I’m not a linguist.

I have a few friends who (whup my ass in scrabble and) are linguists. They like to look up the origins of Farsi and remind me that it has no connection to Hebrew (unlike Arabic) even though the alphabet looks the same and then tell me the historic reasons why.

But I can’t do that. I just like spelling.

And some words I think are inherently beautiful, even regardless of their meanings.

I remember when I was a kid hearing a story about a woman in a hospital giving birth and hearing the word ‘placenta’ for the first time and wanting to use it as her daughters name because she thought it sounded beautiful.

When I was a kid I loved the word aneurysm. I only vaguely understood the meaning but it just felt so good coming out of my mouth, halfway between a scream and a spell.

Some other words have gotten stuck in my head over the last few years. The Hebrew word for ‘watermelon’ has a lovely shape to it. My mom will always love the Spanish word for ‘spot remover’ and this morning I was listening to an episode of the Savage Love Podcast and Dan said the word ‘abortifacient.’ And, completely divorced from it’s meaning the word has been rolling around in my head all day.

I like the ratio of consonants to vowels. It’s fun to spell in sign language. And as a service to the word, which I’m sure doesn’t get much love in every day use I’m devoting 265 words to it right here.

1 thought on “Abortifacient”

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