I learned two new words this week. It’s cool because it doesn’t happen very often anymore (unless it’s a medical term or foreign language), so I always share the word with my whole family. Since these two words were from completely different sources and yet oddly related, I thought I’d share them with you.
The first is petrichor. Know what it is? (I didn’t even know there was a word for it, let alone that it was petrichor.)
It means ‘the smell of rain.’ I learned this today on the earthsky website, which remains one of my favorite internet discoveries. You know, that smell when you suddenly know it’s going to rain any minute? It’s caused by an oil that is released from the Earth into the air before rain begins to fall. How cool is that?
When Middle was much smaller, we were leaving for a field trip one morning and as he got into the car he said, “It smells like fog.” I loved the idea of that–the world smelling like fog. I told him I had always been able to smell when rain was coming, and maybe he could smell when fog was coming. Turns out, we were both smelling petrichor. The word comes from the Greek petra (stone) and ichor (the ethereal blood of the gods). Heavenly Blood in the Stone? I love language.
This cool picture is actually the view from my front porch last night. This fog popped up with no warning, no petrichor or creeping. Not there one minute, there the next. My beautiful husband commented that he had seen this movie, and it didn’t turn out good for anyone. The whole while I was snapping pics and thinking of the word I had learned earlier in the week.
Isn’t that delicious? Some of you may already know it, I had never heard it. Deliquesce, as in ‘dissolve into liquid.’ I read it in the novel I’m reading, Archimedes Nesselrode by Justine Graykin, a lovely, magical book that I am completely enamored with and hope will never end. The line was, “I, myself, might simply deliquesce like a bubble on a summer breeze!” Again, with language, especially when well-used. Deliquesce like a bubble on a summer breeze? I don’t know about you, but that’s how I’d like to go. I was laying in bed reading and I called for the Littles to get out of bed and come and hear this word. They liked it as much as I did, and Middle even decided to make it a move in one of his video games.
Everything is a learning experience in this house. Even for me. So I dare you to use these words today. If you live nearby, you should have no problem finding a chance to use petrichor. And everyone should say deliquesce every single day. Just because it’s fun.