Words: Patois, sacerdotal

In my reading the past few days I came across two words that stayed in my head: Patois and sacerdotal.

The sound and feel of these words are fun, thrilling.

I’m ashamed that I had to look them up. I know that I used to know their meanings.

Do you know the definitions?

Sacerdotal: of or relating to priests or the priesthood; priestly.
Patois: a regional form of a language, esp. of French, differing from the standard, literary form of the language.

I like how they feel in my mouth, I like how they sound. I like the definitions, too.

I regularly mourn my apparently diminishing vocabulary. When I start feeling this way:
• I’m reminded to go play on Free Rice.
• It also should be motivation to read significant literature, which seems to stretch the reader’s vocabulary much more than insignificant, casual reading.
• I long for an academic environment and wonder if this is a nearly unavoidable symptom of being out of school.
• I wonder if part of it due to my recent years in newspapers, where it’s drilled into us to write at a 6th-grade level.

Do you ever feel this? What do you turn to as a solution, or at least as a stopgap?

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3 responses to “Words: Patois, sacerdotal

  1. I knew what patois was; I had no idea what the definition of sacerdotal could have been. Thanks for giving me the definition – and a new word!

    For me, reading is my vocabulary fix. I never – and I mean NEVER – just glide over a word I don’t know. I get off my butt and get a dictionary (or have my husband look it up online, since I often read in bed while he’s surfing with his laptop). Then, I’ll put a sticky note in the book with the definition of the word on it and I’ll make an effort, if not to actually USE the word in conversation, then to at least THINK about it for a few days after I encounter it.

    I’m not sure how much that helps, though. I was given a site address that will give one the reading level of one’s blogs. My teacher site rated high school and the Blue Door was elementary school. Sigh.

  2. My grandparents spoke patois at home but never taught me the language because they didn’t want me to understand what they were saying whenever they were having conversations. Up to this day I am completely clueless about this language that is supposed to play a part of my heritage. It is rather disappointing because I never got the oppurtunity to experience a different tongue especially for one that should be of great value to me.

  3. Pingback: Words from my reading « Word Lily

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