Ponderings with Doug – February 3, 2017

We live in a world of words. Stop means “quit” or “don’t go.” Go means “proceed.” How about “run?” That word will slow you down with all the ways it can be properly used in English. I can affirm I don’t run any longer and I won’t run again. In one sentence I used “run” two different ways.

Our language contains some rare treasures.


Derived from jenatculum, the Latin word for a very early breakfast consisting of foods like bread, cheese, dried fruits, honey, milk–and even wine. Exactly when it came into use as the English adjective jentacular is unknown, but it was commonly used in the 18th and 19th centuries. An example of its use can be found in the New Family Receipt Book (receipt, in this case means “recipe”), published in London in 1819. Its authorship was attributed to “A Lady” but it is known to have been written by Maria Eliza Rundell, author of the most popular cookbooks in the ear in both England and the United States. Rundell writes that “coffee for breakfast is earnestly recommended as a most wholesome and pleasant juntacular beverage.” The word is basically obsolete, but is still used, mostly stylistically, by some writers today. I just did!

I wonder if you could use the word at Lasyone’s this weekend?


Charles Anderson Worsley was the second Earl of Yarborough, an earldom in east-central England, from 1846 until his death in 1862. He is best known for having a standing offer to his bridge-playing friends; a 1,000 to 1 bet against them being dealt a bridge hand containing no ace and no card higher than a nine. If someone took the bet and won he would pay them 1,000 pounds. If they lost they paid him one pound. The legend of that bet lived on after the earl’s death, and in the late 1890’s, that hand started being called a “Yarborough” after him, and bridge players still use the term today. (It is also commonly used to refer to any weak hand.) Actual odds against being dealt a 13 card hand with no ace, and no cards higher than a nine, from a standard 52 card deck of cards: approximately 1,827 to 1. So it was actually a pretty smart bet for the Earl of Yarborough to make.
There are other words that are in the good ole Oxford Dictionary that we don’t use much here in Natchitoches Parish.

Apricity: The warmth of the sun during winter or on a particularly cold day. From the Latin apricus, meaning “warmed by the sun.” Despite the icy temperature, she was able to enjoy a moment of apricity as the sun emerged from behind a cloud.

Brabble: To squabble or argue noisily about inconsequential things. The word is believed to come from the 16th century Middle Dutch brabbelen meaning “to quarrel or jabber.” The incessant brabbling at the Natchitoches Parish Council meetings gives me a headache.
There are more, but you have endured this lengthy introduction.


Grace is described in the Bible like this, “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” When you need it but don’t deserve it and can’t earn it, grace is God’s gift to us in Jesus.” God is Jesus giving grace to all who ask. Asking is actually the only qualification to receive His grace.
Thus endeth the lesson.