This is your time for fulgour. No need to think it vulgar; it’s fine to shine flagrantly. Raise your rays and enubilate yourself. Let those prone to heliotaxis hail a taxi or hop on the omnibus towards your nimbus. All will hallow your halo; all will be effusive about your effulgence.

This word, fulgour, comes from Latin fulgor, but as you can see, now are in it. (In fact, the slipped into it in Old French and was retained by English – though the Americans have left out cold, as they do.) The Latin word means ‘brilliance, radiance, splendor, glory’, and so on and so on, and so does the English; it can also name a dazzling beam of light or similar manifestation. Related words include fulgurant, fulgencyfulgorid, and a full group of others.

Does the sound of this word seem to lack the crisp éclat of coruscation or sparkle, the air-slicing sheen of shine, or the bursting swirl of brilliance? We may be conditioned to find /f/ too soft or goofy, and to think dimly of the lurking and gulping /ʌlg/ (with its “dark l” making it more like /ʌɰg/), and not to esteem the brutish growl of the final /ɹ/. We are more the fools, perhaps, because the Latin original was more like “fool gore,” with a high rounded vowel and a full tongue-tip liquid.

But you need neither fool nor gore to be full of glory. This is your time to gleam across our gulf. It’s always perihelion when you’re the sun. All others will climb hills to be closer to you, or will lie out on the shingled strand to receive your gleaming pearls. Instead of saying “Who?” when they see your ray, they will say “Hooray!” as you burst forth on the world and illuminate them all with your flare and your flair. Your followers will carry your flag and be engulfed in your fulgour. So rise and shine!

One response to “fulgour

  1. Love this pic!

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