Pronounced: JIR-ent, noun

Notes: A good word to know; I’m not sure why it’s not used more (I didn’t know it)

Yesterday’s word

The word propinquity means

  • nearness of blood; kinship
  • nearness in place of time; proximity
First usage

Our word goes back to the 1300s

Background / Comments

An interesting background: the Latin root of our word is prope (near). From this root, two similar words came into being propinquus (near, akin) — the ancestor of our word — and proximus (nearest) — the source of the English word “proximity”. In an odd reversal of meaning, “propinquity” gives a stronger sense of closeness that “proximity”. The word proximity also carries with it the idea of being in the vicinity of something. However, these subtle distinctions in English are often overlooked, and the words are commonly used interchangeably. Our word is the older word; the word proximity is roughly a hundred years younger.

Published by Richard

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

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