That’s the Word For It: Hierophant

Hierophants were priests of the ancient Greek city of Eleusis who performed sacred rites. Now a hierophant is an advocate or spokesperson.

Here are some instances of the word used in books:

“The Hierophant becomes a touchstone for many, either representing an artificial belief system (like religion or a work ethic) that we follow or through core beliefs we have created for ourselves.”
― Rob Parnell, The Writer & The Hero’s Journey

“The Hierophant. Special skills: warrior angel, commander and killer of demons. Alignment: Lawful Good…as long as by good you meant God.”
― Jenn Stark, Wilde Fire

That’s the Word for It: Panglossian

Panglossian comes from Pangloss, the name of a character from Voltaire’s novel Candide, first published in 1759. In the novel, Pangloss is an unpragmatic optimist with an attitude reminiscent of the character Don Quixote. The word originates from the Greek Pan which means all and glossa which means tongue.- this translates into a kind of smug facility with language, otherwise known as glibness.

Let’s have a look at how the word has been used in fiction:

“He wants to believe that Shakespeare wrote all those books, that Lincoln fought the Civil War to free the slaves and the United States fought World War II to rescue the Jews and keep the world safe for democracy, that Jesus and the double feature are coming back. But I’m no Panglossian American.”
― Paul Beatty, The Sellout


That’s the Word for It: Eponymous

The word eponymous has to do what is named. Some examples are Lake Victoria, Faraday’s Laws, etc. The usage of the word eponym as a noun and eponymous as an adjective is a trifle confusing especially when you do not know the difference between what is named and the name itself.

Some examples of the word used in books:

“The screen blanked, then produced a book cover. The jacket image—in black-and-white—showed barking dogs surrounding a scarecrow. In the background, shoulders slumped in a posture of weariness or defeat (or both), was a hunter with a gun. The eponymous Cortland, probably.”
― Stephen King, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

“Emma is the eponymous heroine, which means having the name that is used as the title or name of something else.)”
― Joan Elizabeth Klingel Ray, Jane Austen For Dummies

That’s the Word for It: Gentrification

Gentrification is a controversial term when it comes to urban planning and has an unpleasant connotation.  When more well-off people move into poorer areas, the existing demographic is upturned and development occurs, mostly at the expense of the people who live there already. So here, development is one-sided and even hypocritical. The word gentrification comes from the Old French word genterise, which has to do with ‘people of gentle birth’.

Some examples of the word gentrification in literature:

“There is a gentrification that is happening to cities, and there is a gentrification that is happening to the emotions too, with a similarly homogenising, whitening, deadening effect. Amidst the glossiness, of late capitalism, we are fed the notion that all difficult feeling – depression, anxiety, loneliness, rage – are simply a consequence of unsettled chemistry, a problem to be fixed, rather than a response to structural injustice or, on the other hand, to the native texture of embodiment, of doing time, as David Wojnarowicz memorably put it, in a rented body, with all the attendant grief and frustration that entails.”
― Olivia Laing, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

“It is ironic, in the manner of a dystopian nightmare, that an advanced capitalist empire which is founded on genocide and slavery, which still functions as the global police, which has an armed population, which routinely violates international human rights, which has the largest known military industrial complex in the world, which is the world’s largest producer of pornography, has also produced a saccharine ideology in which ‘positive thinking’ functions as a form of psychological gentrification. And it is not insignificant that the neoliberal lie that one is 110% responsible for one’s life—first powerfully encapsulated by the ‘alternative’ conservative thinker Louise Hay, and more recently echoed by Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now (1997/2005)—is directed at women. Today, gendered victim-blaming has become a form of upwardly mobile common sense ‘wisdom’. Now victim blaming is expressed by voices that sound soothing, wise, calm, above all, loving.”
― Abigail Bray, Misogyny Re-Loaded

That’s the Word for It: Apricity

Apricity is a word that the team stumbled upon on Twitter. It’s a rare word, having appeared in 1623 when Henry Cockeram recorded or invented it it for his dictionary. The word never really took off.

Here are some instances of this word used in literature:

Apricity (n.) the warmth of the sun in winter.

A strange a lovely word. The OED does not give any citation for its use except for Henry Cockeram’s 1623 “English Dictionarie”. Not to be confused with “apricate” (to bask in the sun), although both come from the Latin “apricus”, meaning exposed to the sun.”
― Ammon Shea, Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages

“Apricity. That’s what it’s called. A word Reuben taught me: the warmth of the sun in winter.”
― Gillian McAllister, Anything You Do Say

That’s the Word for It: Braggadocio

This flamboyant word was first used by the poet Edmund Spencer in the poem Faerie Queene. The word seems to be making a comeback in political circles. Even President Donald Trump attempted to use the word- “I wrote the Art of the Deal. I say that not in a braggadocious way”-and this sent tweeps on a braggadocio word search frenzy.

That’s the Word for It: Etiolate

The word etiolate comes from the French word for straw and refers to the practice of depriving plants of sunlight causing them to grow pale. The word can be used figuratively as well. Here it has been used to describe birdsong: “The song-thrush has a varied and rather etiolated though liquidescent call: listening to it is like following a small stream descending unevenly over pebbles and making twists and turns echoed in sound.”

Some more examples of the pallid word from literature:

“…I suddenly discerned at my feet, crouching among the rocks for protection against the heat, the marine goddesses for whom Elstir had lain in wait and whom he had surprised there, beneath the dark glaze as lovely as Leonardo would have painted, the marvelous Shadows, sheltering furtively, nimble and silent, ready at the first glimmer of light to slip behind the stone, to hide in a cranny, and prompt, once the menacing ray had passed, to return to the rock or the seaweed over whose torpid slumbers they seemed to be keeping vigil, beneath the sun that crumbled the cliffs and the etiolated ocean, motionless lightfoot guardians darkening the water’s surface with their viscous bodies and the attentive gaze of their deep blue eyes.”
― Marcel Proust, In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower

“The past has no wholeness, it has been etiolated by revised explanations of it, trampled over by hindsight – all their lives.”
― Nadine Gordimer

That’s the Word for It: Non-refoulement

Non-refoulement is a legal term. While political asylum applies to those who can prove fear of persecution based on a certain category of persons, non-refoulement refers to a principle of international law that prevents expulsion or deportation of people, including refugees into war zones and places that pose a risk to life and freedom. It was the plight of the refugees during the Holocaust that caused the making of this legal concept.

If you are interested in this very relevant word, you may want to check this link.