Soupçon

Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
Posts: 6318
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA
Contact:

Soupçon

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Jul 30, 2021 7:36 pm

• soupçon •


Pronunciation: sup-sawNHear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: No, this is not a call to dinner but a noun indicating a very, very small amount, a scintilla, a trace—far less than would be expected for dinner.

Notes: Of course, you may spell today's word with a younger, beardless C: soupcon. However, to achieve the maximum impact of the French words you use in your writing, you should decorate them with the appropriate diacritical appendages.

In Play: Today's word refers to the tiniest trace imaginable: "Miss Tate found that the soupçon of French she acquired in high school was of no value on her vacation in Provence." We are talking about a mere scintilla: "Allan caught the barest soupçon of a smile on Glenda's face when he dropped the ice cream cone in his lap." The English correlate of today's word (see Word History) produces an equally creative metaphor: "There was not even a suspicion of food left on Sarah Belham's plate."

Word History: Here is another example of English simply helping itself to French vocabulary. French soupçon is a reduction of Old French sospeçon "suspicion" from Latin suspectionis, the noun from suspicere "to suspect." This Latin verb comes from the sense of "to look up at" from sub "below" and specere "to look at." The root here is the same as that in despicable, from Latin despicare "to look down on," based on de "down" + "specere." So how could skeptic derive from the same root? This word comes from Greek, where the P and K metathesized, i.e. changed places. That is why all the Greek stems in English meaning "see, look at" show the consonant sounds in the same (reverse) order: telescope, microscope, etc
• The Good Dr. Goodword

User avatar
Slava
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 6514
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Re: Soupçon

Postby Slava » Sat Jul 31, 2021 7:28 am

Without the cedilla, this would make me think of an exposition of items from Campbell's and Progresso and such.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.

damoge
Lexiterian
Posts: 497
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:49 pm
Location: End of the Earth

Re: Soupçon

Postby damoge » Sat Jul 31, 2021 10:30 am

Without the tail, a C before O would be pronounced as a K in my world.
Even knowing the word, seeing it written that way, it becomes a stranger to my internal dictionary.
Everything works out, one way or another

Philip Hudson
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 2531
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:41 am
Location: Texas

Re: Soupçon

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:49 pm

When soupçon is pronounced it reminds me of the phrase "Soup's on." As the undisputed champion of split pea soup making here in the hinterlands, I like the sound of that. For you who do not know split pea soup, I suggest it might be the same as the pease porridge in the ancient rhyme. However, I never serve it cold.

Since soupçon means a very tiny amount, we can contrast it with the old word "mort" which means a very large amount. I first encountered this word in the novel "Precious Bane" by Mary Webb. I don't think she is a well known author but the book deserves a wider reading and do her other writings.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.

David Myer
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 618
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:21 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Soupçon

Postby David Myer » Fri Aug 06, 2021 8:33 am

My son is an aquaculturist and he talks often about morts. Morts for him are dead fish. It seems that fish farming has a high wastage so there are lots of them. Apparently they make good pet-food.

User avatar
Slava
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 6514
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Re: Soupçon

Postby Slava » Fri Aug 06, 2021 8:42 am

So, a mortgage is what you use to measure the survival rate? :D
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.

damoge
Lexiterian
Posts: 497
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:49 pm
Location: End of the Earth

Re: Soupçon

Postby damoge » Fri Aug 06, 2021 11:08 am

Slave, I think that would be spelled "mortgauge", no?
Everything works out, one way or another

User avatar
Slava
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 6514
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Re: Soupçon

Postby Slava » Fri Aug 06, 2021 3:43 pm

It was a take on Wiley's Dictionary of B.C. fame. A "dig" at Mort Walker (Beetle Bailey), mortgage was defined as a way of measuring people named Mort.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.

David Myer
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 618
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:21 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Soupçon

Postby David Myer » Fri Aug 06, 2021 11:14 pm

Yes, my aquaculturist son has a mortgage. Maybe he could use it at work.

Philip Hudson
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 2531
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:41 am
Location: Texas

Re: Soupçon

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Aug 07, 2021 7:46 pm

:lol:
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.


Return to “Good Word Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot] and 39 guests