Wednesday Words (4)

Each Wednesday I present to you a loveable word and what it means. These are words that look or sound pleasing. This week we have two words. The first was suggested to me by Debbie Carter…


This absurd-sounding word means a change in circumstance or fortune, usually an unpleasant one.

That double –iss sound is what makes it such a joy to say. It can also be used in literary works to mean an alternation between contrasting things, such as seasons. The word is thought to date from the early-17th-century and it reminded me instantly of a similar word which I have always loved rolling around my tongue…


I’m not sure I’ve ever been confident enough to use it in conversation, but it refers to something that has the appearance – sometimes only an appearance – of being true. So you can give verisimilitude to your works of historical fiction by making sure you’ve done the right research, for example. It also dates from the 17th-century.