Languorous Languidness and Vapors

Blame the heat – we’re having an early bout of simmering, liquid heat that fogs the brain and tires the limbs and makes one both languid and restless at the same time – from Latin ‘languidus’, meaning weak and faint – which is not exactly the same as languorous – from Latin for feebleness or ‘lassitude’ – another wonderful ‘l’ word in the same family of terms used by the French to describe elegantly paralyzing immobility.  Pictures of southern ladies clad n the lightest of white linens and fanning themselves slowing come to mind, as does the southern term ‘vapors’ –  developed from the medieval notion of exhalations from the stomach affecting the brain – not always heat related but often heat induced, languid collapses of white-linen decorum.  Whatever will we do when August comes?


About hickson1

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