Word of the day

The word for today is…

melancholy (noun) – 1. Sadness or depression of the spirits; gloom.
2. Pensive reflection or contemplation.
3. Archaic
a. Black bile.
b. An emotional state characterized by sullenness and outbreaks of violent anger, believed to arise from an excess of black bile.

(adj) – 1. Feeling, showing, or expressing depression of the spirits; sad or dejected.
2. Causing or tending to cause sadness or gloom.
3. Pensive; thoughtful.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : (noun) – Circa 1300, “condition characterised by sullenness, gloom, irritability,” from Old French melancolie “black bile, ill disposition, anger, annoyance” (13th century), from Late Latin melancholia, from Greek melankholia “sadness,” literally (excess of) “black bile,” from melas (genitive melanos) “black” + khole “bile”. Medieval physiology attributed depression to excess of “black bile,” a secretion of the spleen and one of the body’s four “humours.”

The Latin word also is the source of Spanish melancolia, Italian melancolia, German Melancholie, Danish melankoli, etc. Old French variant malencolie (also in Middle English) is by false association with mal “sickness.”

(adj) – Late 14th century, “with or caused by black bile; sullen, gloomy, sad,” from melancholy; sense of “deplorable” (of a fact or state of things) is from 1710.


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Peter is a fourth generation New Zealander, with both his mothers and fathers folks having arrived in New Zealand in the 1870’s. He lives in Lower Hutt with his wife, two cats and assorted computers.

His work history has been in the timber, banking and real estate industries, and he’s now enjoying retirement. He has been interested in computers for over thirty years and is a strong advocate for free open source software. He is Chairman of the SeniorNet Hutt City Committee.

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