Elixir

Before I tell you about today’s bon mot, let me tell you where I found it. Yesterday we had a nice, relaxing lunch at a local restaurant, Urban Table, that we hadn’t been to before. The bill came in not the usual black faux leather padded folder, but in a slim, brown, old book. The particular one our bill came in was Peters’ Revised Business Speller from 1925. It was the perfect book for someone who writes a blog about words. My husband asked the waiter if we could buy the book. After a consultation with his manager, he said we could have it (we of course left a generous tip). Every page is a list of words. For example, “Pertaining to Chemistry”, “Words Associated with Religion”, “Mathematical Terms”, etc. Some pages also feature a word or words at the bottom, such as page 113 which states, “God and good are the same word, merely changed in the pronunciation.” Really? But the one that caught my eye was on page. 71. It reads, “Elixir is from the Arabic, el iksir, the original meaning, ‘the philosopher’s stone.’ In ancient philosophy it was an imaginary substance capable of sustaining life indefinitely.” Well you know what that called to mind; Harry Potter, of course! The first book, which we know in the US as “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in England is called “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” Other searches for elixir report it being a substance that has the power to change base metal  into gold. While that’s nice, I prefer Peters’ Business Speller definition. It conjures up images of spells, potions, and all things magical. That’s what I call a bon mot.

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5 thoughts on “Elixir

  1. Elixir, a great word, conjures up magic potions…Eye of newt ,toads venom and dragon’s blood… ABRACADABRA!

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