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INSPISSATE

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INSPISSATE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Sep 12, 2005 11:03 pm

• inspissate •

Pronunciation: in-spi-seyt or in-spi-seyt • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb

Meaning: To thicken or condense (a liquid).

Notes: Today's verb is used most widely in its participle form, inspissated, as inspissated milk or inspissated egg whites. But it may also be used as an adjective: an atmosphere of inspissate gloom. The action noun is inspissation and the actor noun, inspissator. An inspissant is a thickening agent like corn starch or the bacteria in yoghurt.

In Play: This Good Word may be used either intransitively (with no direct object): "The coffee had sat so long in his cup that it inspissated and grew a thick, green mold on top." It may also be used transitively (with a direct object): "The two men's dislike for each other inspissated the atmosphere, slowing the conversation to pedantic, carefully chosen words."

Word History: Today's word comes from inspissatus, the past participle of the Latin verb inspissare "to thicken" from spissus "thick, dense; slow". Spissus went on to become épais "thick" in French and remained in Italian, becoming spesso "often". In Spanish it is espeso. In Germanic languages, the sense of slowness prevailed, as we see in German spät "late".
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Postby KatyBr » Tue Sep 13, 2005 12:55 am

Thanks for reminding me of this wonderful word, I've already included it in my book, Yippie, give me more, give me more!


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Postby M. Henri Day » Tue Sep 13, 2005 4:20 am

Everytime I see this word, I have to (metaphorically) kick myself to remind me that it means what our good doctor says it means, and avoid being influenced by Germanic words for sharp objects, like Swedish spets and Norwegian spiss....

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Postby Brazilian dude » Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:59 am

Spissus went on to become épais "thick" in French and remained in Italian, becoming spesso "often"
.
Spesso means thick as well in Italian.

In Spanish it is espeso.

And in Portuguese it is espesso.

Thanks, Doc, for this word I'd never seen before. I also learned something in Portuguese, the verb inspissar and the noun inspissação, which mean the same thing as in English. Cool!

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Postby M. Henri Day » Tue Sep 13, 2005 2:09 pm

Brazilian dude wrote:...

And in Portuguese it is espesso.


I thought that was just a chap with a speech defect ordering coffee....

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