Vocabulary Rocks!

Accoutrement or Accouterment: -noun 1) An additional item of equipment or dress; accessories, paraphernalia, trimmings, etc. that are not the main part of the garment. 2) The equipment, excluding weapons and clothing, of a soldier. 3) Outward forms of recognition; trappings: ‘cathedral ceilings, heated swimming pools, and other accoutrements signaling great wealth.’ Origin: 1540, French> accoutrement. It appears that the ‘tre’ spelling is for you Brits! We Americans seem to prefer our E’s before the R’s!!

Now, not to be confused with……..

Accouchement: -noun 1) The confinement period during childbirth; the lying-in. 2) The process of giving birth to a baby. Origin: 1800, French accoucher> to give birth, be delivered, to lie down or take to bed; equivalent to coucher, where we get the word ‘couch.’ Interestingly, I have never heard of this term before, which given my profession is rather shocking! I discovered it purely by accident when misspelling the above entry. I can only surmise that it is a very old-fashioned term indeed!

Eponym: -noun 1) A person, real or imaginary, from whom something takes its name. 2) A word based on or derived from a person’s name. 3) Any ancient official whose name was used to designate his term in office. Origin: 1840, French eponyme, from the Greek eponumos> named after.

There are literally hundreds of examples. ‘Silhouette’ comes to mind since I just wrote that essay. Many of the English Eras derive from the monarch’s name or title, ie- Regency, Victorian. Numerous diseases, such as Down’s Syndrome, Cushings, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, are named for the physician who discovered them. Certainly there are thousands of towns named after people. Common things: atlas, bloomers, an Uzi, Jacuzzi, saxophone, sadism, ferris wheel, and so on.


One Comment for Vocabulary Rocks!

  1. Fascinating as always. Never heard of any of these words before this. I feel very knowledgable already.

    Thanks for all your hard work and research.
    TSBO devotee

I love to hear from you!