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EFFLORESCENCE

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EFFLORESCENCE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:57 pm

• efflorescence •

Pronunciation: e-flê-res-sêns • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, mass

Meaning: 1. Flowering, blossoming, the flowering season. 2. Slow unfurling or development. 3. Reaching a peak in development, blossoming, reaching fulfillment of a potential. 4. (Chemistry) Bloom, deposits of salts left by evaporation or the process of making such deposits.

Notes: Words with the French suffix -escence, like evanescence, effervescence, and quiescence are lexical flowers themselves; all have a beautiful sound, most corresponding with visually beautiful meanings. Today's word is the noun based on the adjective efflorescent "blooming", which comes from the verb, effloresce.

In Play: Efflorescence originally referred to the blossoming of flowers: "The efflorescence of the azaleas and dogwood coincides every spring with the Azalea Festival in Wilmington." It can also be used in as many figurative senses as English's own blossoming: "Graham's efflorescence into a sterling violinist by the age of twelve surprised everyone who knew that he still could not tie his own shoes."

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from a verb, effloresce, borrowed from Latin efflorescere "to bloom", made up of ex "out of" + florescere, an extended form of florer "to blossom". Florer was derived from flos, flor- "flower", found in many Latin borrowings like floral and florist. Older (Proto-Indo-European) words beginning on [bh] (the sound of B with a puff of air) became F at the beginning of Latin words but not in other Indo-European languages. So the FL combination in flor- corresponds to BL in Germanic languages like English, where the same root, with different suffixes, became bloom and blossom. (Our mysterious subscriber JBR is efflorescing into a trove of wonderful words like today's Good Word, which she suggested.)
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Postby Slava » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:26 pm

I don't know about the rest of you, but this is supposedly the time for the season of efflorescence in my neck of the woods. April showers and all that jazz. It was 80F or so last week. Last night it snowed. The blooming trees are not too happy, to say the least.
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:26 pm

You've had one heck of a lot of snow up there
from what I see on CNN and their ilk.
That is not nice. It was spring, and then spring
went on hiatus. Not nice at all.
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:27 pm

Peaches are a major crop around here, so when those trees start blooming, we hold our breaths until the fruit sets lest we have another hard freeze that can kill some to all of the crop. When the orchards start blooming, the view is a lot like the pics of the DC cherry blossoms.
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