Wednesday Words

It isn’t too often that I encounter 2 new words within a few minutes of each other, much less in two unrelated sources, all before finishing my first cup of coffee. But, that was the case today.

haboob |həˈboōb| noun
a violent and oppressive wind blowing in summer, esp. in Sudan, bringing sand from the desert.
ORIGIN late 19th cent.: from Arabic habūb ‘blowing furiously.’

I didn’t know that the Arizona desert had dust storms of this size, or that they were called haboobs.

callipygian |ˌkaləˈpijēən| (also callipygean); adjective
having well-shaped buttocks.
callipygous |-ˈpīgəs| adjective
ORIGIN late 18th cent.: from Greek kallipūgos (used to describe a famous statue of Venus), from kallos ‘beauty’ + pūgē ‘buttocks,’ + -ian .

In reading a blurb this morning about the RSC in repertory in NYC, the word callipygean was used to refer to those who are attending all 5 plays in one weekend. Today is the opening; I have to wait until August before seeing the plays. 5 plays in 3 days — I believe that by the end of the last play, my backside will be quite the opposite of callipygian. I will write on the 5 Shakespeare plays I’m seeing, and other plans in NYC in a later post. I can hardly wait! Check out Lincoln Center Festival for more information.


2 responses to “Wednesday Words

  1. Hi, Cam. I just surfed over from BlogLily and since I’m here: I lived in Phoenix on the west side, in Maryvale, when I was in high school. We’d be hanging out at the Maryvale pool in July and at least once the pool loudspeaker would come to life and inform us that the pool was closing immediately because a dust storm was coming. We’d look off to the west and see the huge brownish cloud on its way, and ride home on our bikes lickity-split. Never heard it called an haboob before, though – not till yesterday.

    I think that my mom might have called me an haboob once or twice, but that was different.