From the earth to the sky and beyond: a word that begins with an inert hard lump of silicon and, boosted by two diminutive letters – and often brainpowered by myriad tiny silicon circuits – becomes a heaven-bound vessel. Mirror the last two letters onto the end again and you get a leg up. Attempts at onomatopoeic association would be off base unless the astronauts were toads. And the shape: do the three round letters remind one of rockets viewed from above or of the planets they are aimed to visit? Does the k seem vaguely gantry-like? But this word brings with it a galaxy of collocations and connotations. Red is a common colour, sometimes glaring, often associated with transportation. Speed is a must. British cooks’ minds may fly to arugula; ecclesiasts may have surplice thoughts. Those hearing it may think it an imperative to be applied to a boat, a cradle, a trailer, or various musical expressions (e.g., this town, inside out). And where does this word come from? Ironically for something that has long been associated with masculine bravado, it was first named (with an Italian word based on a Germanic one) for what it was shaped like: a little distaff.
Be a patron!Support Sesquiotica and get extra premium content and goodies. Starts as low as $1 a month! Find out more and subscribe on Patreon.com
I am for hireI earn my living as an independent editor, writer, and educator. Find out more and contact me at jamesharbeck.com.
Buy the T-shirt (or coffee mug or hip flask)
Wear it proudly:
I operate on a NEED-TO-KNOW basis. I need to know EVERYTHING.
Buy it at cafepress.ca/sesquiphernalia
12 Gifts for Writers ebook – free download
Buy my books
Buy my books on Lulu.com:
- Confessions of a Word Lush (paperback)
- Confessions of a Word Lush (ebook)
- Songs of Love and Grammar (paperback)
- Songs of Love and Grammar (ebook)
- 12 Gifts for Writers (print edition)
You can also get them on Amazon.com. Please note that I make less than half as much per book if you buy them there, however.
Word Tasting Notes Google groupGet just the word tasting notes daily by email – join the Google Word Tasting Notes group.
- Coffice Space
- from the bookshelf
- language and linguistics
- new old words
- Poetry Minute and a Half
- pronunciation tips
- The Week
- Word Country
- word pictures
- word portraits
- word reviews
- word sommelier
- word tasting notes