Copywriters, perhaps more than others, have a deep appreciation for words and their power to create unforgettable images.
The other evening I was grooving on an episode of the florid and wonderful costume drama, The Tudors. I sat enthralled as the reptilian Thomas Boleyn plotted with his henchmen, and Henry VIII, played by the yummy Jonathan Rhys Meyers, stomped around bellowing orders and acting like a frat boy with a bad hangover. All of a sudden, it struck me that Henry, at that stage of his life, was a skinny, sexy guy. He was not, as we usually picture him, a corpulent, richly dressed redhead with a bland stare.
I started meditating on the word “corpulent” and its origins. Dictionary.com notes that “corpulent” springs from late 14th century Old French and, of course, Latin. Made up of “corpus” (body) and “ulentus” (full of), it’s a perfectly lovely word—full of body! It even sounds weighty.
Just think of how many words we use every day that are derived similarly. There’s “fraudulent,” or full of deceit and trickery. “Succulent,” or full of juice. And “belligerent,” or full of combativeness, contentiousness, and antagonism.
You’re bound to have a favorite “ulent” word? What is it?