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COPACETIC

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COPACETIC

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:28 pm

• copacetic •


Pronunciation: ko-pê-set-ik • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Harmonious, in sync; groovy, cool, going well.

Notes: Today's Good Word is another contribution to US English from the world of jazz, also the source of cool as a term meaning "good, OK, in style". We prefer our spelling to the alternative, copasetic, which you may see elsewhere. We may use the adverb copacetically even though dictionaries haven't discovered it yet. I would avoid all potential nouns from this word: both copaceticity and copaceticness upsets my spell-checker.

In Play: Copacetic implies relaxation, the absence of any tension, maybe even tranquility: "Everything is copacetic around the house when cool jazz is playing in the background." It is a cool word for "harmonious" in all its applications: "Yes, I would say that their filing for divorce would indicate that all is not copacetic in Bill and Jill's marriage."

Word History: If Bill "Bojangles" Robinson (1878-1949), the popular African American tap dancer, did not invent this word, he was certainly responsible for popularizing it. He used it throughout his half-century career in show business. Logical origins include the Hebrew (via Yiddish) phrase kol b'seder "everything is OK" and the Creole French word coupersètique "able to cope with things", which musicians may have picked up in New Orleans. Someone has even suggested the highly unlikely Chinook word copasenee "everything is satisfactory". Chinook was a creole spoken in the area of Portland, Oregon. Bottom line: Bojangles apparently took the origin of this word to the grave with him. (Everything is copacetic at alphaDictionary when Eric Berntson suggests a marvelously Good Word like today's.)
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Re: COPACETIC

Postby MTC » Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:50 am

Everything's copacetic, now.
Jake, you mean?
Jake?
More like hunky-dory.
Hunky-dory?
Ducky, that is.
Ducky?
More like cool.
Cool?
OK, that is.
OK.
Everything's jake, now.
Copacetic, you mean?
...
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Re: COPACETIC

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:28 am

Yo, dude! !
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Re: COPACETIC

Postby wurdpurrson » Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:03 pm

Groovy.
An acquaintance coined an antonym based on this word:
copathetic. Evidently his life was not going well.
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Re: COPACETIC

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:55 pm

Copathetic is every bit as good! Gotta use it!
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Re: COPACETIC

Postby wurdpurrson » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:12 pm

With my/our blessing. (I'm sure he wouldn't mind. In fact, he'd be rather flattered.) You like it? It's yours.
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Re: COPATHETIC

Postby MTC » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:13 am

Your acquaintance done good, wurdpurrson, reel good!

How about "fauxpacetic" (pronounced FO-pa-cet-ik) for seemingly OK, but not in fact? The illusion of harmony, normalcy, and agreement. Take the The Treaty of Versailles, the recently negotiated "ceasefire" in Syria, or the first week after your annual dietary pledge, for instance.
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Re: COPACETIC

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:10 pm

wurdpurrson wrote:Groovy.
An acquaintance coined an antonym based on this word:
copathetic. Evidently his life was not going well.



This got a smile out of me.
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Re: COPACETIC

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:12 pm

As well as this:

How about "fauxpacetic" (pronounced FO-pa-cet-ik) for seemingly OK, but not in fact? The illusion of harmony, normalcy, and agreement. Take the The Treaty of Versailles, the recently negotiated "ceasefire" in Syria, or the first week after your annual dietary pledge, for instance.
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Re: COPACETIC

Postby wurdpurrson » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:05 pm

MOST excellent, guys! :0)
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Re: COPACETIC

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:11 pm

I ran into this small expansion of Doc's definition last night in a book on 100 Essential Modern Poems that I'm reading from the back, since I'm not familiar with these latest poets. Yusef Komunyakaa was born in Bogalusa, LA, where I spent a week one time. To introduce the poet, he writes: "YK aptly titled his first trade book Copacetic, a word jazz musicians use to describe a euphoric state of mind when all elements combine harmoniously. The term also suggest copious and ascetic, both a generous fullness and an ability to lose oneself and meld with the other, what Keats called negative capability." The editor said he is now on the Princeton faculty.
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Re: COPACETIC

Postby wurdpurrson » Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:52 am

One of the superb live concerts I attended by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, when Paul Desmond was still alive and well and blowing people away with his alto sax skills, fostered this gem. After a particularly deluxe rendition of "Blue Rondo a la Turk", he turned to Dave and smiled. "Copacetic, man. Very."
I couldn't said it better myself.
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Re: COPACETIC

Postby wurdpurrson » Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:53 am

I couldn't HAVE said it better myself. (My fingers got behind my thinking, sorry)
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Re: COPACETIC

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:30 pm

Jealous of FIVE concerts with Brubeck. I never got to ONE. Happy if I chanced on one on TV, but do own some LP's, cassettes, and CD's.
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Re: COPACETIC

Postby wurdpurrson » Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:32 pm

Perry, I was lucky in that my teen years in the 50s were spent around many good musicians, most of them jazz fans. Brubbeck was very young, and always traveled with his young family in tow. When a live jazz concert was scheduled within 200 miles (not just Brubeck, but others, as well), the gang would all caravan to attend, and always made sure I was in somebody's car. I delighted in hanging off the edge of the stage so that I could see the musician's fingers working and the visual cues they gave each other. In Brubeck's concerts, I enjoyed different sidemen's playing over the years, but Desmond was the other deluxe constant factor. It was a bad day for all jazz when he died (at 54?) - lung cancer. He always looked like a CPA on stage; he'd stand there with his eyes closed and his hands folded over the sax, focusing on listening. When it was his chorus, he'd hunch into it and BLOW! Lyrical and complex and superb. The last time I saw Dave Brubeck live was for his 80th birthday celebration, in Salt Lake City, where he signed my "Time Further Out" LP album and its jacket, too. And he played my request, a composition I'd heard an earlier time from the group after Desmond was gone: "We'll All Remember Paul". Brubeck cried that night as he played it . . .
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