?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Word of the Day - "quondam"

weather: cloudy
outside: 17°C
mood: calm


quondam \KWAHN-dum or KWAHN-dam\ adjective
     : former, sometime

Sample Usage:
     After they moved into their new house, Mike and Lynn discovered a cache of hundred dollar bills hidden behind the fridge by the quondam owner.

Did You Know?
     Looking for an unusual and creative way to say "former"? "Quondam" (which came to English in the 16th century from Latin "quondam," meaning "formerly") certainly fits the bill.

Or maybe you'd prefer one of its synonyms: "whilom," "ci-devant" or "preterit." Or you could really go crazy with "umquhile," a word that is extremely rare even in its more natural Scots English setting. "Quondam" itself isn't exactly ubiquitous, but it's used more than any of the other words above.

If you're looking for something a bit more pedestrian, you might try yet another synonym: "erstwhile." Despite its wonderfully archaic flavor, "erstwhile" is a highly favored alternative.


What caught my eye here was "umquhile". A good friend of mine, J. Ardian Lee, is a historical fantasy author and her first novel, "Son of the Sword" and the sequel "Outlaw Sword" are set in 18th century Scotland at the time of the Jacobite rebellion. "umquhile" might have been a really good word to use.

See my Word Collection


Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
lovesroses
Jul. 17th, 2002 04:34 pm (UTC)
You are a very smart woman! And you have great taste in books!
bride
Jul. 17th, 2002 04:57 pm (UTC)
Re:
I'm fascinated with Celtic/Gaelic/Irish/Scottish cultures of that era. They bear a striking resemblance to Chinese culture - in the idea of the family/community/clan oriented behaviour; in the language; artistic design (the Celtic knot!); and even the music(!) sounds sort of related.
lovesroses
Jul. 17th, 2002 05:04 pm (UTC)
I love the Celtic/Irish romance/history novels. it would have been a great time to live, if only they had indoor plumbing, refridgeration, and heat! :o) What a wonderful time to be a woman, well maybe a wealthy woman.
bride
Jul. 17th, 2002 05:09 pm (UTC)
Re:
Er... even a wealthy woman (Cait) got more than her fair share of shit back then...
ugly_boy
Jul. 17th, 2002 11:34 pm (UTC)
I love your words... Always entertaining.
bride
Jul. 17th, 2002 11:40 pm (UTC)
Re:
I have a small pile of them in backlog. =)
ugly_boy
Jul. 18th, 2002 12:30 am (UTC)
Re:
Yeah, I've surfed through them. Unfortunately, I never actually remember them so I don't get the chance to show off and use them. How on earth do you find these words?
bride
Jul. 18th, 2002 09:37 am (UTC)
Re:
Oh no, I meant I have a bunch that are sitting in my WOTD e-mail folder that I haven't posted to LJ yet =)
ugly_boy
Jul. 18th, 2002 04:14 pm (UTC)
Re:
Cool WOTD e-mails! Sounds like good stuff. I was on a palabra del día thing for Spanish but it was boring so I stopped.
bride
Jul. 18th, 2002 04:22 pm (UTC)
Re:
Well, the WOTD is pretty boring most of the time - like who doesn't know what "magnanimous", "buildungsroman", "apogee", etc. are? But once in a while I'll see an interesting or meaningful word.
ugly_boy
Jul. 18th, 2002 04:31 pm (UTC)
Re:
Uh... I dont know what buildungsroman means... Eep
bride
Jul. 18th, 2002 04:37 pm (UTC)
Re:
Buildungsroman is a genre of a novel or short story where the protagonist goes through a major "growing up", maturing, learning, breaking out of a cocoon, etc.

Timothy Findlay's "The Wars" is a classic example of a buildungsroman. And so is J. Ardian Lee's "Son of the Sword".
ugly_boy
Jul. 18th, 2002 04:57 pm (UTC)
Re:
Yay, thanks! I learn new stuff all the time on lj.
bride
Jul. 18th, 2002 04:38 pm (UTC)
Re:
Oops, it's spelled "bildungsroman"... =P I keep thinking of the verb "to build", but that's wrong... =P
modestmoiska
Jul. 18th, 2002 09:58 am (UTC)
hi! i'm a friend of ugly_boy's, and he told me you had a cool journal. and you do! i added you to my Friends and i will be sure to visit again soon. :)
bride
Jul. 18th, 2002 10:00 am (UTC)
Re:
Hello =) I don't know if I'm really that cool, but welcome =)
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

Profile

eLouai
bride
The Bride of the First House

Latest Month

March 2015
S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031