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Dr. Goodword
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Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:54 pm

• embrocation •

Pronunciation: em-bro-kay-shên • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. Fomentation, applying or rubbing with a lotion, soothing or healing by rubbing in an ointment or liniment. 2. The liquid used in embrocation, a liniment, lotion, oil.

Notes: Embrocation is the noun derived from the verb embrocate "to rub with an oil or lotion to promote healing", a normal if rare Latinate verb. Embrocator, the person who embrocates someone, and embrocational, the adjective, are acceptable derivations, though not often encountered.

In Play: What mother hasn't said at some time: "Don't go out on the beach without a liberal embrocation of sun-tan lotion!" Well, if your mother hasn't, what a treat you have missed. This word is much more fun than fomentation, the first meaning of which is to apply liquids or lotions to the body. Remember that an embrocation is also the liquid used in the process of embrocation: "Oh, how I wish I had a magic embrocation for wrinkles—for my face and for my bank account."

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from the noun of the Medieval Latin verb embrocare "to rub with ointment", from Late Latin embrocha "lotion". This word was borrowed from Greek embrokhe "lotion" the noun of embrekhein "to foment, rub with lotion" made up of en- "in" + brekhein "to rain, wet". The original root apparently began with an M, for we find related words in a few other Indo-European languages like Russian morosit' "drizzle". (Jeremy Busch was kind enough to suggest today's soothing Good Word, which is bound to make your vocabulary feel better.)
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Postby Slava » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:45 am

Okay, we've got the concept of the Thesaurus, but that only shows us words that have meanings that are somewhat in common.

What I would like to have is a thesaurus-type dictionary that demonstrates and defines the differences in meanings.

Embrocation, ointment, lotion, liniment, salve. I'm sure there are others in even just this short list. What be the differentiations?
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:50 am

I'm away from home right now, so I can't go look it up, but I have a book that links together many words in a field, also without defining them. Going by memory, the word "tree" would have a list following it with all the thesaurus words plus "green, family tree, hat tree, oaks, shade, leafy," and on and on. The point is to stimulate thinking by writers. I believe the Webster's series may have some of what Slava is seeking. I remember seeing synonyms distinguished in some entries, I think the college dictionary.

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Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:45 pm

Isn't embrocate a lovely word? There really is a "balm in Giliad"!

Slava, the thesaurus you are contemplating sounds nice. It would be a monumental task to compile and would be humongous. Of course it could be limited to on-line usage.
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Postby MTC » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:04 am

Poison Ivy

"You're gonna need an ocean of calamine lotion
You'll be scratchin' like a hound
The minute you start to mess around
Poison ivy, poison ivy
Late at night while you're sleepin' poison ivy comes a'creepin'
All around"

Thank God for embrocations, literal and figurative.

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Postby misterdoe » Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:20 pm

Slava wrote:What I would like to have is a thesaurus-type dictionary that demonstrates and defines the differences in meanings.

I actually had a book like that -- it was illustrated, and I got it in elementary school! Someone gave it to me as a gift, probably my mother's younger sister, who was always giving me gifts like that: a book on inventor Benjamin Banneker, an Encyclopedia of American History, and so on.

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