• carminative •
Part of Speech: Adjective, Noun
Meaning: 1. Reducing gas in the alimentary tract and intestines, anti-flatulent. 2. A carminative agent, an anti-flatulent.
Notes: Today's Good Word is one of those adjectives that functions equally well as a noun, words like purgative, coagulant, accelerant. The verb from which this term originates, carminate, is no longer used. It meant "to expel gas from the body". This word does come with an adverb, of course: carminatively.
In Play: Carminatives help keep your work space more pleasant: "I offered Ivan Oder an over-the-counter carminative after smelling his office this morning." Ivan tries to control the borborygmic activity in his stomach with healthy carminative drinks, but they don't seem to help much with the gas.
Word History: Middle English borrowed Old French carminative, the feminine form of an adjective based on Latin carminatus "combed, carded", the past participle of carminare "to card wool". This verb came from Latin carmen "a wool card", a wire comb used to disentangle raw wool for spinning. Carmen came from Old French carere "to card", a word it inherited from Medieval Latin cardus "wool card", a reduction of Classical Latin carduus "thistle". The connection with today's Good Word comes from the medieval theory of humors, which held that body "wind" comes from entanglements of gross humors. When this condition arises, these humors need to be "combed out" to restore them to their normal state. (Now let's thank Luciano Eduardo de Oliveira, the Brazilian Dude in the Alpha Agora and a Good Word editor, for combing out the humor of today's Good Word.)
Come visit our website at <http://www.alphadictionary.com> for more Good Words and other language resources!