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TINCTURE

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TINCTURE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:40 pm

• tincture •

Pronunciation: tingk-chêr • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A trace, hint, tinge, or vestige. 2. A colorant, a dye. 3. A color or tint. 4. A medicine in a solution of alcohol, as tincture of iodine.

Notes: Tincture is not a word we meet very often in general conversations; it occurs mostly in professional medical discussions. Yet it is a lovely word with long-standing meanings relevant to almost all aspects of our lives. It is derived from an older word, tinct "color, tint", which is accompanied by an adjective, tinctorial. Notice that this word is not only spelled differently from tincture, but has a more restricted meaning, "related to dye or dyeing".

In Play: We have an alternative to dye and colorant in today's Good Word: "Randolph uses the wrong tincture of hair color: the top of his head looks younger than the bottom." More intriguing, however, is the sense of "vestige, suggestion" carried by this word: "Horace is but a tincture of his old self." The word's phonetic beauty recommends it for more usage than it currently receives.

Word History: Today's Good Word was kidnapped from Latin tinctura "dyeing", from tingere "to dye". Proto-Indo-European teng- "to soak", not only developed into this Latin verb, but went on to become Greek tengein "to moisten" and English dunk. As you can see, if we remove the infinitive ending from the Latin verb tingere, we are left with tinge and the noun mentioned above, tinct, without its C becomes tint—both related words.
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Postby Slava » Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:00 pm

Maude Lynn Dresser tinted her hair awhile back, but the tincture she used didn't hold well and is now becoming a tincture of itself, and there is a tinge of her real coloring at the base of her hair.
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Postby bamaboy56 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:36 pm

Ha! Great comment, Slava. Roots! The bain of my wife's existence. The next time she locks herself in the bathroom with Ms. Clairol, I'll have to remember your quote. :D Of course, I'll have to say it over my shoulder as I'm running away. :lol:
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Postby bamaboy56 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:42 am

OOPS! Woke up this morning and realized I had created a new word. Or at least a new spelling for an old word. Meant to say that roots were the BANE (curse) of my wife's existence, not the BAIN (non-existent word) of my wife's existence. At least the word bain does not exist in the dictionary I own. :D
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Postby Slava » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:39 am

Isn't it interesting how often we miss errors because we see what we expect to see? I completely missed the bain in your first post.

It turns out it is a real word, though obsolete. It means bathroom, as in the French sal de bain.

dictionary.com has a fun example sentence for using it:

My regret is that my current sal de bain is too small to allow for a bookcase.
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Postby bamaboy56 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:41 am

Of course! I forgot about the French word "bain". Thanks for the reminder. The Spanish word baño comes from the same root word. It means bath or bathroom depending on how you use it in the sentence.
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