Today’s word of the day at Dictionary.com is Ebullient, an adjective that means: overflowing with fervor, enthusiasm, or excitement; high-spirited: (The award winner was in an ebullient mood at the dinner in her honor.); bubbling up like a boiling liquid.
From Etymology Dictionary Online:
1590s, “boiling,” from Latin ebullientem (nominative ebulliens), present participle of ebullire “to boil over,” literally or figuratively, from ex “out, out of” (see ex-) + bullire “to bubble” (see boil (v.)). Figurative sense of “enthusiastic” is first recorded 1660s.
I found an amusing reference to and use of this word in Jonathan Swift’s book, “Gulliver’s Travels”. Here is an excerpt:
“There was a most ingenious doctor, who seemed to be perfectly versed in the whole nature and system of government. This illustrious person had very usefully employed his studies, in finding out effectual remedies for all diseases and corruptions to which the several kinds of public administration are subject, by the vices or infirmities of those who govern, as well as by the licentiousness of those who are to obey. For instance: whereas all writers and reasoners have agreed, that there is a strict universal resemblance between the natural and the political body; can there be any thing more evident, than that the health of both must be preserved, and the diseases cured, by the same prescriptions? It is allowed, that senates and great councils are often troubled with redundant, ebullient, and other peccant humours; with many diseases of the head, and more of the heart; with strong convulsions, with grievous contractions of the nerves and sinews in both hands, but especially the right; with spleen, flatus, vertigos, and deliriums; with scrofulous tumours, full of fetid purulent matter; with sour frothy ructations: with canine appetites, and crudeness of digestion, besides many others, needless to mention.
This doctor therefore proposed, “that upon the meeting of the senate, certain physicians should attend it the three first days of their sitting, and at the close of each day’s debate feel the pulses of every senator; after which, having maturely considered and consulted upon the nature of the several maladies, and the methods of cure, they should on the fourth day return to the senate house, attended by their apothecaries stored with proper medicines; and before the members sat, administer to each of them lenitives, aperitives, abstersives, corrosives, restringents, palliatives, laxatives, cephalalgics, icterics, apophlegmatics, acoustics, as their several cases required; and, according as these medicines should operate, repeat, alter, or omit them, at the next meeting.”
This made me laugh. No doubt politicians are an odd breed and not much has changed over the centuries!
I hope your weekend gives you reason to be most ebullient! Until next Friday then, here’s today’s Haiku…
annoying, no end,
the ebullient boasting
of a poor winner