not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Word Wednesday!!!

I have a few words this wednesday. They are all from the book I read last month, Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Codega...this is one that is not even in the dictionary. It is from Venice in the middle ages.
Codega (noun) : A fellow you hired to walk in front of you at night with a lit lantern, showing you the way, scaring off theives and demons, bringing you confidence and protection through the dark streets.

After doing some research I found some information and history about the word "Codega":

In the past, Venice was not well lit by street lamps and along the numerous “calle”, the typical narrow Venetian passageways, the only lights were the so-called “cesendeli”, the candles used to illuminate the religious images on the walls.

After a period of violence in about 1450, a law was passed forcing those who ventured outside after sundown to carry a light.

They could use candles, candelabras, lanterns and many other types of lights.

The nobility, the wealthy merchants, and especially the foreigners (“foresti”) were accompanied by a servant called a “codega” who held a lamp before them and helped them make their way.

The term “codega” may derive from “cotica”, the thick, hard pork skin used to feed the flame for the light. It may also derive from the greek “odegos”, or “guide.”

More recently the nickname “codega” was given to the bellboys who would go out in the rain with their umbrellas to help clients. “Codega” has also been used to describe escorts who accompanied young women home after the theatre or an evening out.

To me, a "codega" is like a great friend. They walk beside you and in front of you, protecting you and helping you along the way. With them in your life you are confident, knowing that someone is there for you.

Main Entry: par·a·dise           Listen to the pronunciation of paradise
Pronunciation: \ˈper-ə-ˌdīs, -ˌdīz, ˈpa-rə-\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English paradis, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin paradisus, from Greek paradeisos, literally, enclosed park, of Iranian origin; akin to Avestan pairi-daēza- enclosure; akin to Greek peri around and to Greek teichos wall — more at peri-, dough
Date:12th century
1 a: eden 2 b: an intermediate place or state where the souls of the righteous await resurrection and the final judgment c: heaven2: a place or state of bliss, felicity, or delight

Merriam Webster dictionary seems to have more of a religious definition of what paradise means. Paradise directly translates into a "walled garden".

Paradise is an idealized place in which existence is positive, harmonious and timeless. It is conceptually a counter-image of the miseries of human civilization, and in paradise there is only peace, prosperity, and happiness. Paradise is a place of contentment, but it is not necessarily a land of luxury and idleness.

"Paradise" by Jan Bruegel

Where is your place of contentment?

Everyone is always telling me that I just want the "fairytale" in a dream world. And you know what-- what's so wrong with that?! I love living in my fairytale and believing. So today's last word is FAIRY TALE, because I love living in one, dreaming up one, and reading one.

I hate, yes hate, Merriam Webster's definition, so I'm not even going to post it. I think I may be boycotting MW for a while. I'm hooked on Wikipedia.

Main Entry: fairy–tale
Function: adjective
: characteristic of or suitable to a fairy tale ; especially : marked by seemingly unreal beauty, perfection, luck, or happiness

A fairy tale or fairy story is a fictional story that may feature folkloric characters (such as fairies, talking animals) and enchantments, often involving a far-fetched sequence of events. In modern-day parlance, the term is also used to describe something blessed with princesses, as in "fairy tale ending" (a happy ending)[1] or "fairy tale romance", though not all fairy tales end happily. Colloquially, a "fairy tale" or "fairy story" can also mean any far-fetched story. Fairytales mostly attract young children since they easily understand the archetypical characters in the story.

In cultures in which figures such as witches are perceived as real, and the teller and hearer of a tale see it as having historical actuality, fairy tales may merge into legendary narratives. However, unlike legends and epics, they usually do not contain more than scholarly references to religion and actual places, persons, and events; they take place "once upon a time" rather than in actual times.

Fairy tales of the past were disturbing by today’s standards and were in effect a way of teaching children and adults alike things to watch out for in the way in which the world works. For example, little red riding hood, in which the young girl strays from the path to grandma's house and ends up in bed with the wolf who 'eats her up' referring to a sexual act rather than just the act of physically eating her. Today's version has been turned into a children's story, where the original was quite gruesome. (I'd recommend checking out any fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm).

The Brothers Grimm

Beauty and the Best by Warwick Goble

Little Red Riding Hood by Gustav Dore

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