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OSCULATE

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OSCULATE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sat Jul 01, 2006 12:14 am

• osculate •

Pronunciation: ahs-kyU-layt • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, transitive

Meaning: 1. To kiss. 2. To come in contact with, to barely touch. 3. (Mathematics) To share at least 3 points in common, to touch or overlap at least 3 times.

Notes: Today's is a typical Latinate word (borrowed from Latin) and comes with the panoply of derivations found among Latinate verbs ending on -ate. The action noun is osculation, the active adjectives are osculatory and oscular. There is also a passive adjective which comes in two flavors, positive (osculable "kissable") and negative (inosculable "unkissable"). Notice that the suffix -ate is dropped before -able and -ar.

In Play: You might ask yourself: "Why would I want to use a 3-syllable word to say the same thing that I can express with one syllable (kiss)? Well, since Latinate words are considered high-faluting, if you are seeing someone who is high-faluting, you might want to say, "Dear, I feel so romantic bathed as we are in such moonlight, would you decline an offer to osculate?" In such a conversation, remember the large family of today's word: "No, Wilfred, I am afraid that I find you most inosculable when I can see you, even by the dim moonlight."

Word History: Today's Good Word came with the hordes of Latin words that migrated to English in the Middle Ages. It comes from osculari "to kiss" (osculatus "kissed"), a verb made from osculum "a kiss". Osculum means literally "a mouthlet", for it is the diminutive of os "mouth", seen in ostiary "doorkeeper", from Latin ostium, the same word that gave English usher. Masks of the Latin god Bacchus often hung in fruit trees to encourage fertility. They were notable for their widely opened mouths and so were called oscilla. Because they swung back and forth in the breezes, the verb from this noun, oscillare, came to mean "swing back and forth". English based its verb oscillate on the past participle of this verb. (We are always pleased with words like today's that swing from the lips of our dear friend, Dr. Lyn Laboriel.)
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Postby Brazilian dude » Sat Jul 01, 2006 2:43 pm

(We are always pleased with words like today's that swing from the lips of our dear friend, Dr. Lyn Laboriel.)

Who's this guy? Whenever I see his name, I think of Evil Knievil or Jack Kevorkian. Either that or he's a very industrious man.

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Postby Perry » Sat Jul 01, 2006 6:43 pm

Mayhaps industriously osculating?
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
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Postby sluggo » Sun Jul 02, 2006 11:57 am

Brazilian dude wrote:
(We are always pleased with words like today's that swing from the lips of our dear friend, Dr. Lyn Laboriel.)

Who's this guy? Whenever I see his name, I think of Evil Knievil or Jack Kevorkian. Either that or he's a very industrious man.

Brazilian dude


Mayhap he's just an osculating fan...
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