Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Widdershins – Wordplay Wednesday™ 07/29/2020

What’s 475 Years to a Word? 

Traditionally, we are trained to create our masterpieces of writing with solid, common, modern, and literately accepted words.

It’s fun, however, to throw in a throwback word or phrase that may have been commonplace in writing and conversation once, and is still in the dictionary, but somehow fell out of favor, like …

WIDDERSHINS (ʹwi-dɘr-shɘnzʹ; 1545) adv. – in a left-handed, wrong, or contrary direction: counterclockwise (also withershins) – compare deasil [clockwise]. [WW #279]

Seriously … have you heard anyone use widdershins recently? It’s a wonderful word for fiction, especially when used in period character dialogue. And slipped into contemporary fiction or even creative nonfiction, widdershins is delightfully unique.

We always hope our readers are truly invested in our writing. And when encountering a word like widdershins they’re provided an opportunity for amusing rediscovery or learning of a word that has apparently trekked in-and-out of conversations for nearly five hundred years.

“That’s an absolutely widdershins way of solving the issue. It isn’t what they can do for you, it’s what you can do for them that gets attention.” It’s like calling someone asinine, in a more refined, non-threatening manner, with a sly grin. 😉
Word Challenge: WIDDERSHINS. It may feel clumsy to say, but have some fun and give this timeless word the spotlight, as you fit widdershins into your week of unique writings and clever conversations.

Learning knows no prejudices or boundaries, and it isn’t fattening! Expanding your mind is a no-cost, simple joy. Do you feel that way too? What’s your inspiration? Share your creative genius and Wordplay Wednesday comments below.

Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle) 

[LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and an author by way of Rock & Roll. She has published two books in her Blast from Your Past series (of three) about pioneering R&R Radio DJs. True behind-the-mic tales make GREAT Holiday and anytime Gifts available on Amazon (eBook and print): Book 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959; and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties. Coming soon … The Psychedelic Seventies!]

*LR Notes: 1) Dictionary definitions are quoted from Webster’s New World College Dictionary. Yes, we sometimes present them out of “official” context—but that’s half the fun! Think of it as “creative context.” 2) a] Recent dictionary additions to definitions include a date of first use, if known; b] words in small caps indicate “see also.” 3) Neither I (LinDee Rochelle) nor Penchant for Penning are responsible for how you use information found here, that may result in legal action.


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