The Complexities of Winsomeness

winsome (adj.) Look up winsome at Dictionary.comOld English wynsum “agreeable, pleasant,” from wynn “pleasure, delight” (cf. German Wonne “joy, delight;” see win) + -sum “-some.” Apparently surviving only in northern English dialect for 400 years until revived 18c. by Hamilton, Burns, and other Scot. poets.

I love the thought of ‘winsome’ and ‘winsomeness’, both connected with happy and uncomplicated childlike pleasure – the kind of quality that all too many of us lose in our growing-up hurries.  To be ‘childlike’ is not the same as to be childish – just as a friend once told me, patiently, that to be ‘complex’ is not at all the same as being ‘complicated’ – the latter of which is presumably as pejorative as ‘childish’ – here’s to complex winsomeness!


About hickson1

Art historian, professor, Italian Renaissance and Baroque specialist, Italophile
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