Printable Version
Pronunciation: fêr-ru-mê-nayt Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb

Meaning: 1. To bond, especially with solder. 2. To put together, to unite, to connect solidly.

Notes: In case you need more syllables or more erudition than solder (pronounced [sah-dêr] in the US) can bring to your conversations, today's Good Word is the word for you. The noun accompanying this arcane term is ferrumination and the adjective, ferruminative, as 'ferruminative process'.

In Play: The basic meaning of ferruminate is to bond firmly, usually with solder: "The handles had been ferruminated to the brass cup with a band of solder that had not been sanded." I see no reason why we could not use today's word metaphorically: "Two hearts could not have been more solidly ferruminated than were ours at our wedding." (Isn't that romantic?)

Word History: Today's Good Word was built upon classical Latin ferruminatus, the past participial of ferruminare "to cement, bind, to solder", a verb derived from ferrumen "cement, glue, solder". This word is a ferrumnation of -men, a sanded off version of -ment, to ferrum "iron". The suffix -ment goes back to Latin men(t)s "mind", at the base of the English borrowings mental, dementia, mention, and many others. Ferrum is the Latin word for "iron", somehow akin to firmus "firm", as in terra firma "dry land". The origin of ferrum remains as much of a mystery as today's contributor. The connection with firmus cannot be established with certainty though the semantic and phonological similarity is striking. If the relation is real, that would take ferrum back to PIE dher-/dhor- "to hold firmly, support", extended by some suffix -m. (Our gratitude for today's Good Word is due the ever-mysterious Grogie, whose mind inhabits an arcane world of very, very arcane words.)

Dr. Goodword,

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