Word of the Week Wednesday: catawampus

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: catawampus.

Catawampus is an adjective meaning askew, off-center or diagonally oriented.

It’s related to the word cater-cornered but it sounds more like some backwoods, mythical beast like a jackalope or a dropbear.

This connection is probably due to my half-remembering the legend of the Wampus-cat.

While the property of being askew or not quite orthogonal is not uninteresting in itself, I do like the word more as a name for a cryptid.



Word of the Week Wednesday: darkle

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week (finally rescued from the oubliette) is: darkle.

To darkle is to appear or grow dark, gloomy or indistinct.

I have always found this to be a cool little word.  It sounds as if it is the negative version of sparkle.

Sparkle can occasionally come across as twee.  I find darkle to be a refreshing alternative.

It’s like a nice patch of shade on a too-sunny day or a little touch of bitter to counteract too much sweet.



Word of the Week Wednesday: perdition

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: perdition.

Perdition is an old-fashioned word meaning damnation, hell and destruction; all sorts of bad things.

It comes from the Latin for destruction.

The sense of loss is seen in the French word from the same root: perdu meaning lost.

All of the senses intertwine in the sense that something ruined or destroyed is lost and that damnation and hell mean the loss of a soul.

Word of the Week Wednesday: militate

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: militate.

To militate is to have a substantial effect or to weigh heavily.  It used to mean to fight for a belief or to be a soldier.

This is not to be confused with mitigate which has a roughly opposite meaning, at least conceptually: to make better of less intense.

I do kind of like the almost misleading aspect of the word; it looks like military so one would think it has some meaning related to the military, but no more.


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