One Mouthful of a Word

dye-AF-uh-nuss, adj. It means sheer, gauzy, fine, and translucent. As in, ‘the diaphanous forewing of an insect,” or “sunlight filtered through the diaphanous curtain.”

When I first met this word, I was in a vocabulary class. It captivated me! Just the word itself sounded light, delicate, and ephemeral.

However, it is on the long side of things. In an attempt to shorten it, I toyed with naming our upcoming collection ‘diaphany’ instead — presumably the noun form of ‘diaphanous’, and rather more manageable!  I was really excited about that until I realized ‘diaphany’ wasn’t a word. (If you spell it with an ‘o’ you get “diaphony,” which is a musical term meaning two parts sounding simultaneously; like two people singing an unaccompanied duet.)

As it tuns out, the real noun form of ‘diaphanous’ is even longer: ‘diaphanousness’! If you thought the adjective was a mouthful….

…well, let’s just stick with the adjective!


–with thanks to for some of the finer points of the definition


One thought on “One Mouthful of a Word

  1. That’s such a brilliant word. I love using long words; it’s very poetic. That’s one reason I enjoy certain classic novels (I haven’t actually read a great number of them.. only Victor Hugo’s ‘Les Miserables’ and I’ve started ‘The Hunchback of Notre-Dame’) and reading this blog. Long words, metaphors and similes are like desserts for the mind.

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