Word of the Day: vicissitude
Vicissitude (noun) vuh-SISS-uh-tood
1 : the quality or state of being changeable : mutability
2 a : a favorable or unfavorable event or situation that occurs by chance : a fluctuation of state or condition
b : a difficulty or hardship usually beyond one’s control
“The vicissitudes of life strike us all. But when life gets difficult for the poor, economically or emotionally, or most often both at once, it can pitch them into complete chaos.” — The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 22 Aug. 2016
“A good coach on tour is at once a friend and a taskmaster, a psychologist and an emotional buffer against the vicissitudes of competing at the highest level of the game.” — Geoff Macdonald, The New York Times, 1 Sept. 2016
Did You Know?
“Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better,” wrote British theologian Richard Hooker in the 16th century. That observation may shed some light on vicissitude, a word that can refer simply to the fact of change, or to an instance of it, but that often refers specifically to hardship or difficulty brought about by change. To survive “the vicissitudes of life” is thus to survive life’s ups and downs, with special emphasis on the downs. Vicissitude is a descendant of the Latin noun vicis, meaning “change” or “alternation,” and it has been a part of the English language since the 16th century. In contemporary usage, it most often occurs in the plural.
I feel like I’m in a state of a difficulty or hardship beyond my control. So, today’s word is quite appropriate. The aftereffects of my concussion still linger and trying to get better is … well, let’s just say problematic. Must I be my own advocate for a work related injury?
Anyway, moving on. It could be worse.
Like being on the television for a live broadcast from the beach and you lose your bikini top on camera. Yep, found that in my research.
Or the case of a woman who was merely hanging out on a pier and her bikini top flew off into the ocean below. Yep, found that too. Or you are just enjoying the surf with a bunch of your friends and a lecherous wave comes along and yanks your bikini top right off your body. Found that too. I’m sure I can find hundreds if not thousands of these examples all over the world.
I also find lots of artwork titled Vicissitude, which surprised me, as well as a magazine titled Vicissitude, which double surprised me. I will say, I’m inspired by all those creative people around the world who find interesting ways of using these more obscure words.
If you share this post from my site on Twitter, you will receive a sexy bonus picture related to today’s word.
I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.
Have a great day.