palliate

Pronounced: PAH-lee-ate, verb

Notes: I’ve run across this word in reading


Yesterday’s phrase

The phrase black dog means “depression”

First usage

This word showed up (with this meaning) in the mid-1600s

Background / Notes

As you might expect, this word was originally used for a canine of dark complexion. People started using the expression for counterfeit coin — it is thought because a coin made of some base metal other than silver or gold would turn black over time. Eventually, the term came to be applied to depression. Samuel Johnson used in that way in his famous diary. Winston Churchill often used the expression also, and it became popular because of his usage. I thought that the famous preacher, Charles H Spurgeon, also used the term; while it is true that he suffered from depression, I didn’t find easy proof that he used this term.

Published by Richard

Christian, lover-of-knowledge, Texan, and other things.

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