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CHIROMANCY

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CHIROMANCY

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:36 pm

• chiromancy •

Pronunciation: ki-rê-mæn-see • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, mass (no plural)

Meaning: Palmistry, palm-reading, prognosticating the future on the basis of the lines in the palm of the hand.

Notes: The trick of today's Good Word is to remember that the CH in this word is the Greek CH pronounced [k], as in psyche and chorus. Someone who practices chiromancy chiromances and is a chiromancer, though the adjective chiromantic may be used as a noun with the same meaning. There are many words for divination; gastromancy is one we have already examined. Others include divination by cats (ailuromancy), numbers (arithmomancy), stones (lithomancy), and pieces of wood (xylomancy) among about 200 others.

In Play: Humans are uneasy facing an unknown future. Today's word is just one of the more than 200 ways we have invented to try to peer into the future: "It doesn't take chiromancy to see from your hands that you are not involved in heavy labor." How many times have you practiced chiromancy with your child like this: "Yes, honey, the lines in your hand tell me that you are going to the bathroom and wash them in the very near future."

Word History: This Good Word comes to us from Latin chiromantia, the Latin version of Greek cheiromanteia "hand divination", based on cheir "hand" + manteia "divination, prophecy". Little is known about the origin of cheir. The Latin variant also appears in chiropractic, manipulation of the body with the hands. Manteia, on the other hand, comes from mantis "prophet, sooth-sayer", a word related to mania "madness, frenzy". The original root apparently had to do with thinking since it came to Latin as men(t)s "mind", the noun which ended up a French and English suffix marking abstract nouns: -ment. Mantis? you ask. Yes, it was the Greeks themselves who saw the resemblance of the praying mantis to a praying prophet and first used this word for the insect.
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Postby Slava » Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:44 am

I haven't seen many, but the praying mantis is one of my favorite critters.

For those who don't want to look it up, here is gastromancy, a Good Word from way back in 2005. It's a great one, especially as it is related to borborygmus, used to great effect by the late great George Carlin.
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Lest we overlook...

Postby MTC » Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:02 am

And while we are busy examining our palms let's not overlook (ahem) our feet. According to Wikipedia:

"Podomancy (also known as solistry) is a divination by examining the lines of soles. Similar to palmistry, where the divination is based on the person's palm shape and lines, podomancy is based on the belief that a person's feet represent the symbol of that person's soul. Skilled diviners interpret sizes, shapes and lines of the feet to reveal the personality and the future of the person to be divined upon. Podomancy used to be a popular form of divination in China."

Some of us get a kick out of podomancy.
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:59 am

I haven't seen many, but the praying mantis is one of my favorite critters.


I had one in my back yard last week. They are so
deceptive - they could be anywhere and one would just
not "see" them.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:48 pm

Another good word: camouflage. Wonder whether persiflage is a cousin.
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Postby Slava » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:36 pm

Perry Lassiter wrote:Another good word: camouflage. Wonder whether persiflage is a cousin.
Only in the sense of the -age suffix, I'd say:

dictionary.com wrote:-age

a suffix typically forming mass or abstract nouns from various parts of speech, occurring originally in loanwords from French ( voyage; courage ) and productive in English with the meanings “aggregate” ( coinage; peerage; trackage ), “process” ( coverage; breakage ), “the outcome of” as either “the fact of” or “the physical effect or remains of” ( seepage; wreckage; spoilage ), “place of living or business” ( parsonage; brokerage ), “social standing or relationship” ( bondage; marriage; patronage ), and “quantity, measure, or charge” ( footage; shortage; tonnage; towage ).
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:48 pm

Like wow! Didn't realize there we so many! Still camo and persi have some overlap in their meanings so they can flage together.
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