yu-bêr-tee • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun, mass
Meaning: No, we didn't forget the P in our Good Word today; uberty is its own word. It means 1. abundance, copiousness and 2. fruitfulness, fertility.
Notes: Today's Good Word is the noun derived from the adjective uberous "abundant, copious". You may use the adjective as an adverb if you are careful to attach the adverbial suffix, -ly: uberously.
In Play: Uberty is a good synonym to relieve the word abundance of some of its work: "There was a uberty of ideas at the meeting but a dearth of volunteers to try any of them." Then, of course, we have Tim Ward's comment in our Alpha Agora, "Give me uberty or give me dearth." Or maybe something in between.
Word History: This interesting word comes from Latin ubertas "fruitfulness, fertility", borrowed along the same lines as liberty from libertas. Ubertas comes from the adjective uber "fruitful, fertile", which originated as a noun meaning "breast, udder". The Latin word uber derives from the same PIE word as the English word udder. You can also see it in English exuberant, which came from the present participle of Latin exuberare "to be superabundant". (We are grateful for the uberous vocabulary of Luciano Eduardo de Oliveira, a long-time editor of the Good Word series and the source of today's Good Word.)
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