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RUBESCENT

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RUBESCENT

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:43 pm

• rubescent •

Pronunciation: ru-bes-ênt • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Turning red, becoming red, reddening.

Notes: We need sisters like this semantic sister of red for all adjectives: why not adjectives meaning "becoming old", "becoming blue", "becoming cold", and so on? Since we don't have a systematic means of creating such sisters, let's be happy that we can enjoy today's Good Word. Its noun is rubescence and adverb, rubescently.

In Play: Although it is often used as a more impressive synonym for red, this word should be used only in referring to things arriving at a state of redness: "Hetty Weinstock's face was rubescent from the bottle of Merlot she and Horace were sipping by the fireplace." It is a lovely word that should be worked into descriptions of things of beauty at every opportunity: "Dewey Rose enjoyed those long summer evenings in his garden beneath a rubescent sky."

Word History: Words ending on -ent and -ant in English come from present participles of either French or Latin verbs. Present participles are forms like English running (water) and falling (rain). Today's word comes from rubescen(t)s "reddening", the present participle of the Latin verb rubescere "to redden". The root of this word, ruber or rubeus "red", is closely related to robus "red oak", which led to English robust. French inherited rubeus from Latin and converted it to rouge "red", borrowed by English as, well, you know what. (Our faces would be rubescent if we forgot to thank Lew Jury for suggesting this blushingly lovely word for today.)
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Re: RUBESCENT

Postby gailr » Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:02 pm

Dr. Goodword wrote:Notes: We need sisters like this semantic sister of red for all adjectives: why not adjectives meaning "becoming old", "becoming blue", "becoming cold", and so on?

Good word, Doc, but what about senescent?

A little searching turned up virescent: "Beginning to be green."
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Postby Bailey » Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:31 pm

Let's make up some: chillescent,
azurescent, beutescent, fushesent, orangescent, argentescent. Just popped into my silly head.

mark I'll-bet-Perry-and-Skinny-have-some-better-ones Bailey

Today is the first day of the rest of your life, Make the most of it...
kb








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Postby William » Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:00 pm

Octogenescent for those in their 79th year,
Septigenescent for those in their 69th year,
and Centigenescent for those in their 99th year.

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Rubescent

Postby Don » Fri Feb 23, 2007 10:13 pm

Notes: We need sisters like this semantic sister of red for all adjectives: why not adjectives meaning "becoming old", "becoming blue", "becoming cold", and so on?


Other languages do this easily. Chinese and Korean have a suffix word, "hwa", which one can add at the end of practically any noun to say "the process of becoming [noun]". The Koreans borrowed this suffix and its use from the Chinese. I don't know, but it's possible that other languages that borrowed their original writing systems from Chinese (e.g., Japanese, Vietnamese) might also do the same thing.

The Chinese and Koreans, by the way, have many such supremely flexible suffixes. For example, "chu-yi" means belief in, or -ism. So "kong-san-chu-yi" means belief in collective production, i.e., communism. And "cha-yu-chu-yi" means belief in freedom, i.e., liberalism. And on and on . . .

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Re: Rubescent

Postby tcward » Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:41 pm

Don wrote:
Notes: We need sisters like this semantic sister of red for all adjectives: why not adjectives meaning "becoming old", "becoming blue", "becoming cold", and so on?


Other languages do this easily. Chinese and Korean have a suffix word, "hwa", which one can add at the end of practically any noun to say "the process of becoming [noun]". The Koreans borrowed this suffix and its use from the Chinese. I don't know, but it's possible that other languages that borrowed their original writing systems from Chinese (e.g., Japanese, Vietnamese) might also do the same thing.

The Chinese and Koreans, by the way, have many such supremely flexible suffixes. For example, "chu-yi" means belief in, or -ism. So "kong-san-chu-yi" means belief in collective production, i.e., communism. And "cha-yu-chu-yi" means belief in freedom, i.e., liberalism. And on and on . . .

Don


Makes me wonder if our modern English -ish suffix (cf. German -isch, Anglo-Saxon -isc) might be related to the -escent ending we see in such words derived from Latin...
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