• crapulence •
Part of Speech: Mass noun (no plural)
Meaning: 1. Suffering from immoderate eating or drinking. 2. Given to overeating or overdrinking.
Notes: This good word has two adjectives, the obvious crapulent, plus a synonym, crapulous. The adverbs are crapulently and crapulously, respectively. Today's good word is used rarely in medicine in its original Latin sense, "intoxication", but it still serves as a good general substitute for hangover.
In Play: Now that you know crapulence doesn't mean what you thought it meant, you may use it even in polite company: "Thanksgiving dinner was a feast of plenty at our house but my dessert was a bout of crapulence." Advice from Dr. Goodword: "If the wages of thin are hunger, the wages of pudge are crapulence." Perhaps the purpose of this misleading word is to remind us of what our Greek ancestors knew millennia ago: everything in moderation.
Word History: Today's word comes from Late Latin crapulentus "drunk", an adjective built on the noun, crapula "intoxication". The root of crapula is the same as the one in Greek kraipale "hangover." It is totally unrelated to crap, which derives from the name of a losing throw in the dice game, 'craps', which originated among the French-speaking Cajuns of Louisiana. This name was borrowed from English crabs and crab comes from a word related to English crawl. The nausea following immoderate indulgence in craps is caused by poverty and is unrelated to crapulence.
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