I love seeing how word usage has shifted over time. Reading Anna Katherine Green’s The Mill Mystery, I came upon the following sentence:
“But as we approached the mill, and I caught a glimpse of its frowning walls glooming so darkly from out the cluster of trees that environed them, I own that a sensation akin to that which had been awakened in me by Mrs. Pollard’s threats, and the portentous darkness of her somber mansion, once again swept with its chilling effect over my nerves.”
Quite a mouthful, but what struck me was that two root words appear as verbs, although we now usually see them as nouns – “glooming” and “environ.” So I headed to the dictionary.
gloom: (archaic verb) to make murky or dark
environ: ( verb) to form a ring around
Interesting to think of the environment as a ring around us, isn’t it? And of gloom actually obscuring our real selves? What Wondrous Words have you come across this week?
Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading. To participate, and to see what other words readers have come across this week, head over to BermudaOnion’s Weblog. Thanks to Kathy for hosting!