10 little-known words we could actually use this summer
A few days ago, I managed to walk from my work to the coffee shop down the street without a sweater. For those few seconds, I remembered what pure bliss felt like. I’d been questioning whether or not the East Coast would be ever able to recover from all these recent weather disasters, but the grass seems to be re-emerging in some areas, so I’m starting to feel more hopeful. A few weeks ago, I created a list of made-up winter words that I wish existed to commemorate the never ending winter of 2015. Now, with warmer temperatures rushing in, it’s only fair to give summer a word list of its own. Here’s a few terms I found that may help describe your future summer experiences.
1. Estivate (v.): to spend the summer in a state of torpor
If you don’t spend at least half of your summer sprawled out on a beach towel like a lazy, overfed cat or stretched out on your basement couch with a remote in hand, you’re not doing summer right. Ignore all of those splashy commercials featuring “family fun time” at outdoor theme parks and vacation resorts; the best kind of summer is one that requires the least amount of movement and interaction as possible. That’s where estivate comes in.
2. Bromidrosis (n.): the secretion of foul-smelling sweat
Some people can sit on the beach all day and return home with a golden-brown tan and a layer of shimmery but healthy-looking sweat. Other people step outside for two minutes and turn into a puddle of stinky bodily fluids that no number of deodorant sticks or Sham Wows can fix. What these “other people” may be suffering from is bromidrosis. This condition (which has nothing to do with bros) causes heavy secretion of sour-smelling sweat. (You’re welcome for that lovely description.)
3. Aquabib (n.): a water drinker
Around the 1800s, thousands of people across New England pledged to stop drinking alcohol, launching what became known as the Temperance Movement. While there were over 6,000 official temperance societies, there were still plenty of critics who believed in the freedom to imbibe to their heart’s desire. In a petty act of defiance, these drinkers created a derogatory nickname for their straight-edge peers who chose water over alcohol: aquabibs. While I’m not a huge of that etymology, I am particularly fond of the word itself. It will make a great title for my future line of water-proof baby bibs. (This is me calling dibs.)
4. Phoenigm (n.): reddening of the cheeks
Everyone has that friend who, after a couple of drinks, starts to look like an embarrassed tomato from the neck up. For those of us who are tired of trying to come up with a clever joke when this happens, the word phoenigm is here to save the day. Though it looks like a portmanteau of two very disgusting words like “plegm” and “enigma,” phoenigm is an archaic word meaning “reddening of the cheeks.” So when your friend’s face starts flushing, feel free to pull out this handy word (no judgement).
5. Adust (adj.): scorched by the heat; melancholy
This word may have two separate meanings but to me, they both make sense in relation to each other because if I somehow found myself sitting in the heat long enough to be considered “scorched,” I would probably feel melancholy about it, if not initially then definitely later on when I tried to crawl into bed with a full-body sunburn. I simply can’t adjust to being adust.
6. Belvedere (n.): a summer-house with a fine view
Belvedere is not the name of your grandfather’s butler or an expensive dog breed. It is “a summerhouse or open-sided gallery, usually at rooftop level, commanding a fine view.” From that description, I would also imagine that such a house would exist somewhere that I could never afford like the French countryside or near an Italian vineyard or Los Angeles.
7. Heliophilia (n.): desire to stay in the sun; love of sunlight
Lizards, cats, ferns, Prius cars, my mother. What do these things have in common? They all suffer from heliophilia, meaning “the love of sunlight.” As far as “conditions” go, this may be one of the best or, at the very least, better than bromidrosis.
8. Calenture (n.): feverish delirium caused by heat
Picture this: you’re strewn across a lawn chair, sizzling in the sun in an attempt to relax. You hear a faint noise, like the sound of an ice cream truck, and you go running, only to find your driveway empty. A relative playing a prank? Maybe. Calenture? More likely. Sit out in the sun too long and your brain is bound to overheat and wreck havoc on your reality.
9. Xertz (v.): to gulp down something quickly
Also known as the thing everyone does after sitting in the sun for five hours and hitting a critical dehydration point that forces you to rush to the nearest water source for relief. I could go more in depth but Joey Tribbiani may have a better demonstration for you.
10. Eudaemonia (n.): true happiness
A warm summer night by the campfire, talking about silly high school gags and turning puffy marshmallows into dangerous mini-torches? That’s eudaemonia. Summer is filled with moments like these. Cherish them. They’ll be gone before you know it, replaced by five feet of snow and blizzard warnings before you have time to blink.
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