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.
one of a pair of metal stands, usually of iron or brass, for holding logs in a fireplace.
Andiron “one of a pair of metal stands for holding logs in a fireplace” may be a common noun, but its history is anything but typical. Andiron derives by way of Anglo-French from Old French andier, with a change in spelling and pronunciation because of an association with the unrelated English noun iron. Prior to Old French, the history of andiron is unclear; the most frequently appearing hypothesis is a derivation from Gaulish anderos “young animal,” after the use of decorative animal heads on andirons, but this connection remains unproven. If the link is valid, andiron is a distant cognate with the words for “bull” and “heifer” in several modern Celtic languages, such as Breton and Welsh. Andiron was first recorded in English in the late 13th century.
But the things that … Tom liked the most, were two great brazen Andirons that stood in the fireplace. To Tom these Andirons, though up to the night when our story begins he had never seen them move, seemed almost to live. They had big, round, good-natured faces, that shone like so much gold. Their necks were slight and graceful, but as they developed downward toward their handsome feet the Andirons grew more portly, until finally they came to look very much like a pair of amiable sea serpents without much length. Tom’s uncle said they looked like cats, with sunflowers for heads, swan necks for bodies, and very little of the cat about them save the claws.
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