Friday, July 17, 2009

word: abecedarian

I'm not sure which book I was reading when I discovered abecedarian. I know it was an audio book because when I first heard it I wondered how it'd be spelled so my educated guess given the timing would be How Nancy Drew Saved My Life by Lauren Baratz Logsted.

Used as a noun, abecedarian signifies:
1. Something or someone obsessed with matters alphabetical (my favorite of the possibilities)
2. One who teaches or studies the alphabet.
3. One who is just learning; a beginner.

Adjectivally (oh, how I love that word!), abecedarian denotes:
1. Having to do with the alphabet.
2. Being arranged alphabetically.
3. Elementary or rudimentary.

Interestingly enough while looking up the word I also learned that Abecedarians were a 16th century German sect of Anabaptists who disdained all human knowledge. They claimed that to be saved one must be ignorant even of the first letters of the alphabet. (a clearer explanation is available in the Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature by John McClintock, courtesy of GoogleBooks)

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