• prandial •
præn-di-êl • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Adjective
Meaning: 1. Occurring during or otherwise related to a meal. 2. (Medicine) Related to eating.
Notes: Today's is a word that we encounter very little, yet it has been used, according to the Oxford English Dictionary as late as 2003. The OED offers several examples of the adverb, prandially, from the late 1990s. A snack may be called a prandicle, the diminutive of prandial.
In Play: Anything having to do with dining is prandial: "The prandial conversations were always acerbically witty at the Algonquin Round Table in New York in the 1920s." Some even called it the Vicious Circle. It even applies to dining in expense accounts: "When Al Dente returned from business trips, his prandial expenses were always highly suspect."
Word History: Today's Good Word was borrowed from the French version of Latin prandialis, the adjective for prandium "lunch". This word comes from a PIE compound consisting of pram- "first" + ed- "eat" + -alis, an adjective suffix. In Italian, modern day Latin, pranzo is the word for "lunch". The M in the word for "first" is a bit of a mystery, but the P and the R turn up in Russian pervyi "first" and English first. Since English is a Germanic language, we expect the [p] to [f] shift. PIE ed-, of course, became eat in English, essen in German, and edu "I eat" in Russian. English fret comes from Old English fretan "to devour", cousin of German fressen "to gorge". (The perennially mysterious Grogie with the very arcane vocabulary suggested prandicle, which led to today's obscure but useful Good Word family.)
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