The Best of the Best

Epitome

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt

 

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So when I was maybe 19 or so, this kid who was 18 informed me that he thought I was the epitome of pulchritude.

Epitome I  understood.  Pulchritude?  Nope.  Never heard that one before. So without reacting in any way because I didn’t want to show my ignorance, I went and looked it up.

Does is sound like something you would want someone to say about you?  It didn’t to me, either.

To my surprise, it means beauty. Really?  How could such an unattractive word mean that?

But it does. Comes from the Latin root pulcher, which means, well, beautiful. 

Don’t worry, I didn’t get the big head. The guy was just working on his vocabulary, I think, and anyway he wasn’t my kind of  heartthrob. He was also very busy squiring several other pulchritudinous young ladies around campus.

Anyway, this is supposed to be about epitome.  I’ve always like that word.  I like that each syllable is pronounced. Ee-pit-oh-me. Comes from the Greek epitemnein,  which means to cut short. According to Merriam-Webster, it first appeared as epitome in print around 1520.

When I googled  for an image for epitome,  I got a whole slew of pictures of a car called a Laraki, whose links I was not allowed to reproduce.  Then I found this, which was billed as the epitome of elegance.  Yes. I can see that.

epitome-of-elegance

So how did it come to mean the tiptop example of anything?  Well, originally it meant quite literally to summarize something by picking out only the highlights, as in a critique of a book or play. A critic, for instance, would mention only the best part, using it as a come-on for people to read a book or see a play or hear a piece of music or view a work of art. And so it morphed into the way we use it now. An example of the very best.

For those of you who dislike this sort of academic wandering into etymology, I do apologize. I can’t help it. I was an English teacher.  I love words.

I found a new one today in my search for all this fascinating information. Foozle. It means to manage or play awkwardly.  He foozled that play and lost the touchdown. She foozled her routine on the floor competition and lost the gold medal in gymnastics.

Gotta love a word like that.  Foozle. Say it ten times in a row, fast. If you’re not laughing, you foozled it.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/epitome/

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15 thoughts on “The Best of the Best

  1. The word sounds like filth but then..its not. What an elegant dress.
    I would like to invite you to my blog party which is going on right now. It goes on through the weekend. It’s a great opportunity to mingle with other awesome bloggers like you. I hope to see you. The party link is titled Summery blog party live link. Regards, Jacqueline

  2. Interesting post!! I love that dress, too, it’s very, very beautiful! ❤ I am such a sucker for sequins, glitter and sparkly things =]

    I also like the wandering you did into the language and word itself. :3 It's refreshing. Language and psychology is something I really want to look into but I'm not entirely sure where to start exactly, do you know if there are books out there or articles about the topic?

    1. Thanks so much 🙂

      There are zillions of books out there. Depends on where exactly you want to go with your interest. And the internet? Good grief. Tons and tons of sites, again depending on where exactly you want to look. You need to be specific in your search.

      1. No problem! =]

        Awesome! Thanks for the tips!! Ooo, I’m going to get so excited to delve into the topic…aaaaaaas soon as I bring back my like 8 books I’ve taken out of the library thus far! Then there’s the 14 other ones I have for my next batch, ahaha. I’m gonna be spending a long summer reading 🙂

  3. I agree…the word pulchritude does sound unattractive…amazing that it means the opposite . I haven’t heard the word foozle before either. I like the dress except for the center piece that goes down to the floor…perhaps they could have had it start where the other sections do.

  4. I always love your posts, because I learn something from them! (Unless I foozle it up)

    And that dress, OMG what a dream of a dress! Now, if it weren’t for my somewhat not-so-slim mid-section, I could totally pull that off. I’d get married just to wear that dress!

    Top ‘o the morning to ya!

    1. Don’t you love that word? Foozle. It’s just such a cool word 🙂

      It’s Memorial Day here in the States, so I don’t have to go to work. ‘Course, I don’t work on Mondays anyway, but still, it’s nice that it’s a holiday.

      1. Hope you fully enjoyed your day off, that is off anyways, but even more off because of the holiday?

        I tested these two new-to-me words on Sir Nerdalot, and he foozled it bigtime! I asked him “am I the epitome of pulchritude?”

        His response was priceless: “if I say the wrong thing now, will I be punched in the face alot?”

        Yup he foozled it! *giggles*

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