Wednesday Words: A Meditation on Gift

A word I use a lot in my writing is gift, in the sense of special ability. My main character has psychic gifts. But I have always found this an interesting word. It has a nice heft to it. If it were wine, it would heavy tannins like a well-oaked, aged Cab Sauv.

I love idioms, although I try to keep them to a minimum in my writing, and gift is in many.

  • Life is a gift. I try to remember gratitude daily.
  • The gift of gab. This one missed me, unless you count the written word as gabbing. 😉
  • Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. This one makes me think of Monty Python and the Holy Grail instead of The Aeneid.
  • Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. This one made a lot more sense when I learned something about horse anatomy and the importance of teeth in aging horses (and other animals, for that matter).

Lastly, I just love that the word gift in German means poison. I’ve always wondered how the related languages of German and English ended up with such a vastly different meaning for a word spelled and pronounced the same.