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CREPUSCULAR

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CREPUSCULAR

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:58 pm

• crepuscular •


Pronunciation: krê-pês-kyê-lê(r) • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Pertaining to the crepuscule, dusk, twilight. 2. Dim, indistinct, having limited visibility. 3. (Zoology) Becoming active at twilight or before sunrise, as do bats, certain insects and birds, as well as some housecats.

Notes: While twilight may be more charming, crepuscular is a synonym that will bring a touch of formality and quizzical looks to your conversations. Its pronunciation suggests something crunchy and muscular rather than quietly spectacular. The noun from which this word is derived, crepuscule [kre-pês-kyul] "twilight", is even less appealing. Yet, there it is, a qualified word in English, so we mustn't just let it lay there. If you would like to separate the meanings of today's word, you may use crepusculous in the sense of "dim, indistinct".

In Play: I suppose we can find strength enough in the celestial exhibitions of twilight to fit today's Good Word: "The brilliant crepuscular display along the horizon that evening took even the wind's breath away, leaving us to enjoy our awe in perfect stillness." Do remember that today's word refers to any kind of dusky light, not just twilight: "Given the crepuscular lighting of the restaurant, it is not surprising that Marvin mistook 'ragoût of lamb' for 'rack of lamb'."

Word History: The origin of today's Good Word is itself a bit crepuscular. It comes from Latin crepusculum "evening twilight, dusk" (antonym of diluculum "morning twilight, dawn"). Crepusculum is probably a diminutive noun derived from creper "dark, gloomy". A similar stem appears in crepare "to rattle, rustle, clank", but there is no semantic relation between these two words. At this point twilight becomes historical darkness. (There is nothing crepuscular about our gratitude to Sarah Stowe for suggesting today's fascinating Good Word; that gratitude is as bright and shining as the midday sun.)
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Re: CREPUSCULAR

Postby Slava » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:11 am

Dr. Goodword wrote:Notes:...The noun from which this word is derived, crepuscule [kre-pês-kyul] "twilight", is even less appealing. Yet, there it is, a qualified word in English, so we mustn't just let it lay there.

Lay? I need some eggs. My understanding of English is becoming well scrambled. :cry:

I just found out, also, that in the 2007 version of this word, the grammar is correct. Why would someone have changed it? :evil:
Last edited by Slava on Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CREPUSCULAR

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:55 am

I am glad to know the Good Word crepuscular. I will use it if I want to appear erudite in my discussion. There are many more beautiful words for it: twilight, dusk, evenfall, nightfall,
even, evening, eventide, eve, vespers and gloaming.

I have always loved the word gloaming. Contrary to common association, gloaming and gloomy are not PIE sisters. Gloaming and gleaming are actually PIE sisters. It is the glow of the sunset that makes the gloaming. There is little or no gloaming or twilight in the tropics because the sun goes almost directly down in the west instead of swinging low and to the north in the summer (in the northern hemisphere). The gloaming is considered the most beautiful time of day by some poets.

I learned this song at my mother's knee:

In the Gloaming
by Meta Orred

In the gloaming, oh, my darling!
When the lights are dim and low,
And the quiet shadows falling,
Softly come and softly go;

When the winds are sobbing faintly
With a gentle unknown woe,
Will you think of me, and love me,
As you did once long ago?

In the gloaming, oh, my darling!
Think not bitterly of me!
Tho' I passed away in silence
Left you lonely, set you free;

For my heart was crush'd with longing,
What had been could never be;
It was best to leave you thus, dear,
Best for you, and best for me.

Cue: Shed a little tear now and trundle off to bed.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: CREPUSCULAR

Postby MTC » Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:22 am

"Crepuscular," a beastly word which describes something beautiful. This ironic trait has been inherited by the entire crepuscular family. Consider crepuscular rays and anticrepuscular rays. These ugly words also describe somethingbeautiful.
See (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crepuscular_rays) If you recall pictures with rays emanating from clouds veiling the Deity, well those are cresuscular rays. Anticrepuscular rays are like an echo from the opposite side of the sky.

But crepuscular does have a beautiful near synonym, vespertine, described here:

Vespertine is a term used in the life sciences to indicate something of, relating to, or occurring in the evening. In botany, a vespertine flower is one that opens or blooms in the evening. In zoology, the term is used for a creature that becomes active in the evening, such as bats and owls. Vespertine animals are frequently described as nocturnal, although this usage is not strictly correct.

