Writing my way through the A-to-Z blogging challenge, I’m sharing my thoughts and reflections on a lexicon (vocabulary specific to a certain subject) of unusual, obscure, or simply charming-to-me words. Ludic is defined as “playful, in an aimless way” and that’s my plan for approaching this challenge – keeping my feet on the joy trail and meandering wherever the daily word takes me.
B is for…
beamish – (adj) bright, cheerful, optimistic. First known usage 1871.
While this isn’t a word you likely hear often, if ever, in conversation, it’s definition seems rather obvious. Still, it’s a word that delights me and therefore belongs in my lexicon. I love thinking of beamish people. My heart takes a happy turn just feeling into the hopefulness such attitudes invoke.
I’m not sure I consider myself precisely a beamish person, although I suspect some might think I am. It’s true I’m customarily optimistic, but I think of myself as quietly holding that energy rather than demonstratively radiating it.
I do like Roald Dahl’s pronouncement “If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like the sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
But the idea of beamish also makes me think about actual beams of light, and turns my mind to the sun and moon.
This card from Tantra Designs by artist Peter Douglas is a favorite of mine and I keep it displayed. It was given to me as a wedding card celebrating my union with my sunny Leo partner. I’m the reflective Cancerian moon. Like our celestial counterparts, ours has been a wonderful love story.
The Efik people of southeastern Nigeria have a folktale explaining why the sun and moon live in the sky. In ages past, the Sun and Water were great friends on Earth. After visiting Water’s home many times, Sun extended an invitation for Water to visit his home. But when Water arrived, he overflowed Sun’s home, forcing Sun and his wife Moon, to jump first to the roof of their house and then as the level of Water rose even higher, they leapt up into the sky, where they live now forever.
I smile whenever I think of that story, and I do often as I look at the sky and know Sun and Moon share it, even if we can’t often see them there at the same time.
It delights me as well to hold close the beautiful words of Hafiz:
“An awake heart is like a sky that pours light.”
And in that sense, may we all be beamish.
Do you consider yourself a beamish person? Are you more solar or lunar? What favorite “B” word is part of your personal lexicon? Do tell – you know I want to hear.
I don’t have a favorite b word, but I like beamish. I try to be that way and most people consider me cheerful. I usually am, although not always ebullient.
It’s always interested in how people perceive themselves. It’s curious to me that we don’t talk about it more.
LOL! Can’t say Water was a good guest 😉
The Old Shelter – The Great War
Indeed not. 🙂
Actually I do consider myself a beamish person although I didn’t know it was called that. I am usually smiling. I love the sun card. Great word.
Yes, I definitely think you qualify as beamish Janet. Way to go.
I do consider myself a beamish person and love this (new to me) word. I’ve been called a “Pollyanna” by friends which I think has a similar vibe. Weekends In Maine
Sometimes when I hear “Pollyanna” used I perceive it to have a pejorative ring, which I don’t think was the original intent of the word. But it makes me careful in using it because I don’t want to convey an unintentional meaning to someone. Words are funny things, almost like living things, which I suppose is why I like them so much. And why I like obscure and archaic words. Using them feels like breathing new life into them.
I love that story! It was one of the first ones I learned when I was a young storyteller 🙂
The Multicolored Diary
Beamish is a new English word to me (thanks! I love to learn new things), so it’s not the one that came to my mind for defining me. I think I’m maybe beamish sometimes, but I would say B as Brave. When you have to go, you have to go!
Quilting Patchwork & Appliqué
Brave is a wonderful word and quality, And probably not one that comes to mind for me often as a self-description.
Meandering through your words is the most ‘beautiful’ experience Deborah.
I love the Efik people’s story. In Doha, the moon (at certain times in the year) rises before the sun sets. So, I have one or two photos of both at their beautiful best in the sky (that’s a lot of ‘b’ words). Maybe I’ll share them in one of the posts this April.
Ah! Hafiz and Dahl.
Oh, how lovely Arti- a rare peek at the lovely couple in public together! Certainly worthy of a photo. I’ll keep my eyes open in case one of your captures happens to appear.
I can imagine you as beamish – you hold a radiance that is visible via this medium.
I enjoy the meaning of this word much more than the word itself. I love beaming sunbeams moonbeams but something about beamish feels a little foolish which leads me to the fool in the tarot – innocently happy .
actually I do not know this word – beamish I have no experience of as an adjective .
words are living beings and what an adventure we go on with them .
very happy to sail thru the ludic lexicon with you.
Ah yes, I definitely feel the connection with Fool. That in itself makes me smile, as Fool has called me to dance with him/her this year in a next journey around the spiral. Interestingly enough, in this iteration, Fool appears to me a lunar entity rather than a more usual solar connection/depiction. It seems life is always giving us new things to explore, no?
We here in Ireland, have a stout beer called ‘Beamish’. I would consider myself a Beamish person, when I was younger everyone called me smiler, as I was always smiling to myself.
How fun about your childhood nickname, and yay to a Beamish beer.
I love that card and the story of how the sun and the moon came to live in the sky. My demeanor expresses in varying ways like the faces of the sun and the moon.
My A2Z for today is here:
That’s a wonderful self-description!
Oh frabjous day! Calloo! Callay!
(I’m amused by how some of the neologisms in Jabberwocky have caught on – ‘chortle’, for instance – and others haven’t. Beamish is a lovely word.)
I’m amused as well, Kathleen. It makes me rather beamish!
Beamish is such a great word. And I enjoyed how you explored it using stories and quotes. I now see the word in my head as a sunbeam. 🙂
All I can think of with “beamish” is the “Jabberwocky,” which I assume is its origin. And while I don’t usually think of myself as beamish, i do quite frequently exclaim, “Oh frabjous day! Calloo! Callay!” from the same poem.
Black and White: C for Camelot
I have no doubt your declarations are entirely beamish in nature. You have me grinning.
Hello! Charming post. I’ve always thought of “beamish” as coined by Lewis Carroll, but I’m not actually sure about that. Maybe it was already a word by the time he wrote Jabberwocky? Anyway, either way, it is a good, cheerful word, and I like it.
Also, I, too, am a Leo, and tend towards sunniness.
Carroll gets a lot of credit for adding fabulous words, doesn’t he? And there can never be too many of those!