Oh Dearies, What Congeries

I know a family that has six kiddos.  That’s 56 pairs of socks a week (assuming everybody got a clean pair every day) that gets left in rolled up balls under the bed, dropped by the easy chair in front of the TV, or left out in the rain by the sandbox.  Whew!

Just think of all of the toys, books, clothing — the congeries — that this family encounters on a regular basis.

Congeries [kon-JEER-eez] is a noun that means a pile or collection of things.  It comes from the Latin congerere meaning to heap.

So, if you have a congeries of clothing, you have a pile of clothing.  If you have a congeries of penny-candy you have a pile of those sweet treats.  (But probably not for long because grubby little hands have a way of secretly snitching from a congeries of candy.)

You could have a congeries of newspapers.  Mechanics might have a congeries of oily rags.  An elementary school teacher could have a congeries of spelling papers on her desk waiting to be graded. A computer programmer might have a congeries of fast food wrappers and cups around his computer station.

If you are a parent and your child’s bedroom has a plethora of congeries, you might say to him, “Clean up those congeries before I spank your rear-ies.”  You just might teach him a new vocabulary word while encouraging action toward cleanliness.

On the good side, you can have a congeries (a collection) of marbles.  Or foreign cars.  Or porcelain dolls.  Or thimbles from touristy places.  So congeries can be a good thing.

I hope your life isn’t filled with too many rampant congeries!

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