Printable Version
Pronunciation: trist Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A secret meeting of lovers, a rendezvous or 2. The place where lovers meet, a rendezvous point.

Notes: Today's Good Word is one that is often misused as a synonym for a love affair. Its actual meanings are those above. This word may also be used as a verb meaning little more than "meet", as 'to tryst after Church every Sunday'. The meaning has narrowed from any meeting in a secret place to one just for lovers.

In Play: Today tryst carries the strong connotation of a secret meeting of lovers: "The Lettuce Inn has been the tryst of Fairleigh Luce and Candy Cain for months now." The word can refer either to the time or place of the meeting or the meeting itself: "Candy couldn't make her tryst with Fairleigh last Friday because it was the only day she could get her hair done."

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from Old French triste "a trusted or reliable waiting place in hunting". It shares the same origin as English trust and tree, the Proto-Indo-European root deru- "tree, wood, strong", a meaning that ties the two words together. It underlies Greek dendron "tree", Sanskrit daru "wood", and Russian derevo "tree". In Celtic the same root became druid, from an original compound dru-wid- "strong seer", based on PIE deru- + weid- "to see". (We might not trust a Druid, but we can trust Riutaro Aida, AKA Flaminius of the Agora, to find interesting words like this for us to ponder.)

Dr. Goodword,

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