Jun 6, 2011

WORD OF THE WEEK: Eosophilia

Summary: I dedicate this week's WOW word—and today's post—to my grandmother and great-grandmother, who have surely shown their own eosophilia in the purest form ...

Over the weekend, during a long drive, I had the opportunity to hear two—that's right, two—different talk radio programs about words. Imagine my joy! It practically made up for the fact that I was only able to tune in to these stations for 20 minutes or less before they faded.

And what completely made up for that fact was that I learned new words, one of which I find to be completely beautiful in sound, spelling and definition:

Eosophilia (EE - os - o - FEE - lee - ya) - (n.) love of the dawn. It comes from the Greek word for dawn, eos (which when capitalized just happens to be the name of the mythological Goddess of the Dawn), as well as the Greek for friendship, philos, a word that nowadays in its long form (philia) implies fanaticism. Etymonline.com, my go-to site for etymological history, doesn't say when the word entered the English language. That in and of itself implies that it's been with us always ... perhaps since the dawn of English? I wasn't able to find a sound byte of the pronunciation, either—something I typically like to share with every Word of the Week.

To make up for that, I'll share with you a personal family story:

I'm dedicating this word to my grandmother, otherwise known as Mamaw Lovadawn, whose name is a countrified derivation of "love the dawn," and to her mother (my great grandmother, Mamaw Bee) who named her. In the Pueblo Native American tradition of her family, Mamaw Bee waited to name her daughter 'til after the little girl was born. She was handed her newborn at sunrise, and watching the dawn break over the horizon, she felt an explosion of love in her heart even amidst the exhaustion of childbirth labor. It was love like she'd never felt before, and she named the child for that feeling and their maternal bond. Mamaw Lovadawn is as sassy as Mamaw Bee ever was and ever wanted her own daughter to be. The half-Pueblo, half-Irish American flapper-turned-mother instilled in all of her girl descendants a take-charge, take-no-guff attitude that manages to come out of even me when I'm crossed. ... And did I mention my middle name is Dawn? My matriline has a fiery life spark that is deeply connected to the same passion found in any common eosophiliac.

Thanks for letting me share a little bit of our story. May you greet the dawn of each new day this week with gratitude.

© KiKi Productions, Inc. 2010

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