That Word: Papyrus (18)

That Word is a weekly segment where I post a new word each week. They can be a word I’ve recently discovered, a word I’ve known for a while and gained a clearer idea of it’s meaning or a more common word I’ve wanted to explore in more depth. It’s a post for writers like myself who want to expand their word knowledge or just for people curious about learning more about the words that can make up the English language. This week’s word is…

Papyrus

Where I Discovered It

Papyrus is a word I have heard of before. I was using Scrivener and I saw a font titled papyrus. While I didn’t choose to use it, it stayed with me and sprung the this post.

Definition/s

  1. A tall aquatic plant, cyperus papyrus, of the sedge family, native to the Nile valley: the Egyptian subspecies C. Papyrus hadidil, though to be in ancient times, now occurs in several sites.
  2. A material in which to write, prepare from thin strips of the pith of this plant laid together, soaked, pressed, and dried, used by the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks
  3. An ancient document, manuscript or scroll written on this material.
Definitions sourced from dictionary.com
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Cyperus Papyrus

Origin

Papyrus originates from 1350 – 1400

Middle English – papirus

Latin – papȳrus

Greek – pápȳros

Example Sentences

The ancient script was written on papyrus.

Much of the papyrus has degraded due to the many years that had passed since it had been originally written on.

My Thoughts

While this is a word I was familiar with I found it really interesting looking up the definition. I knew that in ancient times it was basically the paper they used to write on. I didn’t realise that it there was actually a plant that shared a name even though I knew vaguely that papyrus must have been made of some type of plant.

I think it is always cool to look at the origins and how the word has developed over time.

Papyrus has snuck its way onto my favourites list simply because of how it sounds. I love how it sounds. On dictionary.com it shows the pronunciation as  puh-pahy-ruh s. I love the higher ‘I’ sound it makes with the y. I don’t know why but something about it really appeals to me.

Papyrus is a word you are more likely to hear in a history class on Ancient Civilisations. In writing it would be useful if you were writing a story set in a ancient setting (whether the world we live in or one of our own creation). Or maybe someone in a more modern setting has for some reason or other decided to buy the plant or even study it. I guess it’s a sightly more versatile than I had originally thought.

What about you? Have you heard of or used Papyrus before? Do you think you would use it in the future? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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