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Dr. Goodword
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Postby Dr. Goodword » Tue Sep 20, 2005 10:17 pm

• glade •

Pronunciation: gleyd • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: An opening in a forest, a small field in the woods

Notes: Today's Good Word has a lovely sound about it that suggests pleasant picnics, sunning, getting away from it all. No surprise that a leading US air freshener has taken it as its brand name. While glades are usually small, the Everglades in Florida are glades seem to go on forever.

In Play:
Glades are often thought of as cool places, probably because of a confusion with shade, but who knows? "Brooke Trout loved to read on summer days in a grassy glade sliced by a gurgling stream, just a pleasant walk from her house." Major Slaughter, intrepid hunter that he was, chased his prey into an open glade, that turned out to be the 17th hole of the Hickory Nut Golf Course."

Word History: An interesting point: The original meaning of English glad was "bright, shining" and it was sometimes spelled g-l-a-d-e. This suggests that before the 16th century, when today's word first appeared, there was but one word glad or glade which meant "bright, shining" but during the 16th century the word split into two spellings, paralleled by two pronunciations and two meanings. If so, today's Good Word is related to a series of words in English referring to brightness or shining: glow, glimmer, glitter, gleam, glint. These words are all the meanings of German glänzen, which shares the same origin.
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M. Henri Day
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Postby M. Henri Day » Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:19 am

Northern European forests can be rather dark and gloomy (think of Germany's Schwarzwald, or Black Forest) ; not strange that the word for an opening (in Swedish glänta) would, in these languages, be related to words like «glad» and «bright» («sunny»)....


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