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RECUMBENT

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RECUMBENT

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:37 pm

• recumbent •

Pronunciation: ri-kêm-bênt • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: No, this is not a Republican incumbent but an adjective meaning: 1. In a lying or reclining position as if at rest, as a recumbent bicycle on which you lie back to pedal. 2. Resting; idle, not active. 3. [Biology] Resting on the surface from which it grows, as a plant or bodily organ.

Notes: This adjective always reminds me of the Greek and Roman aristocracy at meal, reclining on their sides, heads propped on their hands, casually consuming a heavy repast served by young girls, while entertained by buffoons, lithe dancers, and music of lyres. If you need a noun rather than an adjective, feel free to use recumbence or recumbency. If you are really daring, toss out the underlying verb, to recumb, occasionally.

In Play: Today's Good Word offers a way of saying "lying down" in the form of a rather attractive adjective: "I hear Harvey Wallbanger fell asleep on his recumbent bike and crashed into a tree." The implication of lying down, of course, is lying down on the job: "A lot of recumbent incumbents are facing tough challenges (from excumbents?) in US elections this year."

Word History: Today's word comes from Latin recumben(t)s, the present participle of Latin recumbere "to lie down", consisting of: re-, an intensifier prefix + cumbere "to lie or be lying (down)". Cumbere also underlies succumb, from sub "under" + cumbere. It originally meant "to lie under" in Latin, then came to mean to "to yield to". The root of cumbere is also visible in incumbent, a person holding an elected office. So, what is the semantic relationship between today's word and incumbent? Well, the original meaning of incumbent was "leaning against something, at rest". I'll let you connect the dots. (The contributor of today's Good Word, David Hegge, is an observant logophile whether recumbent or akimbo.)
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:23 pm

I've always thought reclining at meals was a greratt idea. After pigging out, you could just roll over and pass out!
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:43 pm

Right on! Without having to get up and find the sofa
and then clear off all the recumbent stuff on it
like newspapers, bills, magazines, cats (if you have
them), just so you can claim it.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:38 pm

The famous picture of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci notwithstanding, Jesus and his disciples probably ate recumbently.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Postby wurdpurrson » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:04 pm

The thought of all of those excumbents soon recumbing once again makes me want to lie down.
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:50 pm

And purrrr.
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:50 pm

Philip Hudson wrote:The famous picture of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci notwithstanding, Jesus and his disciples probably ate recumbently.



I think one of the Gospels says: "He reclined to eat".
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Postby Slava » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:53 pm

Isn't this the Lenten period? Perhaps he "declined" to eat? :D
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:58 pm

Even Lenten folks eat fish.....a Galilean repast.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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