Sunday, April 22, 2012


Rita passed along a word that she encountered in a book that she is reading. The word is plangent.

It’s an adjective meaning loud, reverberating, and resonant. Since it was associated with the traditional breast beating that accompanied extreme grief in the Mideast and the Mediterranean regions, it also came to mean mournful and plaintive.

Lamentation, wailing, and ululation were part of the mourning demonstration. Allied words were collugency (mourning together), conclamate (to loudly mourn the dead), myrology (an extemporaneous funeral song), quain (to bewail or lament), and threne (a funeral dirge.

SIDEBAR:  Dies Irae

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

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