G is for…

 Letter G

Well, dear readers, here we are. Only two days left in August. As sad as I am to see summer coming to an end, I have to say I’m looking forward to the autumn. The changing colours in the trees, kids going back to school, walks with the dogs becoming more bearable. And, of course, the countdown to Halloween!

Today I’m going to share three wonderful words that begin with the letter G. The first is one of my all-time favourite words. It’s fun to say and it sounds a lot like the action it describes.

Gesticulate (verb)

Etymology:  First appears around 1600. Comes from the Latin gesticulatus, which is the past participle of gesticulari, meaning to gesture or mimic, which in turn comes from the Latin word gesticulus, meaning a mimicking gesture. Gesticulus comes from gestus, meaning gesture, carriage, or posture.

Definition:  To express with gestures; using dramatic movement of the limbs and/or body to express something instead of speaking or to emphasize one’s words.

Example:  Stanley gesticulated wildly as the chimera slithered up behind Tina, desperately hoping his erratic movements would catch her attention before it was too late.

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And, of course, I couldn’t tackle the letter G without including this fabulous word from my blog’s subheading…

Ghoul (noun)

Etymology:  First appears in 1786. Comes from the English translation of William Beckford’s novel Vathek, from the Arabic word ghul, meaning an evil spirit that robs graves and feeds on corpses, which in turn comes from the Arabic word ghala, meaning he seized.

Definition:  An evil spirit or phantom, sometimes said to rob graves and feed on corpses; a person morbidly interested in death or disaster.

Example:  The ghoul stared morosely at the vegetable stew on the floor of his cell; he couldn’t believe he’d been captured by vegetarians!

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This week’s bonus word comes hand-in-hand with an exciting announcement. Starting in September, I will be the Managing Editor over at the Speakeasy (@ yeahwrite.me). If you aren’t familiar with the speakeasy, you should go check it out. It’s a creative writing challenge for bloggers that boasts a lovely, talented, and supportive community. We’ll be changing things up a bit this fall, so be sure to come back for our re-launch on September 10th. In the meantime, here’s a word that’s sure to get you in a speakeasy mood:

Gin (noun)

Etymology:  First appears in 1714. A shortened form of the word geneva, which is an altered form of the Dutch word genever, meaning juniper, which came from the Old French genevre, which in turn came from the Latin juniperus, also meaning juniper.

Gin and tonic appeared by the 1870s (thank goodness!) and the card game gin rummy was first mentioned in 1941, described as the “latest Hollywood fad” in Life magazine.

Definition:  A clear alcoholic spirit distilled from grain or malt and typically flavoured with juniper berries.

Example:  Ginger’s Bathtub Gin tasted better than anything Frank had drunk before prohibition.

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

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Image credit: Google Images

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5 thoughts on “G is for…

  1. In Australia the word ‘gin’ was used in reference to the aboriginal women in colonial times. No idea why though. Great post.

    1. Thank you!

      I looked it up, and apparently “gin” is also a Native aboriginal word, coming from a New South Wales dialect, that refers to an Australian aboriginal woman. So there you go. 🙂

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