Happy Wednesday, word nerds! A couple of months ago I posted about a word that I thought really didn’t sound like its definition: effulgent. (You can read that post here.) Last week, I was reminded of another word that fits into that category: bucolic.
bucolic: (adj) Relating to the pleasant aspects of the countryside and country life.
Really? Does that word sound pleasant to you? Maybe it’s the colic part of the word that does it. Hands up all mothers out there who have pleasant associations with the word colic.
Yeah, I thought so. But aside from that, I don’t associate those hard kinds of sounds with pleasant. Do you?
It turns out that the word is actually derived from the Greek word boukolikos which means herdsman (from bous meaning ox). Now that, I can see. Somehow the word bucolic seems much more fitting for the kind of rugged, hardworking man I can imagine working in the fields. Still, while I can see the relationship, it seems like a fairly big leap from herdsman to pleasant aspects of country life.
Incidentally, the word colic isn’t related to bucolic at all. Colic comes from the Latin word colon, which is, of course, the source of all the trouble when it comes to colic.