T is for…


Welcome, dear readers, to the 20th letter of my Vocabulary Series! I can’t believe we are so close to the end of the alphabet. Today, I thought I would tell you about some terrifically tasty words beginning with the letter T.

The first word I chose in celebration of one of my favourite shows, Games of Thrones, which aired one of its best episodes ever last night. (There are no spoilers below, in case you were wondering.) Anyway, this word is synonymous with kings from any number of domains.

Throne (noun)

Etymology:  First appears around 1200 as trone, meaning the seat of God or a saint in heaven. By 1300, it was used to describe a seat occupied by a sovereign. It comes from the Old French trone (compare to the modern French trône), which, in turn, comes from the Latin thronus, which comes from the Greek thronos, both meaning elevated seat or chair. Thronos came from the Proto-Indo-European root dher-, meaning to hold firmly or support. In English, the classical “h” starts to appear in throne in the late 1300s. Its humorous use to describe a toilet was first recorded in 1922.

Definition:  An ornate, often raised, ceremonial chair occupied by a monarch, bishop, or similar; the position, office, or power of a sovereign.

Example:  Kevin was having a blast as the newly appointed King of the Fire-Worshippers until he realized his throne was conveniently perched at the edge of a volcano.


This next word I chose because I love the way it sounds just like it should.

Taut (adjective)

Etymology:  First appears in the mid-1200s as tohte, meaning stretched or pulled tight. It may come from the Old English tog-, the past participle stem of teon, meaning to pull or drag, which comes from the Proto-Germanic tugn, which comes from Proto-Indo-European root deuk-, both meaning to lead.

Definition:  Stretched or pulled tight; not slack; tense.

Example:  Kevin dangled over the mouth of the volcano, clinging to the taut rope and wondering why he hadn’t listened to his mother.


The bonus word this week is another adjective. I can’t read—or say—this one without giggling, which might be a reflection on my maturity, but if you’ve ever read two pages of a romance novel you probably know exactly what I’m talking about.

Turgid (adjective)

Etymology:  First appears in the early 1600s. Comes from the Latin word turgidus, meaning swollen, inflated, or distended. Turgidus comes from turgere, meaning to swell, and is of unknown origin. Its figurative use in prose is first recorded in 1725.

Definition:  Swollen and distended or congested; (of language) pompous or bombastic.

Example:  Reverend Blaze touched his turgid members reassuringly. “The swelling should go down once the sacrifice is complete.”


As always, etymological information and definitions come from a combination of the Oxford Dictionary of Etymological English, the Oxford Dictionaries Online, and the Online Etymology Dictionary.


Iron Throne image credit: HBO

10 thoughts on “T is for…

  1. Thanks for the laughs! Alas, poor Kevin. I love Game of Thrones, too. I recently wrote a post called “Slay those villainous pronouns!” about GoT because it has waaay too many characters. 🙂 Still a great story, though!

    1. Poor Kevin, indeed! Yes, there are definitely a lot of characters to keep track of in GoT. Fortunately, most of the story lines are interesting. 🙂

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