mordacious

Pronounced: more-DAY-shus, adj

Notes: I couldn’t define this word, but I think I recognize some of the sub-parts of it


Yesterday’s word

The word pierian means “relating to learning or poetry”

First usage

This word came into English in the late 1500s

Background / Comments

A nice, simple, straightforward definition. I could find uses in the learning part of the meaning. It comes from a region in Greece called Pieria. In Greek mythology, Pieria had a spring that would inspire anyone who drank from it (the spring was sacred to the Muses). There is a oft-misquoted line from Alexander Pope: a little knowledge is a dangerous thing; in fact, the correct quote is: a little learning is a dang’rous thing. What does that have to do with our word? The next line is “Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring” — apparently, his advice was to either avoid a subject or learn it well (deeply). It is an interesting idea, but I’m not sure I entirely agree.

Published by Richard

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

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