The Byronic hero, incapable of love or capable only of an impossible love, suffers endlessly. He is solitary, languid [and] his condition exhausts him. If he wants to feel alive, it must be in the terrible exaltation of a brief and destructive action.
The Byronic Hero is a character notable for being sullen, withdrawn, hard to like and hard to know but, usually possessing a rich inner life and a softer side, accessible only to a special few.
Generations of reference books once included this term, including the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, dated 1771 […]
James Murray, the famous editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, found that the original word was bycoket, which was indeed a form of headgear, a cap or headdress with a peak both in front and behind, whose name he thought derived from an Old French term for a small castle crowning a hill. He declared abacot to be a ghost word and wrote in an article in [T]he Athenaeum in February 1882:
“There is not, never was, such a word.”
His entry for abacot in the first edition of the OED read in its entirity [sic] “a spurious word found in many dictionaries, originating in a misprint of bycoket.” In the bycoket entry, he told the story:
Through a remarkable series of blunders and ignorant reproductions of error, this word appears in modern dictionaries as abacot. In Hall’s Chronicles a bicocket appears to have been misprinted abococket, which was copied by Grafton, altered by Holinshed to abococke, and finally “improved” by Abraham Fleming to abacot (perhaps through an intermediate abacoc) […]
One may instead argue that since the word has — albeit rarely — been used, then it exists and ought to be treated as such. There is, after all, no shortage of words that have been grossly altered through popular error. The revision of its entry in the Oxford English Dictionary in December 2011 takes this view […]
You want to know what an abacot/bycoket is? Think Robin Hood. ~Vic
This is, clearly, an obscure word. It sounds like a portmanteau of quantum and condom. Hmmm…Quantum Condoms, for an “out of this world” experience! Whadda ya’ think? Can you make a sentence with this word? ~Vic
The verb glower, “to look or stare with sullen dislike” comes from Middle English gloren [or] glouren “to shine, gleam, glow, stare, stare at fixedly.” The Middle English forms are mostly from the north (Yorkshire) and Scotland. [T]he sense “to stare at fixedly” is Scottish. The source of gloren and glouren is obscure but, possibly, Scandinavian, e.g., Icelandic [as] glóra “to glow (like a cat’s eyes)” [or] Swedish and Norwegian dialect glora “to glow, stare.” The source of gloren [and] glouren may also be from Middle Low German glūren “to be overcast” or Dutch glueren “to leer, peep.” Glower entered English in the 15th century.
This is very similar to our “glaring at someone” which has its roots in Middle English, Middle Dutch and Middle Low German.
I’ve been doing a lot of glowering and glaring, lately. The whole world has gone insane-stupid. ~Vic
And, yes, another new post heading. I’m stretching things out to keep from being stale or too strict on myself. With Word Wednesday, all are welcome to play along and use the word in a sentence in comments…if you are so inclined. ~Vic
“Evelyn’s two year old daughter, Karen, was being obstinate by refusing to eat her carrots.”