Etymology: Ephemeral

Etymology is the study or words and there place in our lives, In this new Topic section, Im going to be going threw a few of my favorite words. The first one I want to share is Ephemeral.

Ephemeral means something that is short-lived, fleeting or something that doesn’t last long. It originally was used to describe death, disease, or illnesses coming from the Greek words ephēmeros: lasting only a day, from hēmera: day. 

Ephemeral (Pronounced ih-fem-er-uh l ) grew in popularity in the 1560’s and transitioned  from a medical term to the more common slang version around the 1680’s, when it was introduced to the English language. Its uses evolved to describe anything that is short term but its purpose is to be used for things that are more abstract.

Feelings, can be Ephemeral or sensations like say an icy chill or a sudden burst of energy. Or even time, Time can be extremely Ephemeral, the time it takes to change your mind, or the length of a life.

When looking at words I like to take a peek at their Synonyms. Ephemeral has many, naturally. But my favorite is Passing. The moment is so short, so quick that it Happens and Ends before the start is even noticed. This reminds me of a quote “You are not passing threw life, it is passing threw you”.

“I know that I am mortal by nature, and ephemeral; but when I trace at my pleasure the windings to and fro of the heavenly bodies I no longer touch the earth with my feet: I stand in the presence of Zeus himself and take my fill of ambrosia.”

Ptolemy, Ptolemy’s Almagest

I hope you enjoyed this Topic! If you have an interesting word you would like to share, tell us in the comment section below!