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EPICURE

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EPICURE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:44 pm

• epicure •

Pronunciation: e-pê-kyur • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A person with discriminating taste, especially in food or wine.

Notes: Be careful of the various near synonyms of this good word. A gourmet is a connoisseur of food and drink, someone who understands it, while the tastes of a gourmand are more like those of a glutton. An epicure is someone who appreciates the creativity of well-prepared food and drink. A gastronome is someone who studies cuisine, though, like the gourmet, also enjoys it very much. The adjective derived from this Good Word is epicurean [e-pê-kyur-i-ên], as in a table of epicurean delights.

In Play: Epicures are generally associated with food and drink: "Biff Stroganoff's epicurean tastes keep him away from fast-food restaurants." However, the only fundamental qualification for an epicure is intelligent enjoyment of creativity, so we can easily put this word in play like this: "Sidney Couch is an epicure of office gossip; only the juiciest interests him." The alphaDictionary Good Word series is designed for word epicures. We hope you find it to your taste.

Word History: This good word is a commonization (change of a proper noun to a common noun) of the name of the Greek philosopher, Epicurus (341-270 BCE). Epicurus insisted that pleasure was the ultimate goal of life. Another way of putting it would be to say that the eponym of epicure is Epicurus. An eponym is the name of a person that gave rise to a new word. Click here to see some more. Paul Ogden, one of our Good Word editors, noted that Epicurus's name was also borrowed by Talmudic Hebrew as apikoros, a Jew who adapts the ways of the non-Jewish world.
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Postby Slava » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:23 pm

A nice word to repeat, it has a couple of interesting comments here: www.alphadictionary.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=228
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:41 pm

Epicurus sometimes gets a bad rap. He is considered the father of hedonism by some and thus created spring break and girls gone wild. But hedonism came in many varieties, such as the most instant and intense pleasure is the best thing to do (ergo spring break). At the other end of that spectrum is the most pleasure and least pain for the most people. And all stops in between. The stoics were somewhere along that line with a major emphasis on lowering expectations. Don't expect much, so you won't be hurt much. Sort of like a mental tranquilizer evening out the highs and lows. Plato explores many of these in his Republic.
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Postby misterdoe » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:53 am

I'm not sure why, but my first impression of the word gourmand was that this was the person who eats what a gourmet cooks.

I think I'm a pretty good cook but I always have to fight the urge to correct people who call me a chef, since I haven't baked anything since seventh grade.

And Epicurus does get a bad rap, as do the Stoics. Even in the Bible, King Solomon said, 'mankind has nothing better under the sun than to eat and drink and rejoice.'
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:39 pm

Oh, Solomon, how I wish.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:50 am

misterdoe: Sportin' Life in "Porgy and Bess" sings, "The things that you're liable to read in the Bible, ain't necessarialy so." While I don't subscribe to that philosophy, one needs to be careful in reading the Bible and keep it in context. Books like Job and Ecclesiastes are especially problematic. You pretty much have to get to the end of the book to understand its message. The verse you quoted is a part of a reasoned discourse and cannot be used as a proof text. But we should rejoice! You pretty much have to get to the end of the book to understand its message. The verse you quoted is a part of a reasoned discourse and cannot be used as a proof text.
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Postby misterdoe » Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:47 am

I wasn't really using it as a proof of anything. Just used Solomon as an example because he's probably diametrically opposed to what most people associate with hedonism ('everything is vanity') and yet he said, basically, 'what's better than to enjoy the fruits of your labor?' No Stoic or hedonist would disagree with the statement implied in that question.
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Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:05 pm

misterdoe: I knew your comment wasn't used as a proof text, but as a light hearted interjection into the conversation. I appreciate it as such.

But it was a good opportunity for me to voice my oppositiion to serious use of proof texts from the Bible. An old Seminary maxium is, "Before you proof text be sure of the context."

We can, and should, be both light and serious on this forum.
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:27 pm

Let's be perfectly clear. Do you mean us to be seriously light, or lightly serious?
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Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:09 pm

Exactly.
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