Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

Assuage

Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.

Assuage

Postby Dr. Goodword » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:32 pm

• assuage •


Pronunciation: ê-swayj Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, transitive

Meaning: 1. To soothe, mitigate, mollify, make easier, as to assuage someone's grief. 2. To satisfy, relieve, allay, appease, as to assuage a thirst. 3. To pacify, becalm, to lay to rest, as to assuage someone's fears.

Notes: The noun derived from this verb is assuagement, and there would seem to be no adjective. However, the adjective accompanying assuade "to urge persuasively", assuasive, has so often been misused as the adjective for assuage, that most dictionaries have abandoned attempts at protecting it from the influence of assuage. The American Heritage Dictionary lists this adjective as "soothing, calming", while the Oxford English Dictionary lists its meaning as "soothingly persuasive". I suppose we may use it in either of these senses today.

In Play: This word is most often used in the sense of soothing and relieving a strong emotion, such as anger, grief, or disappointment: "Nothing could assuage the disappointment of Rosetta Stone at losing her job as a translator at the United Nations." This meaning easily leans over to the sense of satisfaction or appeasement: "After a football game, Hardy Belcher could easily eat three medium pizzas or two large ones without assuaging his hunger."

Word History: This Good Word, as you might have guessed from the suffix -age, came over from French. Old French contained a verb, no longer with us, assouagier, which must have come from a Vulgar (street) Latin verb assuaviare "to sweeten, make more palatable", made up of ad- "(up) to" + suavis "sweet, delightful". The root of suavis was originally suad-, pronounced [swad-], the same root that produced English sweet. In German it resulted in süß "sweet", the more recent spelling of suess, so close to the pseudonym of that sweet writer of children's books, Dr. Seuss. The D changed to V in Latin, however, resulting in suavis, which turned out to be suave "agreeable" in French, whence it was borrowed by English as suave "sophisticated".
• The Good Dr. Goodword
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3349
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA

Re: Assuage

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:41 pm

Then swaddling clothes would have its root there too, I suppose.
pl
Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2176
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA

Re: Assuage

Postby Slava » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:13 am

Perry Lassiter wrote:Then swaddling clothes would have its root there too, I suppose.
Not quite. See the links below.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=983

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2959

Ancient Agora history, but hopefully worth your while. :)
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
User avatar
Slava
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 4447
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Re: Assuage

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:26 am

Not so Perry. Swaddle or swathe comes from Old English swaþian. Etymonline does not take it farther back. It means to bind securely. It was long thought that tiny babies had to have their movements restrained as well as be covered securely.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
Philip Hudson
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1662
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:41 am
Location: Texas

Re: Assuage

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:32 am

I apologize, Slava. I was not aware of your post until after I had put my tuppence in.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
Philip Hudson
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1662
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:41 am
Location: Texas

Re: Assuage

Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:04 pm

You be assuaged.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
User avatar
LukeJavan8
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 3313
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water

Re: Assuage

Postby MTC » Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:36 pm

According to a pediatric study, "In general, swaddled infants arouse less and sleep longer."
(http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/c ... e1097.full) In common terms, the infants are assuaged. I have seen many infants in China, swaddled on their mother's backs. And as I recall a certain famous historical figure also was wrapped in swaddling:

"[The angel told the shepherds...]
"This will be the sign to you:
You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths,
Lying in a manger."
Luke 2.12

Not a bad precedent for the practice, wouldn't you say?
MTC
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1066
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Pasadena


Return to Good Word Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests