Will this thick word become liquid as its trips on your tongue? It has a sliding mechanical sound, like a bolt-action gun being cocked, or perhaps like wet shale on a cliff disturbed by a trekker. There are two strong overtones: thick and tropic. Ironically, thick is etymologically unrelated but has some kinship with the sense, while tropic comes from the same Greek as Tropic of Capricorn but thixotropic has nothing much to do with tropical climates – unless you consider that guar gum is thixotropic, and guar grows in the tropics. Crosses and dots crop up on the page – two t’s, an x, and two i’s – but also round letters, two o’s and a c, plus a full ascender (h) and a descender (p). It’s like a thicket of ink with a dual nature. And if you shake the thicket? Ah, that’s the ticket. A thixotropic gel will become fluid when agitated and revert to gel when left to stand. More things have this property than you might think. Some flow in your body; some may stick to your boots. If you touch one, will you turn? It would be fitting – the word does come from Greek thixis “touching” and trope “turning.”
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