Palin and Lalia
Theological Terms I
Theological Terms II
Theol. Terms III
Noso and Noce/Nocu
Milton, Book I (PL)
Oo and Ovi
Labors of Hercules I
Oblectation et al.
Dissimulare et al.
Acroama et al.
Tetrous et al.
Commeate et al.
Obsolete et al.
Subtle et al. I
Hesitate et al. (Ovid)
Excoriate et al. I
Excoriate et al. II
The Prefix "apo" III
Bill Long 9/1/08
Just Out of this Wrld
12. There are also a few terms from astronomy that can be dispensed with quickly. An apojove (i.e., far from Jove/Jupiter) is that point of the orbit of a satellite of Jupiter furthest from the planet. An apolune (not in the OED) is the point of an orbit around the moon farthest from the moon's center. What orbits like this?
14. When we come to apologue, we are in the realm of a "story, account, fable," and it is, in fact, an allegorical story intended to convey a useful lesson; a moral fable. We tend to think of Aesop's work as fables, but they could just as easily be characterized as apologues. In the Rev. Edward Topsell's Four-footed Beasts (1607), which I just happened to be writing on the other day, we have "A pretty apology (i.e., apologue) of a league that was made betwixt the wolves and the sheep." Farrar in his work on St. Paul uses the term helpfully: "The apologue of the self-asserting members in I Cor XII reminds us at once of the ingenious fable of Menenius Agrippa." That fable, by the way, is uttered in Shakespeare's Coriolanus, Act I.
15. Apolaustic comes from the Greek verb apolauein, which means "to enjoy," and it means "concerned wholly with or wholly devoted to seeking enjoyment; self-indulgent." One might speak of "lazy apolaustic fellows, idlers, supernumeraries." An 1880 quotation speaks of the "lordly, apolaustic, and haughty undergraduate." I think the word has possibilties today, in describing any pleasure-loving person. "Her apolaustic habits eventually got the better of her as she was rejected by every program to which she applied." I think the word is meant to be a term of derogation, but why let it be left among the curmudgeons? Why not just look at pleasure as a good thing and talk about one's estival apolaustic pursuits?
16. An apocrisiary is one who "gives an answer." The Greek verb apokrinomai (to answer) underlies it. In fact, in Medieval Latin the apocrisiarius was a delegate or deputy. Specifically it referred to a papal nuncio or secretary. The word is very old in English, originating in the 15th century: "Pope Nichol..sente Arsenius his apocrisiary." In fact, as this article says, the most famous apocrisiaries were sent from about 450-750 from the Pope to the Patriarch of Constantinople. Here is a page that describes the Archibishop of Canterbury's apocrisiarioi (plural) or representatives to many of the Orthodox Churches, such as the Archbishop of Constantinople, the Patriarch of Bulgaria and other places. For example, the Rev. Canon Ian Sherwood has been the apocrisiary to Constantinople for nearly two decades. How would you like to put that on your resume? I bet all the millions of resumes on monster.com don't have one reference to service as an apocrisiary. Maybe there is a search feature for this...
17. When we come to apocope we are in the realm of syntax and grammar. The word literally means "to cut off" (apo and koptein), and originally signified the cutting off or omission of the last letter or syllable of the word. This was often done for metrical purposes but could also designate a peculiar manner of speaking. Examples of apocope are legion: "th" for "the," or "i'" for "in." In Spanish we have vamonos, an apocopated form of vamos nos. Here is a page with hundreds of examples of apocopation. Many of the most popular are when names appear as diminutives: Andy for Andrew; Tony for Anthony, etc. I love the sound of this word; I could go around saying it all day...
18. An apograph is the opposite of an autograph. It is an exact copy or transcript. One might say that the autographs of the text of Scripture are lost. But do we have apographs? That is the task of the discipline of textual criticism. "Not from the original manuscripts, but from the apographs." An apocrustic is pretty much what it sounds like: an astringent medicine. Taken from apokrouein, which means "to beat off, repel," an apocrustic has the power to repel... An astringent medicine contracts organic tissue. One might be able to use apocrustic in a figurative sense, as something that contracts the emotional life or the heart. "With what type of apocrustic have you armed yourself today, my man?"
20. An apophthegm, also spelled apothegm (AP oh them) is derived from the Greek apo and phthenggesthai, which is a mouthful and means "to cry out, utter." An apothegm is a short, pithy, or instructive statement, a sententious maxim or precept. The book of Proverbs has many of these; indeed we learn several Hebrew words for proverb, apothegm, maxim, precept, etc. in the first verses of that book. A "sound-byte," which we are most familiar with today, can be differentiated from an apothegm in that the former wants to describe a current situation and get you to make a decision while the latter wants to give you general life orientation through a few words. It takes quite some time to distill the essence of a teaching into an apothegm.
21. Let's conclude, almost, with apodosis and apodyterium. The apodosis is the concluding part of a conditional sentence. In the sentence "If it rains, I shall not go," the first clause is the protasis, while the second is the apodosis. It is derived from apo and didonai, the latter meaning "to give." Thus, it is a "giving back" of the second half of the sentence to the first. Nice way of looking at grammar. An apodyterium (taken from the Greek words for "off" or "from" and "put on") is the place where you removed your clothes before participating in the gymnastic exercises or bathing. Here, for example, is a women's apodyterium; it looks like just any other enclosed space. The apodyterium in antiquity was the place for "showing off"--in this case one's wealth by how many slaves you brought along to help you out with your changing. Today we would just call it the "locker room." I prefer apodyterium but I certainly won't use the term when I am at Gold's this afternoon.
23. I first learned the word apodictic in my introductory Old Testament class in Fall 1971 at Brown University. I learned it in connection with Albrecht Alt's theory of the two kinds of law in the Book of Exodus: apodictic (i.e., "thou shalt") and casuistic ("if someone does X, then Y"). Thus, my first acquaintance with the term was as if it meant a command. But the term apodictic, derived from "from" and "speak," in fact refers primarily to something that is incontestable because it is demonstrated or demonstrable. Something apodictic is "of the nature of necessary proof" or self-evident. One might have the apodictic certainty of mathematical conclusions, for example. In logic, an apodictic statement is one where the connection of subject and predicate is necessary. The Century tells us that the term was probably first used in this way by Kant.
Thus far on the host of apo-terms. It is a rich harvest indeed.
Copyright © 2004-2009 William R. Long