When this Bradypus (from Greek for “slow foot”) utters the cry that has become its common name, it likely does not suspect that it has given a helping claw to many a Scrabble player. It also likely little imagines that its name may be formed by artificial intelligence, Amnesty International, Adobe Illustrator, artificial insemination, and many more, or (particularly since it is native to Brazil) that it is uttering Mandarin for “love” (or a sigh, an exclamation, “dim,” “cancer,” “white”…). But any of these may well surface for the Canadian anglophone on seeing this word. On hearing it, of course, the same will think first of the first person, or of flamenco perhaps. (Sinophones will most likely hear yah! immediately after it.) This is an easily written word for an animal famously conservative in motion (its best-known name is that of the most indolent deadly sin). If anything in the form of this word might resemble a creature with a foreleg extended in the air, hanging from a tree by one (three-toed) forefoot, then that is appropriate; after all, these edentates are arboreal and, when they move at all, get around almost exclusively by brachiation – they aren’t even built to stand on the ground. They are not big animals, generally around 18 inches long – which, ironically for such lethargic beasts of laconic name, makes them sesquipedalian in size. Ai!
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
- sentence tastings
- The Week
- Word Country
- word pictures
- word portraits
- word reviews
- word sommelier
- word tasting notes