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foudroyant

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foudroyant

Postby M. Henri Day » Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:35 am

I can't help thinking that it is distinctly unwise to try the patience of Zeus by omitting to forward a GWotD with so close a connexion to lightning to the Agora for further discussion. Moreover, it was Katy, who proposed the word, and I don't think we should unnecessarily try her patience either. I therefore take the liberty of reproducing our good Dr Goodword's entry below, while casting salt over my left shoulder to avoid misfortune....

Henri

• foudroyant •
Pronunciation:
fu-droy-yênt • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Thunderous, noisy and at the same time flashy, dazzling; explosive. 2. (Medicine) Having an unexpectedly sudden, severe onset (of a disease).

Notes: Today's Good Word comes from a family of émigrés from France: clairvoyant "seeing clearly (what others can't)", prevoyant "foreseeing", larmoyant "crying", buoyant "floating", not to mention the most famous of them all, flamboyant "brilliant, showy", originally "flaming". The suffix -ant is the French participle ending, equivalent to the suffix -ing in English. The noun for today's word is foudroyance and the adverb is foudroyantly.

In Play: Foudroyant is flamboyant with equivalent sound effects: "Well, I have absolutely no idea what that halftime extravaganza was all about--but you have to admit it certainly was foudroyant." You can always find foudroyance around July 4th in the states: "The foudroyant fireworks display, accompanied by the 'oohs' and 'ahs' from the crowd, left an indelible impression of this year's 4th of July celebration on everyone's mind."

Word History: The participle suffix on today's Good Word is a dead giveaway of its origin: French foudre "lightning" (as in coup de foudre "love at first sight") descended naturally from the Latin word for lightning, fulgur. Fulgur is akin to Greek phlox "fire" and a fiery red flower, from phlego "burn". It came to English as blaze and blank, which originally meant "dazzle, shine". The same root is lurking in black, either by one of those quirky antonymous twists of meaning, like cold and scald, or because burning often leaves things black. (Either way, we owe a word of gratitude to Katy Brezger for suggesting today's dynamite word.)

Image
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
M. Henri Day
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Location: Stockholm, SVERIGE

Postby KatyBr » Tue Jun 14, 2005 1:57 pm

Salt? but the ground is already salted.... how much more is needed?
KatyBr
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Postby M. Henri Day » Tue Jun 14, 2005 2:04 pm

Maybe KCl instead of NaCl ?...

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
M. Henri Day
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1142
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:24 am
Location: Stockholm, SVERIGE

Postby KatyBr » Tue Jun 14, 2005 2:22 pm

just you worry about your own electrolites. Henri, you do realize one salts the ground against witches, what you said needs an apology. Or a big crabwalk clarification.
KatyBr
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Posts: 959
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 5:28 pm


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