Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
Posts: 5348
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA


Postby Dr. Goodword » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:37 pm

• celerity •

Pronunciation: sê-ler-rê-ti • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: No, this word does not refer to the character or flavor of celery. It does mean 1. swiftness of movement or action, or simply 2. speed of any sort.

Notes: According to the American Heritage Dictionary the antonym of this word is deliberation. Well, a near antonym. It is another lexical orphan with only distant relations (see Word History).

In Play: The original reference of today's Good Word was physical movement; "The US interstate highway system was built during the Eisenhower administration to improve the celerity of troop and materiel movement throughout the United States." But then the definition expanded so that today we can say: "The lack of celerity in the nominee's responses raised considerable doubt in the senators' minds."

Word History: Middle English borrowed today's Good Word from Old French celeritee (Modern French célérité), which it inherited from Latin celeritas "swiftness", based on the adjective celer "swift". This word goes back to PIE kel- "to drive quickly", source also of Sanskrit cárati "walks, goes, moves about", Greek keles "fast horse or ship", Lithuanian šuolis "gallop". We see this root also in accelerate, borrowed from Latin accelare "to hasten, speed up". Today's word only coincidentally appears related to celery. Celery was borrowed from French céleri , originally sceleri d'Italie), borrowed from an Italian dialectal term, seleri, the plural of selero. This word was inherited by Italian from Late Latin selinon "parsley", borrowed from Greek selinon with the same meaning.
• The Good Dr. Goodword

User avatar
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 2578
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:56 pm
Location: Crownsville, MD

Re: Celerity

Postby Stargzer » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:25 pm

I remember this from high School Latin I: "magna cum celeritate (mahn-ya koom che-ler-ee-ta-tay (Ecclesiastical Latin)). Literally, "great with speed" meaning "with great speed." The "gn" in "magna" and other words was pronounced "*n-y," pronouncing the "n" first and the "g" as the "y" in "yes."

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee

User avatar
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 4157
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water

Re: Celerity

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:13 pm

I too remember that from high school Latin.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

Philip Hudson
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 2165
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:41 am
Location: Texas

Re: Celerity

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:29 pm

The US interstate highway system was ostensibly built for troop movement. The real reason was to increase the number of automobiles the manufacturers could sell. As a result we lost much of the superb railroad system we once had.
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: No registered users and 12 guests