The term vespertine is derived from the Latin word vesper, meaning evening. A synonym for vespertine used in both botany and zoology is crepuscular. However, crepuscular refers to both early morning and early evening.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vespertine_(biology))

Finally, there is bonnie gloaming, the Scottish version of crepuscular Philip mentioned. Charming song you learned at your mother's knee, Philip. When I hear gloaming I think of another Scottish song:

Roamin in the Gloamin(Sir Harry Lauder)

I've seen lots of bonnie lassies travellin' far and wide,
But my heart is centred noo on bonnie Kate McBride;
And altho' I'm no a chap that throws a word away,
I'm surprised mysel' at times at a' I've got to say--

cho: Roamin' in the gloamin' on the bonnie banks o' Clyde,
Roamin' in the gloamin' wi' ma lassie by ma side,
When the sun has gone to rest, that's the time that I like best,
O, it's lovely roamin' in the gloamin'!


One nicht in the gloamin' we were trippin' side by side.
I kissed her twice, and asked her once if she would be my bride;
She was shy, and so was I, we were baith the same,
But I got brave and braver on the journey comin' hame.
Roamin', etc.

Last nicht efter strollin' we got hame at half-past nine.
Sittin' at the kitchen fire I asked her to be mine.
When she promised I got up and danced the Hielan' Fling;
I've just been to the jewellers and I've picked a nice wee ring.
Roamin', etc.
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Re: CREPUSCULAR

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:38 am

Thanks for that.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: CREPUSCULAR

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:05 pm

MTC: I also thought of "Roamin' in the Gloamin' " but chose to post the one my mother liked best. Here is a Youtube of “In The Gloaming”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiLq-sM_fhE

Twilight is also a beautiful word for that time of day. Here are just two Youtubes about twilight.
"Just A Song At Twilight"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Io1Gxbu5uCk

“Twilight on the Trail”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaMdLpf-yQA

My mother had an amazing repertoire. I could rarely select a song whose lyrics she did not know and which she could not sing. She sang from every genre, but hymns were her specialty. I grew up surrounded with music.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: CREPUSCULAR

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:21 pm

Gloaming is nice, and vespertine is ok. But crepuscular? When I see the word I think crustacean, muscular, crust, most anything but twilight. No one has yet written - I hope - Roamin in the Crepuscular, not I hope, will they although I could see MTC trying.

And thanks, Slava. I too erupted when I thought Dr G had caught the "lay" plague.
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Re: CREPUSCULAR

Postby gailr » Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:06 pm

The first two syllables of this word have always led me to associate it with classic horror films.
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Re: CREPUSCULAR

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:17 pm

Crepus, they be.
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Re: CREPUSCULAR

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:38 am

The first two syllables of crepuscular could remind one, as they do me, of the slang phrase, "Jeepers creepers" and of the cute little ditty, "Jeepers Creepers, where'd ya get those peepers?
Jeepers Creepers, where'd ya get those eyes?"
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: CREPUSCULAR

Postby gailr » Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:43 am

Philip, you do know the origin of the phrase, "jeepers creepers" don't you? :wink:
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Re: CREPUSCULAR

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:34 am

Gail: I am inconsistent in the slang I allow into my vocabulary. You may have noted that I believe saying hocus pocus is sacrilege. So why should I countenance jeepers creepers when it is apparently an augmentation of J. C. which stands for Jesus Christ? I recognize jeepers creepers as one of the many nonsense words that came out of the 1930s. It first came into my vocabulary unsullied by any knowledge of its source. Then it went out of my vocabulary as did so much of the 1930s and 1940s slang. So when I think of it, I think of Porky Pig and of the song I mentioned. My only consistency is that I am consistently inconsistent.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: CREPUSCULAR

Postby MTC » Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:31 pm

A MUSCULAR RHYME

THEY SAY IT'S HARD TO RHYME CREPUSCULAR

A WORD WHICH SOUNDS SO VERY MUSCULAR

THAT YOU MIGHT FIND IT IN A GYM

OR GOING ON A FIVE MILE SWIM
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Re: CREPUSCULAR

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:15 pm

You lived up to my expectations, MTC!
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Re: CREPUSCULAR

Postby gailr » Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:42 pm

I was hoping for a rhyme with corpuscular. :)
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