Sensual Words

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Goya La Maja Desnuda 1797_1800 97x190

Featured Image: Goya La Maja Desnuda 1797-1800, Oil on Canvas, 97 x 190 cm, Prado, Madrid

ORT_Logo  Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony, 1 December 2019

Sensual Words in English

A Thought Experiment

The idea came on me suddenly. I thought of words as visual entities and wondered what a beautiful word would look like. From that it was a small leap to imagine sensual words.

A list came to mind and for some reason the first three were words beginning with ‘l’. In a couple of minutes I had a list of eight ‘l’ words, one of which I wasn’t sure about:

Preliminary List
Luxurious Languid Lipid
Lascivious Liquid Limpid
Lucent Langorous

I thought I was being objective. But, then I wondered whether I was merely being subjective. I needed to treat the subject more seriously somehow. I came up with an experiment. But I would restrict my investigations to ‘l’ words only. Else, things might quickly spiral out of control.

Sensual and Sensuous

Sensual and sensuous are two words that in modern English have converged. I was interested in sensual words and not sensuous ones, but I felt a need to clarify.

John Milton (1608-1674) was an English poet and intellectual. Milton created more new words than Shakespeare or anyone, with Geoffrey Chaucer, Ben Jonson, Jon Donne and Sir Thomas Moore up there as well.

Milton is thought to have invented sensuous in 1641 to avoid the sexual overtones of sensual. Sensuous is the more neutral term meaning: relating to the senses as opposed to the intellect. Sensual relates to the gratification of the senses, especially sexually. Sensuous in Milton’s sense is becoming rare in modern English. Continue reading “Sensual Words”