Tag Archives: eslargish

eslargish

If it’s a sluggish, slushy day and you’re feeling beleaguered in the glare of the age, why not enlarge your lexicon with a garnish and regale your darling (or the lads or gals over lagers)? It is time to eslargish yourself and your tongue!

Eslargish? This must be one of those obsolete trouvailles picked like a meaty chicken bone from the lexical dumpster that is the Oxford English Dictionary, yes? Yes. The citations are from the 1400s, but why should that stop us? We’re not here to communicate with people right now. That’s the work of the daytime. Evenings are for merriment, amusement, fantasy, expansion, and regulated incoherence. Slosh a skosh of Scotch in a glass and declare tonight the night of the expanding mind. Knock back a Cognac and toast the ancient French, who lent the root eslargiss– to the English, then (like everyone else eventually) died and handed the language down and their descendants made it élargissement, verb élargir. But that all came from Latin ex plus largus, changed in its turn by time and mortality. Nothing stays the same. One may hope for eslargishment.

What does eslargish mean? What is it used for? It may look like an adjective, but it is a verb; when it was used, it meant ‘extend the range or scope of’ or ‘free [oneself]’ – i.e., be at large. If you eslargish yourself, you cast off your fetters. If you eslargish your vocabulary, you add words and forms to it.

They don’t all have to be words you use during the day, you know. My grandfather, a minister, had an extensive vocabulary replete with words unknown to his congregants; he reserved those for his prayers, because they were good words and God would understand them. If you do not pray, at least you can say eslargish to yourself as encouragement, perhaps while gargling in the morning.