Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

BILIOUS

Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.

BILIOUS

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:45 pm

• bilious •

Pronunciation: bil-yês • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Containing, like, or otherwise related to bile. 2. Suffering from gastric discomfort or disorder. 3. Grouchy, grumpy, peevish, ill-humored or otherwise ill disposed.

Notes: Today's word is interesting because its most recent meaning (3. above) has strayed so far from the original, "related to bile". The adverb has the unexciting form biliously and the noun is biliousness.

In Play: Suffering from biliousness seems to have abated noticeably in recent times. It was a major problem in the 19th century: "I see no point in asking that bilious old man for a donation toward the spring festival." He may be quite generous, but he is too grumpy to speak with. Let's keep this fine word alive for situations like this: "Susan Wynns came in a bit bilious today after losing her first case in court yesterday."

Word History: Today's Good Word came to us, as usual, via French from Latin bilis "bile, gall". Where the Latin word came from is something of a mystery. The semantic connection goes back to a day when moods and personalities were presumed to be caused by the 'humors', the fluids of the body. Too much bile was thought to make us grouchy. (Lest we leave him a bit bilious, let us share our gratitude with Jeremy Busch for suggesting today's Good Word.)
• The Good Dr. Goodword
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3342
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA

Re: BILIOUS

Postby Philip W Hudson » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:49 pm

If this were the early 1900s we could take some Dr. Simmons' Patent Liver Regulator and avoid being bilious. You can buy one of his bottles on e-bay. But alas, the bottle is sans ethanol-rich nostrum.
The old curmudgeon
Philip W Hudson
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:38 am
Location: Richarson, Texas


Return to Good Word Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests