So although I’ve been working on a number of posts lately I can’t seem to get to the end of any of them. I hate when that happens. Seriously.
Thankfully, it’s another Monday and so I get to talk about some words since I haven’t even done that lately. This week’s winning entry is the letter H. H is pretty good, it stands on its own and it helps other letters do some really neat stuff.
Some of my favourite H words are halcyon, haberdashery, hyperbole, heart, heartwood, harmony and hoyden.
halcyon — a period of time in the past that was idyllically happy and peaceful. I first heard this word on some television show over 30 years ago. Some campy character blithely referring to those “halcyon days.” My halcyon days were my childhood. Really.
haberdashery — kind of an olde tyme five and dime store, a notions shop. In American english it usually refers to a men’s accessories shop (but not many people even know the term) but in the UK a haberdashery sells buttons, threads, ribbons; in ye olde tymes they might even carry swords or musical instruments. (On Are You Being Served? the haberdashery department is on the ground floor — I love this show.)
hyperbole — exaggeration, intentionally used for emphasis or effect; not to be taken literally. “omgosh, this bag weighs a tonne!” “I waited for days for the cable guy to show up!” (oh wait, that’s actually not an exaggeration at all) “I’m so tired I could sleep for days!”
heart — what can I say? I don’t mean heart as in the muscle, I mean heart as in the place where all our emotions and feelings are kept, where they originate; our capacity for love, caring, compassion; love and affection. You gotta have heart. My heart swells with love and pride when I hear BoyGenius explain how he wants to give his friends some of his favourite things because he doesn’t want them to do without. My heart aches when I hear of friends who have lost a child to cancer or some other horrid disease. And while the feelings might actually affect my heart (as in the muscle that pumps my blood) it is my heart (as in the repository of my feelings and emotions) that expands and contracts in my chest.
heartwood — while the dense, central wood of a tree is dead and no longer serves to transport water or food to the rest of the tree, it also yields the hardest and strongest timber. It is often darker than the rest of the tree, resistant to decay and sometimes more fragrant than the other wood. I really like the idea that the parts of a tree that have been around the longest are the strongest. I think we need to take a look at people and relationships in the same way. 🙂
harmony — I like harmony in music, harmony in nature, harmony in design. A pleasing combination of elements in a whole; congruity; a simultaneous combination of tones. We see and hear harmony all the time, not paying much attention to it. When we pick colours for our furnishings, carpets and walls, we often create harmony without consciously thinking about it in those terms. When we pick team members for a project at work, we certainly hope for harmony. If you enjoy cooking you probably work with flavour harmony all the time. Vocal harmonies can be an amazing thing to hear; the Indigo Girls and Simon & Garfunkle are some of my favourite harmonizers.
hoyden — a bold, boisterous and carefree girl; a tomboy. This was definitely me when I was a child …. well, at least the tomboy part. I guess I was carefree as well, but I’m not sure I could have been described as either bold or boisterous; I might be boisterous now, as an adult. You’d have to ask my friends. This is a word that I have come across in literature every now and then, but never actually used in real life. I think I will soon. I like the sound of it and I like what it means, when not being used in a derogatory fashion. ‘Cause I don’t think it should be a bad thing for a girl to be seen as bold, boisterous and carefree … or even a tomboy for that matter.
If you have any favourite H words please let me know about them. I have realized that there are always “new” words to learn and I enjoy finding them, whether I stumble across them on the internet, in a book or in a game like WordsWithFriends or Scrabble or a crossword puzzle.