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{word wednesday}

Words, even short and simple ones, have the power of nuance, symbolism, and multiple meanings. Most words have been assigned to their definition, but some words somehow give off a vibe of their meaning — as if their ‘name’ was discovered rather than decided.

I agree with Jack that the right words will be simple, but have found that simplicity can and will look different for each occasion. Sometimes the simplest description may use a big or complicated sounding word.

quid·di·ty   (noun)

  • The inherent nature or essence of someone or something.
  • A distinctive feature; a peculiarity: “his quirks and quiddities”.
  • Synonyms: essence – substance – gist – pith – marrow – inwardness


It almost sounds made up, like something you would utter when you’re struggling to find the right word to get at the it of something or someone. Like suddenly you’d blurt out “Quiddity!” And then you’d think, “Yes. That’s it exactly.” (And then, probably end up laughing to yourself.)

May not be the most beautiful sounding word (or the easiest to fit into an everyday conversation), but I like that somehow inherent nature or essence weren’t quite getting at it — and suddenly, quiddity was born.

 have you come across a word lately that you knew what it meant
simply because it sounded like it had to mean that?

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bet mercer

Bet Mercer is a poet-photographer who writes at Gimme Some Reads and Everyday Poetry. She loves quotes, reading her favourite books over again, great conversation, laughter, trees, films, and travelling the world. Follow along with Bet on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, Etsy and Google+.

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7 comments on “Quiddity”

  1. Quiddity! Yes! I’m going to try to use that as many times as possible today!

    • ha! let me know if you pull it off. i have yet to actually use it in a spoken conversation. but it’s often in my mind. :)

  2. My dad is going to be all over word wednesdays! He has a word a day calendar and tries to work his word into his vocabulary every day.

  3. spatchcocking… was my word for yesterday….

    A method for quick-cooking a turkey; involves cutting out the backbone of a bird with a big pair of shears, then flattening it out in a pan like a butterfly… takes less than an hour because you’re doubling the surface area.

    … one of my personal quiddities…

    • ha. have you actually tried this? seems like you’d have to have an extremely large pan to cook in (or a tiny turkey).

    • …no… not YET.

      Mom said she couldn’t do the one she has in the roaster. maybe look at the grocery store in the “Spatchcockable turkeys” department?