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RIPARIAN

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RIPARIAN

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Jan 20, 2006 12:31 am

• riparian

Pronunciation: ri--ri-yên • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Along the bank or a river, stream, or lake; related to the bank of a body of fresh water.

Notes: Today's Good Word is as beautiful as the sound of wavelets lapping the river bank it implies. Writers have tried riparial and riparious in the same sense, but no other variation compares with the sheer beauty of riparian. Apparently, no one has attempted a noun from this adjective.

In Play: Any time you are near a river, you can massage the conversation with this warm old lexical glove: "Every Fourth of July the village folk hold a riparian repast by the susurrous Susquehanna and spend the afternoon fishing, wading, and waving at the passing boats." Occasionally the kids catch a riparian frog, lazy from a nap in the shade. Deer, ducks, and other wildlife are often found in riparian scenes, drowning their thirsts and grazing on the lush grasses that grow there.

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from the Latin adjective riparius "pertaining to a bank" from ripa "bank of a river or stream." The original PIE meant "to break or tear", as seen in its Swedish descendant, river "to scratch, to tear". It also went on to become rift, river and reef in English, rif "reef" in Dutch and, in German, Riff "reef", a scratchy conglomerate on which you could tear your swim suit if you aren't careful.
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Postby KatyBr » Fri Jan 20, 2006 12:42 am

puts me in mind of a hot lazy late summer day when the vegetation is ripe and rife with wildlife, mosquitoes are biting and ants are searching your pik-a-nick blanket for leftovers.

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apologies to Yogi Bear.
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Postby tcward » Fri Jan 20, 2006 4:45 pm

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from the Latin adjective riparius "pertaining to a bank" from ripa "bank of a river or stream." The original PIE meant "to break or tear", as seen in its Swedish descendant, river "to scratch, to tear". It also went on to become rift, river and reef in English, rif "reef" in Dutch and, in German, Riff "reef", a scratchy conglomerate on which you could tear your swim suit if you aren't careful.


And surely realted to rip, as well...?

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Postby Brazilian dude » Fri Jan 20, 2006 4:55 pm

Also related is arrive, from Latin arripare, from ad (to, toward)+ ripa.

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P > F

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:17 pm

Remember that PIE [p] became [f] in Germanic languages. Rip is related to rob ("rip off" even back then) and robe, which originally referred only to stolen clothing.
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