“Clandestinely” is a whole mouthful of flagrant consonants and syllables for a word intended to connote undercover, off-book, and prohibited activities. It reeks of spy craft and people acting in bad faith or at risk of discovery with all the nasty ramifications of exposure.
The secretive subterfuge undermines any benevolent intent. Clandestinely is a label of taint. Love affairs, corporate secrets, black ops and conspiracy: the word itself is implication, an indication of moral corruption. As intrigue, it is only intriguing for the glamour and glory of fictionalized heroes.
Stealth is an invisibility cloak, or camouflage, quiet movement, or disappearing into a crowd. It’s flying under the radar, whether physically, figuratively, emotionally or socially. Sometimes, it’s simply a matter of being still when prying eyes seek movement.
Stealth is the stuff of spies, war and games, of business and politics. Stealth is for the secretive, and those who would uncover secrets.
There is nothing aimless about a big cat on the prowl.
Imminent lethal intent. Focused. Targeted. Stealthy.
Although I understand completely why the various ways we use prowl made the list of roam synonyms, the word’s essential meaning makes it an antonym to every synonym since linger.
Prowl is a word with purpose, weapons locked. A black panther in the darkness, preparing to pounce.
There’s a sense of aimlessness to meander. It’s possible to meander an infinitely long time in a fairly confined space, get nowhere at all, and arrive back exactly where you started. Meander connotes a sort of feckless purposelessness which also infects most of its synonyms. But there is one…
Maybe roam offers a better indication of how I travel, how I move through life and existence. The point of roaming is to leave the boundaries of a confined space, whether geographical, cultural, emotional, philosophical, spiritual or any other kind of confinement we care to consider.
OK. I admit it. I looked ahead.
I wasn’t really feeling anything from any of these synonyms, so I looked a few of them up and picked the one with the most promising synonyms for the next round.
Don’t get me wrong. Meander’s a fine word, even if I did sort of meander into it. Now that I’m starting to write about it, meander’s kinda growing on me. That tends to happen a lot with me, meandering into just the right place.
“If you didn’t spend so much time dilly-dallying maybe you wouldn’t be up so late finishing your homework.”
These aren’t specific memories from my childhood. Some things happen so frequently specific incidences get lost in the flood. My father threw the word dilly-dally at me and my sisters so often it seemed more a condition of of our existence than a word. “Quit yer dilly-dallying and get the dishes done!”
It’s kinda hard to not go with Dawdle here. I mean… this is one of those words that looks, sounds and even feels like what it means. Dawdle. Aurally, it sounds like a cousin to doddering, which also speaks to an absent-minded state of … not quite confusion … meandering ambivalence (also a great word).
Linger’s another one of those words that tastes good as you say it. It is as sensuous as the sensations of any moment it draws out. Lingering is just such a satisfying activity. Languorous, sensual… it evokes an awareness for a purposeful state of extended experience, to enjoy the moment… for just a little longer, a lingering touch, a lingering glance. Perhaps anticipation, to enjoy the tension of waiting for a moment yet to come, to teeter a bit on the edge of fulfillment. Sometimes to bask in consummate satisfaction. Always an expanded experience of the present.
I wasn’t overly fond of the “most relevant” options for synonyms (abide, combat, confront, continue, curb, defy, endure, forgo, maintain, prevent, refuse, repel, and thwart) so I dug a little deeper into the thesaurus and found a couple entries with a bit more appeal: persevere and persist. Both these words evoke a proactive alternative to resistance. I’m going with persist partly because it rhymes with resist.
As global demonstrations to end racism in all its forms spread; as the authoritarian ramifications of populism strain the world’s leading democracies; as the the destructive, oppressive nature of wealth inequality worldwide thrusts the world’s middle-classes into vulnerability, and the already vulnerable into life-threatening conditions: how could I refrain from choosing resist?
One of Melody’s synonyms is Refrain which inspired this micro-poem:
He thought to himself
In the moment between
And the need to respond to
So that the one thing
He could not do was
The aspect of Concinnity which makes it so uniquely elegant is the razor sharp concision of its meaning. There just aren’t a whole lot of words synonymous with the harmonious composition of rational discussion. Only one of the six most “relevant” synonyms really even appeals to me. According to thesaurus.com these are arrangement, chord, composition, melody, tune, and unity. It’s a bit odd that harmony didn’t also make the cut, another favourite word, but, hey, what do I know?
Still, that one inspiring word is Melody. And melody is just fine by me.
Concinnity is among my favourite words, as much for the beauty of the word itself as for its meaning.
I love the way it flutters off the tip of my tongue, the taps of ns and ts against the hard palate, and that lovely sibilant c, announcing the word’s emphatic syllable. There’s the lyrical cadence of the consonants and vowels playing off each other in a canter . I think it’s as lovely to say as it is to hear.
But it’s meaning…