20 November 2011

Aprication


I never heard this word until encountering it at Futility Closet.  It wasn't even in my Random House - had to dig out the OED and get the magnifying glass:
Apricatev. rare.  [fr. Latin apricat].  To bask in the sun (or to expose to sunlight).  
Citations from 1691 to 1858 - the latter offering this curious turn of phrase:
"Not sunning, but mooning himself - apricating himself in the occasional moonbeams."

6 comments:

  1. Ever since I had my husband neutered all he wants to do is apricate.

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  2. Perhaps that's why your cat is the colour of sun-dried apricots!

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  3. Anon, your comment drove me back to the dictionary to check whether "apricot" is related. Apparently not - seems to be from "a-" and "precox" to mean "early-ripening."

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  4. Thanks for the new word. When the cats bask here, we say they are solarizing.

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  5. I'm always delighted to learn a new word. Yet another reason why I enjoy your blog. Thank you! I also wondered if there was a connection between Apricate and Apricot. Thanks for looking into that.

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  6. That's really interesting. I'd never heard a word beyond "basking" for that.

    About the apricot, I think most 'traditional' fruits have English names from French. The two exceptions I can think of are apple (from O. E."apfel" or similar and a catch-all word for fruit [especially of trees, bush fruits were called either berry or grape...I forget] until the word "fruit" came in from French with the Conquest) and orange (which was a late-comer, from Spanish trade and Spanish name [naranja, my spelling might be off], first called "a norringe" before losing its initial N...and also giving the name for its color). Things like bananas, guavas, etc would have come even later than the orange and generally take their name, like the orange, from the word either in their country of origin or their strongest importer.

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