I’m sitting in my office (the sofa in our family room). My husband is reading the Reader’s Digest and comes across a word he doesn’t know. “What does nadir mean?”
Nadir. Nadir. Nadir. Mmmmm. . . The word bounces around my brain seeking a definition. No definition reaches out to claim it. I’m at a loss. But I, the wordsmithie of the household, can’t admit that I don’t know the definition of a word. That’s unthinkable.
Full of confidence I say, “It refers to a . . . a . . . a . . . point . . .”
My husband looks expectantly at me waiting for me to finish.
I quickly pull up dictionary.com on my laptop that is resting on my lap top. (Funny thing!) I try to be sneaky because I don’t want him to know that I had look up the definition. That wouldn’t be cool.
“It’s the lowest or deepest point.”
He raises one eyebrow. He knows. He knows. He knows that I looked it up online. Sigh.
Nadir [ney-der] is a noun that means the lowest or deepest point; point of greatest adversity or despair. I almost sink into a nadir of despair because I didn’t remember the definition of the word. I knew it once. I really did. But I just couldn’t dust off the cobwebs from my synapses to bring the definition back into the daylight of my recall. I hate it when that happens.
Someone could experience nadir when they lose a job, get a divorce, or go bankrupt. They could feel nadir of despair when something they really wanted to do falls through. Or when they fail a college class. Or when they go through chemotherapy but it doesn’t kill all of the cancer and they only have a few weeks left to live.
Eww, all of this is depressing.
But then, that’s what this word is all about.