the etymology of words. You (and Kylie) chose two great ones. Ephemeral is one of my favorite words. And I think I’ve so far had an extraordinarily busy, but good summer!

    1. Ooh, eccentric is another good E word! I think the world would be a much better place if more churches (and businesses/organizations/people) were fun and eccentric. 🙂

  2. Your vocabulary series is a gem,Wow,I simply love it. I’ve read as far as E so far.If I go through all of it I’d have an amazing vocabulary. Thank you so much.

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