A Good Word for Halloween

Today is a day for candy — lots of it!! And some candy is more cibarious than other kinds.

Cibarious (si-bar-ee-uhs) is an adjective that means edible or fit to be eaten. As I write this, I’m trying to think of a candy that I think is NOT cibarious. I’m having a hard time coming up with something . . . That must mean I like all kinds of candy. WAIT! I have had some types of licorice from Europe and even a salt licorice from Canada that I’m not particularly fond of.

But, Rollos, caramels, Sugar Babies, Malt Balls, licorice flavored salt water taffy, cinnamon bears, and Hot Tamales are the kinds of candy that I think are cibarious. Almond Joys are nice, too, as are Snickers and Milky Way candy bars.

When someone is beginning to learn how to cook, some of the food cooked is not cibarious. That is the food is not fit to be eaten. When I was a new bride, my husband invited one of his friends over for dinner. I fixed pork chops. Or rather, I attempted to fix pork chops. What a disaster. Certainly NOT cibarious.

Over the years, I have improved my culinary skills. Most of the time, my meals are tasty cibarious culinary delights. Mostly.


Ambidextriously Adroit

My niece e-mailed me the other day with a word she just learned — adroit. She was rather excited because it fit her so well. Not only can she write with her right hand, she can also write with her left hand. She favors her left hand . . . .

Adroit (uh-droit) is an adjective that means expert or nimble in the use of the hands or body. My niece is very expert and nimble at using both of her hands for writing! I’ve seen some people’s penmanship that indicated that they can’t even write with one hand!! I saw a magician perform some magic tricks this week and he certainly was adroit with his hands. A gymnast is adroit with her body as is anyone who is into sports (e.g. basketball, football, baseball, etc.)

Adroit can also mean cleverly skillful, resourceful, or ingenious. Someone good at debating could be an adroit debater. Parents could be adroit at managing their financial resources. Someone who has a great desire to accomplish something in the face of hardship oft times is adroit at problem solving to gain the desires of their heart.

I need to improve my adroitness with words . . .

Think Eliza in “My Fair Lady”

Tatterdemalion (tat-er-di-meyl-yuhn) is an adjective that means a person in tattered clothing. A shabby person. Someone who is ragged and unkempt. Sometimes when I work out in my yard, I might look like a tatterdemalion. My work clothes are unkempt and has lots of stains and holes in them. A homeless person sometimes look like a tatterdemalion – unkempt, unshaven (for men), greasy hair, old and dirty clothing.

Mothers are forever trying to keep their children (and sometimes their husbands) from being a tatterdemalion. Moms encourage (read that to mean nag) their kids to pick their clothes off the floor and put in the wash so the kids can have clean, unwrinkled clothing. (It’s sad when the style is to look disheveled, wrinkled, and unkempt!) Moms try to instill a level of personal dignity, a level of good personal grooming, in their children. Why dress like a tatterdemalion when you aren’t one??

Disheveled is a word similar to tatterdemalion. (But tatterdemalion is more fun to use!) Disheveled (di-shevuhld) is an adjective that means untidy, disarranged, rumpled, messy, sloppy, slovenly. You can have disheveled hair (wild and uncombed) or disheveled clothes (like you’ve been sleeping in them for a month). You can have a stack of disheveled papers – a stack that is not tidy, not neatly arranged, and very messy. A room could be disheveled (messy). A yard could be disheveled (looking like the junk yard instead of a picture from Better Homes and Garden!)

It makes you wonder if tatterdemalion folks have disheveled houses and yards . . . .


Be Ye Circumspect or Be Ye Quixotic?

Today’s posting is a personality check.  Which type of a person are you – circumspect or quixotic?  Circumspect (sur-kuhm-spekt) is an adjective that means prudent.  It means heedful of circumstances and potential consequences.  It means watchful, discreet, cautious.  Are you like that??

You could have circumspect behavior. That would mean your behavior was careful and discreet.  Not like the behaviors of actors, actresses, and politicians.  You could have a circumspect financial investment.  That investment would be a cautious investment, one in which you carefully noted the potential consequences of how it would go and the effect it would have on your financial status.  You could have circumspect driving habits (careful and cautious).  You could hold circumspect conversations (discreet and prudent and mindful of the potential consequence).  You probably know people who do not have circumspect behavior . . . . . and that’s too bad for them!

The next personality check is quixotic.  Quixotic (qwik-sot-ik) is an adjective that means impulsive and often rashly unpredictable.  Extravagantly chivalrous or romantic, visionary, impractical, fanciful, fantastic, imaginary.  Similar to Don Quixote’s actions in the novel by Cervantes.  In fact, this word’s origin is based on Don Quixote’s name and behavior and is meant to describe people with behavior similar to his.

So, if someone has quixotic behavior instead of circumspect behavior, they are not careful, discreet, nor prudent.  They are impulsive, rash, and unpredictable. They are also fanciful, extravagantly chivalrous, or romantic.  Sometimes young men in love are quixotic in an effort to win a girl’s affection.  They do extravagantly romantic and chivalrous things for the young woman.  They are rash and impulsive in their behavior toward the young lady.  Sometimes their actions are dashingly romantic . . . sometimes they seem dashingly foolish . . . just like Don Quixote!  (Girls could be quixotic, too.  It’s just not a guy thing!)

So, which are you?  Circumspect or quixotic???