Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

Wester

Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.

Wester

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:00 pm

• wester •


Pronunciation: wes-têr • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, Verb

Meaning: 1. (Noun) A wind blowing from the west, a westerly. 2. (Verb) To move westward, as the sun westers or to wester from New York. 3. To change to a western direction, as a wind might wester.

Notes: We commonly use western without questioning where it comes from. It comes from west, of course. But if we look closely, there are two suffixes present on this word: -er and -n. Many words based on west have come and gone over the years. I will mention but one here: westerly. It serves as an adjective (a westerly wind), adverb (to move westerly), and noun (a westerly arose) to today's Good Word.

In Play: The noun wester is found today mostly in the compound northwester (or nor'wester), the name of the horrific storm that hits New England periodically. However, it still has a life of its own: "The evening was blessed by a warm wester, as the sun brilliantly westered to its rest." The verb we hear less often: "Harvey westered from Maine to California solely on the advice of Horace Greeley, 'Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country.'"

Word History: Today's Good Word is purely English—as a matter of fact, for once French borrowed its ouest and Spanish its oeste from English! We find it throughout the Germanic languages: Dutch westen, German Westen, Danish and Norwegian vest, and Swedish väst. All these words came from a Proto-Indo-European word, wes-. With the suffix -per it also came to be Greek hesperos "evening" and Latin vesper "evening". Wes- is thought to be an extension of we- "to go down", which gave Sanskrit avah "downward". Downward is, of course, the direction in which the sun sets. (Today's Good Word is in memory of Seamus Heaney, 1995 Nobel Prize winner for literature, who passed away Friday, August 30, 2013. It was suggested by George Kovac, who was particularly fond of Heaney's poem, "Westering".)
• The Good Dr. Goodword
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3595
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA

Re: Wester

Postby MTC » Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:26 am

Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.

Anonymous. 16th Cent. (?)

27. The Lover in Winter Plaineth for the Spring

O WESTERN wind, when wilt thou blow
That the small rain down can rain?
Christ, that my love were in my arms
And I in my bed again!
MTC
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1071
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Pasadena

Re: Wester

Postby itsabb » Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:15 am

I must protest!

The dreadful storms that periodically attack New England are nor'easters (the atmospheric circulation for a storm is counterclockwise, so the wind that first strikes land with the most force doesn't come from the northwest). On the other hand, one wears a sou'wester to protect oneself from the nor'easter, and *that* would have been a fine example for today's word of choice.
itsabb
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:08 am
Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Re: Wester

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:05 pm

WELCOME
itsabb
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
User avatar
LukeJavan8
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 3521
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water

Re: Wester

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:52 pm

Ditto itsab. There are few places on the web where newcomers are as welcome.
pl
Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2483
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA

Re: Wester

Postby Slava » Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:28 pm

Aye, welcome, itsabb. May you post often and well.

I must admit, though, I at first doubted your claim. Then I looked it up. While dictionary.com may agree with my first impressions, nothing else on the Internet did. Nor'westers seem to be in New Zealand and Bangladesh, not New England.

I do like the idea that a Nor'wester is a hat or coat you wear to protect against a sou'wester. That is, of course, if dictionary.com has it right.

Welcome again.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
User avatar
Slava
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 4755
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Re: Wester

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:27 am

itsabb: Welcome to the Agora. Post often.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
Philip Hudson
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1819
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:41 am
Location: Texas

Re: Wester

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:38 am

Yet, slava, our weather "forecasters" out here in the
Great American Desert call storms in your area
nor'westers all the time. Or are they nor'easters?
I've not paid close attention.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
User avatar
LukeJavan8
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 3521
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water

Re: Wester

Postby MTC » Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:28 pm

"Nor'wester" means different things to different people around the globe.

nor'wester (ˌnɔːˈwɛstə)

— n
1. a less common name for sou'wester
2. a drink of strong liquor
3. a strong northwest wind
4. ( NZ ) a hot dry wind from the Southern Alps

[C18 (in the sense: storm from the northwest): a contraction of northwester ]

nor'wester Convective storm, usually from the north-west, which affects Assam and Bengal between March and May. It is characterized by violent conditions, including a line squall.

Nor'wester (wind that brings rain to the West Coast, and warm dry winds to the East Coast of New Zealand's South Island, caused by the moist prevailing winds being uplifted over the Southern Alps)

http://www.yellowairplane.com/Global_Wa ... Winds.html
MTC
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1071
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Pasadena

Re: Wester

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:20 pm

WHOA! The southern Alps don't go THAT far south, do they? Almost opposite latitude and longitude?
pl
Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2483
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA

Re: Wester

Postby MTC » Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:42 pm

The Southern Alps is a mountain range which runs along the western side of the South Island of New Zealand. It forms a natural dividing range along the entire length of the South Island. The term "Southern Alps" generally refers to the entire range, although separate names are given to many of the smaller ranges that form part of it.

http://maps.thefullwiki.org/Southern_Alps
MTC
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1071
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Pasadena

Re: Wester

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:01 pm

Hey! Is it ok to learn something about joggerfy on a vocabulary site? Cause I just did. Thanks.
pl
Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2483
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA


Return to Good Word Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest