Printable Version
Pronunciation: li-kêr-rish Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: (Archaic) 1. Pleasant to the palate, tasty, delicious. 2. Fondness (especially of delicious food), desirous, longing. 3. Lecherous, lustful, filled with sensual desires.

Notes: Today's Good (if archaic) Word may also be spelled lickerish, the way it is pronounced. It is widely confused with the word licorice (also spelled liquorice), so much so, in fact, some dictionaries list this pronunciation as an acceptable alternative to licorice. Now that today's word is archaic, it may be time for it to be replaced.

In Play: The latest sense of today's Good Word is the first one on the Meaning list: "Stella Doro serves some of the most liquorish morsels I have ever tasted at her soirées." The original meaning is the last one above: "Phil Anders is known for his liquorish eye and disrespect for women."

Word History: This word is a mispronunciation of lickerous, with all the same meanings. The third sense is the one that tells of the origin of the word: it is a variant of Old French lecheros "lecherous". This word was based on Old French lecheor "lecher", someone who lives in debauchery and gluttony. The root of this word was borrowed from the Old Germanic word that came down to English as lick, to German as lecken, and to Dutch as likken. Its traceable history goes back to Proto-Indo-European li(n)gh- "to lick". With the Fickle N it emerged as Latin lingua "tongue, language", which reached French as langue "tongue" and langage "language". English borrowed the latter as language.

Dr. Goodword,

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