miscellany/etymology

Archaic Food Word Number Whatever

paneity – the quality or state of being bread.

i am exactly the type of asshole who delights in knowing a word like paneity, but am also, thankfully, the type who has the good sense never to use it. the exceptions being here, on this blog, and this weekend while playing scrabble when i was like, one goddamn letter away from knocking everyone’s socks off with my sexy lexicographical prowess, right?

and i think the word is special that way, like a little talisman that you hold close to your heart and take out only from time to time to look at an appreciate, because i do love the way it sounds and what it conjures up (there’s something in the ei that to me evokes the tenderness and elasticity of the glutenous), and in spite of, or perhaps directly connected to this specialness, it seems vulgar and annoying when someone actually uses the word, outside of the most extenuating of circumstances.

this is in part because i think the word breadiness does just fine for the purpose. i do not resent that an obscure official word exists, but i think to use it in common parlance is unnecessarily portentous, if not downright pretentious.

that said, had i left my investigation of its meaning solely up to Mr. Ammon Shea, i would not have known that there is also a specific theological aspect which he entirely neglects in his (the above) definition (see: Reading The OED).

because within the context of discussions of con/transubstantiation (the process whereby the bread and wine of the eucharist becomes the body and blood of Christ), paneity refers to the state of being merely bread. how about that, hey?

how about that.

 

seriously. i feel just, indistinctly happier that i know that. you should probably all avoid me at parties for a while.

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