• glade •
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: An opening in a forest, a small field or only lightly wooded area in the woods.
Notes: Today's Good Word has a lovely sound about it that suggests pleasant picnics, sunning, getting away from it all. No surprise that a leading US air freshener has taken it as its brand name. While glades are usually small, the Everglades in Florida are glades that seem to go on forever.
In Play: Glades are often thought of as cool places, probably because of a confusion with shade, but who knows? "Brooke Trout loved to read on summer days in a grassy glade sliced by a gurgling stream, just a pleasant walk from her house." Glades are usually found in forests, which are themselves cool, shady places: "Major Slaughter, intrepid hunter that he was, chased his prey into an open glade that turned out to be the 17th hole of the Hickory Nut Golf Course."
Word History: An interesting point: The original meaning of English glad was "bright, shining" and it was sometimes spelled g-l-a-d-e. This suggests that before the 16th century, when today's word first appeared, there was but one word glad or glade that meant "bright, shining". During the 16th century, however, the word split into two spellings, paralleled by two pronunciations and two meanings. If so, today's Good Word is related to a series of words in English referring to brightness or shining: glow, glimmer, glitter, gleam, glint. These words are all the meanings of German glšnzen, which shares the same origin.
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