Kind of dissecting a word and its sound..

So today, I decided the only way I was going to be able to write anything was to focus on a word and write about it in some way….

Thanks to the weather today and throughout the past week, the word I chose was drizzle. 

PS. I am only looking at it from the “weather point of view” and not from its other dictionary listed meaning, as all those delicious culinary ingredients that you can ‘drizzle’ onto or into various recipes. This is possibly because none of those delightful ingredients are currently available to me!

DRIZZLE  I don’t believe is exactly onomatopoeic as that ‘zz’ sound doesn’t really give the feel of water drip drip dripping through trees or onto rooftops or lightly spattering across windows or onto the ground. There is definitely a sense of light monotony, especially if you emphasise that ‘zzzzzz’ sound (why isn’t it the way we describe a bee moving from flower to flower…who knows?!) When I did a quick Google search it suggested the word has its origins in an Old English word linked to a Germanic word and to the word ‘dreary’.

Perfect! When it drizzles, it’s definitely a dreary kind of day…., usually overcast, cool to cold and fairly miserable.

As I love languages, I checked out the word in Spanish, French, German and Hindi…

My conclusion, none of them come close to the pleasure of reading or saying the word DRIZZLE or sound half as good as it does in English!

In French, it’s ‘bruiner’, even spoken with a lilting French accent, it doesn’t have the same impact.

In Spanish, it’s ‘lloviznar’ (double ll is pronounced as ‘y’ and v as ‘b’), but that’s really just a derivative of ‘llovar’  to rain.

In German it’s ‘nieseln’, (sounds a bit like ‘neezeln’) so a touch of similarity there.

In Hindi it’s written in our script as ‘boonda baandee’, which doesn’t have a great ring to it either.

So I think ‘drizzle’ is unique in English, in that it captures an essence that other languages don’t, even it does describe a rather drab event!

Come to think of it, the days at the moment seem to drizzle into one another, in the same hazy, innocuous way that rain does when it drizzles!


And the silver lining is that drizzle is essential for flowers!

2 thoughts on “Kind of dissecting a word and its sound..

  1. Very interesting. There are so many words which feel just right about whatever they are describing. One word which I like is Petrichor, the moment when the first rain touches the dry earth and that beautiful fragrance is petrichor. Many languages do not have a special word for that fragrance. My language, Kannada does not have one. I have been searching for a word that describes the action of a leaf or flower falling to the ground from a tree. Regards

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Drizzle…I am not really a fan of it. I prefer a good heavy rain that clears the air and leaves behind a clean fresh scent. A gloomy drizzly kind of day just makes me lethargic.. Now, if you are talking about a drizzle of glaze over a freshly baked cinnamon roll that is a completely different story. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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