December 26th, 2006


Cool Word of the Month, December 2006

nimbus (Latin, noun) - a rainstorm or rain cloud

From the entry:

  • 1. Classical Mythology. a shining cloud sometimes surrounding a deity when on earth.

  • 2. a cloud, aura, atmosphere, etc., surrounding a person or thing: The candidate was encompassed with a nimbus of fame.

  • 3. halo (def. 1).

  • 4. the type of dense clouds or cloud mass with ragged edges, that yields rain or snow; a rain cloud.

I always thought of a nimbus as #1, a glowing cloud, more like a corona or halo. The connection to cumulonimbus had somehow escaped me.

I had been looking for words meaning "rain". My short list this time included:

  • Dutch (regen)

  • Danish (regn)

  • Finnish (sataa, which incidentally is Chinese for "kill him/her/it")

  • Vietnamese (mưa, which is just fun to say)

  • Tagalog (ulan)

Also, I can't believe this is my first Latin Cool Word of the Month, after several dozen! It's not as if I have been restricting them to living languages, or even real ones.