Betsey Ellis

Betsey is a recovering agent of Satan (.i.e. a legal professional) now working towards a lifetime goal of becoming a perfectly sane cat lady, medieval clothing designer, and occasional playwright. Maybe even finish my doctorate.....nyah, probably not, who needs another expert in Elizabethan Law and its effect on the growth of the middle class.

My Word! March 27

Udometer Udom-e-ter Noun A device for measuring rainfall, a rain gauge A bucket with a yardstick on the porch makes a rudimentary udometer. Gee, never guess where this one comes from…yep, Latin again.  We slapped “meter” on the end of the Latin uvidus, or udus (meaning damp, moist and wet).

My Word! March 20

Tenebrific ten·​e·​brif·​ic Adjective Gloomy Causing gloom or darkness Soldiers from World War I recounted the horrors of spending months on end in the tenebrific trenches on the Western front. The first documented use of the word was in 1785 when the word was politely borrowed from the New Latin word Tenebrae, meaning darkness.

My Word! January 9

Jejune Ji-jun Adjective   devoid of significance or interest, dull juvenile or puerile lacking nutritive value   Rice cakes, even with chocolate frosting, may be filling, but they still make for a jejune meal.   This one made its way into English sometime in the 1600s, coming from the Latin word jejunus, which means “empty of…

My Word! December 19

Gibbous Gib-bous Adjective marked by convexity or swelling of the moon or a planet : seen with more than half but not all of the apparent disk illuminated having a hump   Camels are gibbous.   The adjective gibbous has its origins in the Latin noun gibbus, meaning “hump.” It was adopted into Middle English to describe rounded, convex things. While it…

My Word! November 7

Aioli Ai-o-li Noun A mayonnaise flavored with garlic and sometimes other flavors as well. Aioli seems to have become the new salsa in the condiment world. While this one can be traced to 1846 coming from the Occitan words  ai (garlic) and oli ( oil).

My Word! August 15

Oneiromancy one·i​ro·​man·​cy Noun Divination by means of dreams, or the interpretation of dreams. Joseph gained favor with the Pharaoh by means of oneiromancy and helped avert the effects of famine in the land. People have been trying to interpret dreams for quite some time now since this word first was used in English in 1652. …

My Word! August 8

Niccolic Nic-colic Adjective Composed of, or pertaining to, nickel We all know that pennies are no longer 100% copper, but are nickels still niccolic? As nickel goes back a long time, so does the word about things being made of nickel.  Yep, it’s from the Latin word niccolum (meaning nickel) with the English “ic” on…