Thursday, August 25, 2011


Helen was rereading Longfellow’s Evangeline after decades of being out of school when she came across an unfamiliar word: “A brief uproar too feeble to ascend by so much as an infantine susurrus to the ears of the British Neptune.”

Susurrus comes from the Latin susurrare, to whisper, to mutter, or to rustle. In the context above, it would mean an almost inaudible sound from a baby.

The root gave rise to susurrate, to whisper, susurration, a murmur or whisper (early on, malicious in nature), insusurration, an insinuation whispered into one’s ear, and susurrous, of the nature of a whisper.

Available from McFarland & Co.: Word Parts Dictionary, 2nd edition

Check out Mike's program-based books here:

Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to and clicking on Listen Now.

There is a collection of podcasts. Go to and click on Podcasts. Scroll down The Ron Jolly Show to find the Words to the Wise audio button.

Visit The Senior Corner at

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Dona Sheehan's prints