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26 September 2011

Monday's Word: Ansated

Saturns Rings
 After a break for a couple of weeks 'Monday's Word' is back, after delving into Michael Quinion's briliant 'World Wide Words'.

The beautiful picture on the right  isn't just because I write and read futuristic and Science Fiction. It's to illustrate the word 'Ansated'.

What's that? I hear you ask. well hear is Michael Quinion's explanation:

'If you wish to confuse your hearers, you might describe the cup or mug from which you drink your breakfast cuppa as ansated. But it would merely be an irritatingly superior way of asserting that the drinking vessel in question has a handle. When Galileo turned his primitive telescope on Saturn, its famous rings looked like two blobs either side of the planet (he thought they were moons). A little later, astronomers with slightly better instruments saw what seemed to be handles and referred, in a nicely euphonious phrase, to ansated Saturn (or, as Hevelius described the planet in 1655, a spherico-ansated figure).
The word now most often turns up in descriptions of ancient sacred signs. An "ansated cross" is a T shape with a circle at the top, a symbol that's more commonly called a ankh (from the Egyptian word for life or soul). Also known as the Key to the Nile and, to the early Christians, as an "ansated cross," the ankh was believed to ensure the immortality of every god and goddess. [Exploring Spellcraft, by Gerina Dunwich, 2001.] "Ansated" is from Latin "ansa", a handle. In Latin the plural of "ansa" is "ansae".'

So now I'm just waiting for the chance to use the phrase - "The starship approached a spheruco-ansated figure...


*World Wide Words is copyright (c) Michael Quinion 2011. All rights reserved. The World Wide Words website is at http://www.worldwidewords.org



'STARQUEST'    'CHILDREN OF THE MIST'  (The sequel to Starquest)  Dancing With Fate      'Freeread':'A BARGAIN WITH DEATH 'STARQUEST'    'CHILDREN OF THE MIST'  (The sequel to Starquest)  Dancing With Fate      'Freeread':'A BARGAIN WITH DEATH'

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