The 2021 Word Of The Year is…
verb (used without object)
to work, write, or study laboriously, especially at night.
Lucubrate derives from the Latin verb lūcubrāre “to work at night” or, more specifically, “to work by candlelight/lamplight,” from the Proto-Indo-European root lewk- “light,” which is the source of many Latin-derived words related to light, clarity, and brightness. From the verb lūcēre “to shine,” we inherit lucid and translucent; from the verb lūstrāre “to make bright,” we have adapted luster and illustrate; and from the noun lūmen “light,” we have luminous and illuminate. This Proto-Indo-European root is also found in the English terms light and lea, another word for “meadow”; Latin lūna “moon”; and Ancient Greek leukós “white,” as in leukocyte, the technical term for a white blood cell. Lucubrate entered English in the early 1600s.
While I was confident in my education to this point—after a full course of study at Tokyo Imperial University, I came first to Harvard and then M.I.T. for advanced work because I wanted a modern outlook on architecture, a Western outlook, and I was willing to work all day and lucubrate till dawn to get it—I was coming to Taliesin on impulse.
Some gorge on other poetry and ruminate productively: some interrogate the canon. Some regurgitate. Some over-lucubrate with dictionaries. Some wax Latinate.
incapable of being tired out; not yielding to fatigue; untiring.
Indefatigable “incapable of being tired out” has changed little in spelling and meaning since its origin as the Latin adjective indēfatīgābilis “untiring” or, more literally, “not-tire out-able.” This adjective derives from the verb fatīgāre “to tire,” the source of English fatigue (via French), but its ultimate origin is unknown. The most compelling theory is that fatīgāre comes from a hypothesized adjective, fatis “gaping open” or “yawning,” found also in the verb fatīscere “to grow weak” or “to crack open.” Indefatigable entered English in the late 1500s.
At the age of sixty-eight, Tolstoy was given a tennis racket and taught the rules of the game. He became an instant tennis addict….All summer long, Tolstoy played tennis for three hours every day. No opponent could rival Tolstoy’s indefatigable thirst for the game of tennis…
a particular neighborhood or district, or the people belonging to it.
Vicinage “a particular neighborhood or district” is a fusion of the Latin adjective vīcīnus “nearby” and the English suffix -age, which forms nouns from other parts of speech. Vīcīnus derives from the noun vīcus “village, hamlet,” which is the source of the suffixes -wich and -wick in English placenames, such as Greenwich and Brunswick, and comes from the Indo-European root weik- “clan” or “settlement.” This same root is the source of villa, from the Latin word for “country house,” and the Ancient Greek noun oikos “home,” which gives English ecology, economy, parochial, and parish.
I drove out to Tara Estates, among the latter-day manors that lined the circling drives and culs-de-sac and stood like arrogant bastions against the ripe green earth. There were no sidewalks here, no signs of age, no mystery, as if the whole vicinage had risen up en masse at an hour in time so designated and precise that history itself had been obliterated.
The Island of Mackinac has a circumference of about nine miles, and its shores and vicinage are picturesque and romantic in the highest degree.