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DIADEM

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DIADEM

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:28 pm

• diadem •

Pronunciation: dai-ê-dem • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A bejeweled crown or headband worn to signify royalty or simply for adornment. 2. Any circular decoration or adornment worn on top of the head, as a diadem of cherry blossoms.

Notes: Today's word is pronounced pretty much like it is spelled and it is nearly a lexical orphan. It is denied that status by its ability to function as a verb meaning "to place a diadem on the head of", parallel to the verb to crown (someone). Thus a diademed lady is one wearing a circular piece of jewelry upon her now even lovelier head.

In Play: Diadem has been around long enough for its meaning to have dissolved a bit, to the point any circular object on the head may be a diadem: "Gwendolyn came in with a diadem of interlocked clover blossoms on her head." The default meaning, however, refers to a light crown of some precious metal encrusted with gems: "Marjorie, I'm glad that you appreciate the diadem I gave you for your birthday, but I really feel uncomfortable when you wear it around the house."

Word History: Today's Good Word has gone from rags to riches—literally. It originally referred to a cloth headband, but now it indicates a bejeweled crown. Like so many words in English, it can be traced back through French and Latin to Greek. The Greek word was diadema, a cloth fillet (=headband), bedecked with pearls or gems if worn as a sign of royalty. It originally referred to the regal purple fillet of Persian kings. It was then adopted by Alexander the Great as the white headband of Greek royalty. The word comes from the Greek verb diadeein "to bind around", based on dia "across, through" + deein "to bind". (Today we offer a diadem of heartfelt gratitude to Helen Barrett for her suggestion of this glittering word for our series.)
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Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:11 am

The sky is low, the clouds are mean, --
Nature, like us, is sometimes caught
Without her diadem. - Emily Dickinson
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Diadem

Postby maevek » Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:51 am

And one who wears the diadem
sits upon a dais... is it related?
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:18 pm

Is there a distinction between diadem, crown, and tiara? I know tiara is used of beauty queen awards and a frequent crossword answer. A couple of hymns use the first two, but never tiara, which seems to be for females.
pl
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:51 pm

There does not appear to be a relationship
between dais and diadem, not even spelling:

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?all ... hmode=none

&

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?all ... hmode=none
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:00 pm

Perry Lassiter wrote:Is there a distinction between diadem, crown, and tiara? I know tiara is used of beauty queen awards and a frequent crossword answer. A couple of hymns use the first two, but never tiara, which seems to be for females.


Not that it matters probably all that much, but this site
shows dozens of tiaras, and many are for men. So
the term can probably be used interchangeably.

http://pinterest.com/janehahn/tiaras-crowns/
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