Words of the Day: Faith, Fire, Free

My old blog, the Word of the Day, is defunct, and I’m getting ready to take it down. Before I do, though, I’m going to repost some of the best words here over the next few weeks. Enjoy! Faith Faith ultimately comes from Proto Indo European bhidh, meaning something like “persuade” or “compel”. When bhidh…

Words of the Day: Disco, Elephant, Faerie, Fairy, Fate

My old blog, the Word of the Day, is defunct, and I’m getting ready to take it down. Before I do, though, I’m going to repost some of the best words here over the next few weeks. Enjoy! Disco Disco is the shortened form of discotheque, a French word meaning something like “nightclub with recorded…

The Great Bear IV: Temple of the Bear

Besides meditation, I did more mundane kinds of research on the habits of bears and the folklore surrounding them. I also looked up the meaning of “bear” (which means “brown”, but has a fascinating history — I’ll post on it at some point soon) and words related to it. I realized that the name Orson…

Words of the Day: Call, Choir, Confucius

My old blog, the Word of the Day, is defunct, and I’m getting ready to take it down. Before I do, though, I’m going to repost some of the best words here over the next few weeks. Enjoy! Call From Proto Indo European gal, “to shout, shriek, call out”; it’s the ancestor of clatter as…

The Great Bear III: Old Grandfather

There is a word — it comes from Latin facere, “to make”; more specifically the nominal form, facticius, “handmade thing, craft”. It descended into Portuguese as feitiço, and came to refer specifically to handmade charms and talismans crafted by the inhabitants of the Guinea coast of Africa, frequently visited (and ravaged) by Portuguese sailors in…