Macabre

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Macabre

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun May 09, 2021 10:08 pm

• macabre •


Pronunciation: mê-kahb, mê-kah-brê • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Bizarrely terrifying, horrible in a somehow twisted way, gruesome and suggestive of voodoo.

Notes: The highlight of today's word was its inclusion in the title of "Danse Macabre" by Camille Saint-Saëns. It is usually interpreted as "the Dance of Death". Since the final E is not pronounced in French and English words are not allowed to end in BR, English-speakers cannot decide whether to pronounce the E or not, hence, the dual allowable pronunciations. An adverb is allowable, macabrely, as is a noun, macabreness.

In Play: Today's word is traditionally associated with horrible death: "The train wreck was a macabre scene of corpses and mutilated bodies." However, that association may be broken: "Miss Taykin greeted Halloweeners dressed in a witch's outfit with a macabre smile on her face."

Word History: Today's Good Word, yet again, was taken from French macabre, originally in the term danse macabre. We have two theories of how the word came to be in French. The first is that the phrase danse macabre is a reduction of Latin Chorea Machabaeorum "Dance of the Maccabees". The Maccabees were the militant followers of Judas Maccabee, who retook Jerusalem from the Greek Seleucids in the 2nd century BCE. They established new religious rules, and violators of any of them were punished by death. Maccabee presumably came from Arabic maqqabh "hammer".

Another theory has the word borrowed from Spanish macabro that Spanish borrowed from Moorish Arabic maqabir "cemeteries", the plural of maqbara. Borrowing a plural form of Arabic is not unusual; a similar case is the word magazine "storage house or housing", derived from the plural, maxazin, of the Arabic maxzan "storehouse/depot/shop". (Now let's all thank newcomer Anna Jung for recommending today's gruesomely beautiful Good Word.)
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Philip Hudson
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Re: Macabre

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun May 09, 2021 10:31 pm

Macabre is a little too macabre for me.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.

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Re: Macabre

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon May 10, 2021 11:42 am

I always think of the Spanish Dios de Muertos when I
see/hear this word.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

Philip Hudson
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Re: Macabre

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon May 10, 2021 12:13 pm

Día de Muertos means Day of the Dead which is celebrated as a sort of three day Halloween in Mexico. Some might think it macabre but the Mexicans don't. Dios de Muertos means God of the Dead. The Great I AM, however es dios de los vivos, no dios de los muertos. [excuse my poor Spanish]
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.

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Re: Macabre

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon May 10, 2021 12:24 pm

Obviously better than mine. Thanks for the correction.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

Philip Hudson
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Re: Macabre

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue May 11, 2021 2:08 am

Hey, Luke. I am not much of a Spanish scholar. In Texas there is a need for knowing more Spanish. i struggle along with my trabajo español and a little español doméstico --- Spanish in the work place and in the home that I picked up on the farm and while teaching the Bible to Hispanic children who barely knew Spanish themselves.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.

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LukeJavan8
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue May 11, 2021 11:43 am

Philip-
Back in the day, right after dinosaurs were no more, everyone
learned Latin. It was required in private and public schools.
In Junior year I transferred schools and French was offered.
I loved it. Took it four years, visited Quebec, and eventually
France. But no body anywhere uses it around here. I taught
it for two years when I began teaching. But now Spanish
Americans are immigrating our state in droves as elsewhere in
the US, so now it might be time for me to begin. I do watch
Spanish TV periodically, if it has subtitles, and am beginning
to pick up some concepts, don't you know, por favor? And
with a Latin and French background it may be easier than
I thought.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

Philip Hudson
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Re: Macabre

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed May 12, 2021 5:54 pm

Sounds great Luke. In my dotage, the no-new-tricks-for-old-dogs runs rampant in my brain. The wife of a Spanish language pastor once told me that she was worried about my poor Spanish. "How are you going to talk to the people in Heaven with your poor Spanish?" she asked.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.

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LukeJavan8
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Re: Macabre

Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu May 13, 2021 11:39 am

A SciFi book I recently finished,humans were
given a small dot mechanism which they stuck
behind their ear, and it became a universal
translator for all alien languages. I'm hoping
for that in heaven.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

Philip Hudson
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Re: Macabre

Postby Philip Hudson » Thu May 13, 2021 4:33 pm

You won't be disappointed Luke.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.


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