Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Brumal - A Misty Winter's Tale

Cold, Chilled, Brumous, Brumal
Photo by Michelle

BRUMAL

Adjective. Literary. Early 16th century.
[Latin brumalis, from bruma winter.]

Like winter, wintry.

BRUME

Noun. Literary. Early 18th century.
[French = fog, from Latin bruma winter.]

Fog, mist, vapour.

BRUMOUS

Adjective. Literary. Mid-19th century.
[French brumeux from late Latin brumosus, from bruma winter.]

Foggy, wintry.

It's not often that the events of the day will determine my chosen word, but such was the pressing fog when I got up this morning, such was the brumous chill that snapped through the air, around my neck and into my lungs, that I knew I couldn't pass by this trio of Latin-rooted words. A strong, clean winter is something beautiful to be cherished: the invigorating morning walks through chilled air that excites clarity of thought and perception, ponderous evening strolls over mist-covered, glistening streets, and nights passed pensively by an open fire, reflective and nostalgic, safe and secure from the biting wind that bellows outside.

Brume, Brumal, Brumous, Snow
Photo by Mike Vance

Do you like winter?

Were you familiar with the words brumal, brume and brumous?

Do please leave your most cold-hearted comments below.

20 comments:

  1. I'm sorry but, as an impoverished window cleaner, a modern-day Oliver Twist, I can't let this one go.

    A strong, clean winter is a menacing, torturous surgical removal of summer.

    While you're taking your invigorating morning walks through chilled air that gets you all excited, clear-thinking and perceptive, I'm stood in mindless, shivering misery with cold, wet, dejected hands trying to scrape bird poo off some fussy old lady's frozen window.

    You might ponder THAT during your smug little evening strolls over your mist-covered, glistening streets.

    Ed (and I don't care if this legally construes a threat) you SHOULD be pensive as you spend your nights by an open fire, all reflective and nasal, because whereas you might be safe and secure from the biting wind that bellows outside, at any moment a disgruntled, brumal window cleaner might sneak inside and bite you as you bellow.

    Winter is rubbish. Stick THAT amendment in your OED.

    -c

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A modern day Oliver Twist? The same Oliver whose mother died in childbirth? Who was sent to a workhouse before being sold to an undertaker? The same Oliver that fled to London and was forced into a criminal gang and made to commit terrible and dangerous crimes before Nancy, his only true mother figure, was brutally murdered? Hmm. Now that you've described it, your plight does indeed sound positively Dickensian. I tell you what - the next time you're out scraping frozen guano off windows in the dead of winter, pop in and I'll make you a hot chocolate with marshmallows. I'll be your Mr Brownlow. How does that sound? Oh ... umm ... except ... I checked with my wife and I can't adopt you. Sorry. Just hot choc. With one marshmallow. Which'll still be nice.

      Delete
    2. The parallels are there if you squint.

      I distinctly remember at school when we had to sing "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands...." I was the only kid that didn't.

      The bank manager told me off when I asked for more.

      I get all angry and aware of my rights when I eat meat.

      I would accept your benevolent offer of a hot chocolate and a marshmallow on a winter's day, but my doctor says that the shock might kill me.

      -c

      Delete
  2. I guess I better like winter since I live in northern Canada, and have it for 7-8 months!
    While we're not bosom buddies, we're pretty good pals!

    C. - thanks for the chuckle. Again!
    PS I have some windows that need some tending to! And no bird poo! It's still pretty warm here during the day - around freezing! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jingles, I'm at the airport with my bucket but the guy from immigration doesn't believe me. Do you have a surname, an address, anything I can give him?

      Please hurry - he's seriously agitated and the cuffs hurt a bit.

      -c

      Delete
    2. Oh dear. I hope those poor chafed wrists don't cause too much discomfort.
      But at least you have dry hands! You can say thank you when you're ready!
      I best hurry though hadn't I with my name and address as my connection appears to be going .....

      Delete
    3. Oh my goodness ... his one opportunity for social advancement ends in his arrest and his "benefactor" disappearing - this is getting more Dickensian by the minute.

      Delete
    4. Ed, warn your readers that Jingles Havisham, as it turns out she's called, also promised me her daughter Estella, who turned out to be a bit of a handful. I expected more if I'm honest.

      -pip.

      Delete
  3. I also earn a crust working outdoors and I also HATE winter. Not barely tolerate, not dislike, hate. Winter is the earth with leprosy, AIDS, and diarrhoea combined. Winter is proof that the Devil does indeed exist, and he's pretty ticked off. Winter exists purely to make life uncomfortable, difficult, miserable, cold, dark, wet, pointless, did I mention miserable?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well hasn't everyone just fallen out of the grumpy tree today? And hit every sour branch on the way down. And landed in the cranky pond. Which was frozen. Grumpy, grumpy, grumpy.

      Delete
    2. One of these cold winter evenings Mr Nerd (may I call you angry?), you and I should creep up on Ed as he roasts Fabergé eggs over his open fire, and then treat him to a comprehensive tour of grumpy tree and cranky pond.......before sewing him to an easily-provoked dog.

      -c.

      Delete
  4. Lexicolatry is back! :) I wonder what happened. Anyway, I wanted to say that I loved the description and there's nothing more rejuvenating than winter cold! And nothing cosier than a warm fire, some wine and something good to watch/read.

    I'm tweeting this post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Evi, Evi, Evi - I'm so glad sanity has returned to these pages, and *someone* out there also appreciates the true beauty of winter.

      (and thanks for the retweet)

      Delete
    2. 'Rejuvenating' is Greek for 'rubbish', isn't it Evi?

      -c

      Delete
    3. I might also add that beauty is subjective Ed. Bears are amazing creatures, but your oppinion of them might be somewhat swayed if your torso is partially in one.

      -c.

      Delete
    4. Hahaha! Believe me C, I was born and raised in a mountainous town in Greece. Chronic dry hands and chillblains are things I'm famous for. Also, when I went to study in another city in northern Greece, I lived in a building that had no heating at all and I had to carry my electric heater around. And last year, nobody had money for heating oil in Greece, so I practically lived next to the fireplace.

      I know cold. But cold can be managed. On the other hand extreme summer heat is unbearable. :)


      Delete
    5. On this, Evi, we are in complete agreement. If you're cold, you can put more layers on. If you're too hot, however, there's a limit to how many layers you can shed, and if you pass that threshold and you're still too hot, there's jolly little you can do about it.

      The situation in Greece was (still is?) truly awful - there was a news item here showing the fuel shortages and how it particularly affected the elderly. It said it was even beginning to affect Greece's national parks, as people were so desperate for fuel that they were having to go out and chop down trees for firewood.

      Delete
    6. It still is awful. Heating is a huge problem and now they said something about a fine. If you use your fireplace too much and thus pollute the air, they'll fine you. They're crazy! It's 2013 and people don't even have heating, that's Dickensian enough for me. (And i'm not just talking about unemployed people)

      Delete
  5. I think winter is a waste of perfectly good summer days. Especially over here. I mean, you get two weeks of amazing weather, six months (minus two weeks) of rain, and six months of frozen limbs and runny noses.

    ReplyDelete