an irrigation ditch.
Acequia “irrigation ditch” is a borrowing of a Spanish term derived from Arabic as-sāqiyah, an assimilated form of al-sāqiyah “the irrigation ditch.” Al- is the Arabic equivalent of the article the, and a special feature of al- is that it assimilates to match the first consonant of the word that follows under certain circumstances. The l sound is pronounced with the tip of the tongue, and when the word that follows al- begins with a similarly pronounced consonant (such as d, n, or s), the l in al- changes to match. In Arabic words that were adopted by Portuguese or Spanish and then adopted into English, the al- article exists today, albeit in disguise merely as a-, in words such as acequia, adobe, and even tuna (a corruption of Spanish atún). However, the full al- form is still visible in words that did not start with a tip-of-the-tongue consonant, such as albacore, alcohol, alcove, and alfalfa. Acequia was first recorded in English circa 1840.
New Mexico’s acequia system consists of several hundred … waterways that use gravity to transport water for local farmers to irrigate their fields. It’s been in place for centuries; many farmers and ranchers in northern New Mexico rely on it for their crops and rangeland. But, as the region suffers from months of extreme drought with little sign of relief, those reliant on acequias are worried how long the water will last this season.
By noon he was riding a farmland road where the acequias carried the water down along the foot-trodden selvedges of the fields and he stood the horse to water and walked it up and back in the shade of a cottonwood grove to cool it.
endowed with or characterized by a hearty, joyous humor or a spirit of good-fellowship.
Jovial “characterized by a hearty, joyous humor” comes from Medieval Latin joviālis “of Jupiter”; the planets were once thought to influence human emotion, and just as Saturn was associated with a low mood (compare saturnine), Jupiter was associated with happiness. While Iuppiter was the Latin form of the name Jupiter when used as the subject of a sentence, its stem was Iovi-, which survives in English today as Jove, an alternative English name for Jupiter the god. Though the god’s name in older Latin was Iovis, in classical Latin, the compound name Iuppiter “father Jove” (based on pater “father”) took the place of Iovis as part of a process called suppletion, as we learned about recently in the etymology of the Word of the Day laisser-aller. Jovial was first recorded in English in the 1580s.
Most pups love to play, whether it’s chasing balls, engaging in a game of tug-of-war, or tearing that squeaky toy to smithereens …. Once they’ve grown up, animals rarely play, simply because they must focus on finding territories, food, and mates. Nor do they often play with animals outside their own kind. But dogs seem to bring out the jovial nature of many species, from humans to turtles to chickens—interactions that are well documented on YouTube.
At last our Tommy got his bearings, … and business kept him hard at work. He was evidently in his right place now, and soon throve finely, to his father’s great contentment; for his jovial presence pervaded the once quiet office like a gale of fresh wind, and his lively wits found managing men and affairs much more congenial employment than studying disease, or playing unseemly pranks with skeletons.
verb (used with object)
to see (something unclear or distant) by looking carefully; discern; espy.
Descry “to see by looking carefully” may look and sound like describe, but the two are not related. While describe comes from Latin scrībere “to write,” descry and the related verb decry both come from Old French crier “to cry,” the source of English cry. From here, there are at least four hypotheses regarding the origin of crier. The traditional story is that crier ultimately comes from the Latin verb quirītāre “to cry out in protest,” a verb said to be related to the noun Quirītēs “citizens of Rome,” though this connection may be folk etymology and therefore based on mere coincidence. Some sources allege that quirītāre is instead a frequentative form of the verb querī “to complain” (the source of quarrel and querulous), while others connect quirītāre to quirrītāre “to grunt (as a boar).” However, Latin may not be involved at all; crier could derive instead from a Frankish source cognate to Dutch krijten “to cry” and German kreischen “to shriek.” Descry was first recorded in English in the late 13th century.
On September 18 and 19, starting before sunrise and finishing after sunset, Wilkes took 4,882 photographs of the art installation In America: Remember, an exhibit that aims to convey the enormity of the country’s pandemic losses …. To do so, Wilkes spent two days suspended 45 feet above the ground in a lift—high enough for a bird’s eye view but low enough to descry people’s gestures and body language. He positioned the lift purposely: He wanted the National Museum of African American History and Culture … to be a focal point because “so many people of color were dramatically impacted by this virus.”
Having thus prepared all things as well as I was able, I set sail on the twenty-fourth day of September, 1701, at six in the morning; and, when I had gone about four leagues to the northward, the wind being at southeast, at six in the evening I descried a small island about half a league to the northwest[.] I advanced forward, and cast anchor on the lee side of the island, which seemed to be uninhabited.
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