Posted by: spickering | February 6, 2007

Word of the Day “Epicene”

I’m a member of Gildertech, and whenever I read anything by George, I swear there is a word in there I’ve never heard before. This man must have the largest vocabulary ever. I decided to start writing them down. Maybe I can use them in songs or stories. Well, it never fails. Today I was reading something he wrote and there it was, the inevitable word I’d never heard before: epicene. Googled it. Here’s the web dictionary definition:

–adjective

1. belonging to, or partaking of the characteristics of, both sexes: Fashions in clothing are becoming increasingly epicene.
2. flaccid; feeble; weak: an epicene style of writing.
3. effeminate; unmasculine.
4. (of Greek and Latin nouns) of the same gender class regardless of the sex of the being referred to, as Latin vulpés “fox or vixen” is always grammatically feminine.
5. Grammar. (of a noun or pronoun) capable of referring to either sex, as attendant, chairperson, Kim, one, or they; having common gender.

–noun

6. a person or thing that is epicene.

 


[Origin: 1400–50; late ME < L epicoenus of both genders < Gk epíkoinos common to many, equiv. to epi- epi- + koinós common]

ep·i·cen·ism, noun

 

Here’s how George used it:

 

I have been a social conservative since 1970 when I wrote Sexual Suicide. I believe that abortions are subverting all relations between men and women and are creating an increasingly sterile and epicene society.

H’mm don’t know how I’d ever use that word, but it is interesting, and easy to rhyme with…

 

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Responses

  1. I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard that word either. I’d like to use, but how? I don’t think I could pull if off, but George does. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Yeah, I guess here George is using it as in “feeble, weak” which is probably the going to be the most common way to use it. Certainly sounds better than feeble or weak! Hey, I’m glad to find your website, because I have an interest in writing.

  3. As in having no “distinction” from the “common to many” aspect. So its like no originality, no point of view, no Polar Opposites which create the tension the fabric of space needs to “be.” The Yin and Yang melting into one, which creates a nothingness.
    Obviously the bad thing is, its a nice sounding word with a negative connotation.


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