Wondrous Words #162

 Thanks for stopping by to check on the new-to-me words I found this week. No new words from books this week, but I found a very interesting one while reading a New York Times article. The article was Let’s Go Reading In the Car by Judith Shulevitz. I came across this new word:

“Fire was precious because it flushed animals out of the brush, then made it possible for people to cook them. Campfires had to be guarded, which made them like “nests” and made us feel safe enough to be “eusocial” or altruistic. Sounds plausible to me.”

At first I thought the writer was making up a new word. From the context, the author seems ro imply that the word is the same as altruistic. Someone who is altruistic is a person who has selfless concern for the well-being of others.  Eusocial (pronounced yoōˈsō sh əl) is an adjective seen in the work of zoologists and sociologists. It means there is an advanced level of social organization, in which a single female or caste produces the offspring and nonreproductive individuals cooperate in caring for the young. A good example can be seen in a bee colony.

That’s all for this week. Wondrous Words Wednesday is the creation of Kathy at Bermuda Onion. Be sure to visit her for more new words.

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10 Responses to Wondrous Words #162

  1. How interesting! From the context I thought it meant the same as altruistic too. I need to bring up bees in a conversation so I can use eusocial!

  2. Libby says:

    Eusocial…hmmm…has the word ‘social’ in it. It kind of means social too – but, I do not know what the eu- prefix means(?)

    That is interesting.

    I like the namme of your article ‘Reading in the Car.’ Reading in the car actually makes me dizzy 🙂

  3. Louise says:

    Eusocial is new for me today, while I understand the definition it isn’t what I would have expected. It’s quite a precise usage isn’t it? Eu as a prefix just means good as in euthanasia, eugenics, euphoria so I would have thought it would just be good society.

  4. Interesting word and thanks for the link — I was intrigued by the title of the article. I never get around to reading the NYT as much as I had planned to after I retired. (I do the crossword puzzle though ;>))….

  5. Libby says:

    Hey Margot – I am back cause I was just reminded by your comments at Yvonne’s blog that you like the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency books too! So, I “follow” the author on Facebook, and yesterday he announced on there that Republic of Tea is making No 1 Ladies Detective teas. So, OF COURSE, I clicked on the link. And, it is so fun! There are Speedy Motors products! And, a 97% gift package (remember the test scores at the secretarial college – 97% – LOL!). Hang on…let me see if there is a link…


    This takes you to his FB page!

  6. Staci says:

    Now this is a very cool word!

  7. This is a new one for me. Interesting!

    Here are my Words.

  8. YVONNE says:

    Hi Margot,

    What a great word, it has quite a good ‘ring’ to it, although it will need to be quite an intellectual conversation if you are going to casually throw this word into the general melee!

    As Libby comments, I too am unable to read in the car, makes me sick and dizzy within seconds, not good when it is me that’s supposed to be navigating generally!!

    I am off to follow Libby’s link now and check out the ‘Ladies No 1 Detective Teas’, sounds interesting.

    Great post, sparked loads of spin-off conversation.


  9. kaye says:

    who knew?

  10. Annie says:

    Very interesting word and really new to me ! At the first glance I thought it was something about Europe….

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