Being one who enjoys putting words together to tell a story, I enjoy learning new ones. And since I am a self-confessed Grammar Geek, I will freely admit to feeling more than a bit of excitement at encountering this word because I had no idea what it meant, nor could I figure out by looking at it what it might mean.
Many English words have French and, ultimately, Latin roots. Because I know French (and took a year of Latin in high school), I can frequently use that knowledge to figure out what a longer word means.
I couldn’t crack this word so easily, and I was intrigued.
Before I let you in on what “terpsichorean” means, let’s learn how to pronounce it. Let me break it down for you:
terp as in “turpentine”
si as in “sick”
chor as in “chorus”
ean as in “Korean”
Put the highlighted parts together and you have turp-si-chor-ean. Terpsichorean.
Now say it five times really fast!
No, I was just kidding. Don’t do that. I promise you, it won’t be pretty.
So, what does “terpsichorean” mean?
It means “of or relating to dancing” (used as an adjective) or simply “a dancer” (used as a noun).
And now for The Challenge: Use both the noun and adjective forms in one sentence.
Here goes: The terpsichorean twirled repeatedly in terpsichorean ecstasy.
Yikes! I feel dizzy.