Though these days the term wordmonger refers to "a writer or speaker who uses language pretentiously or carelessly," please join me in proposing a new meaning. A fishmonger appreciates and promotes fish, therefore, a wordmonger does the same for words.

Thursday, August 14, 2014



I would like thoughts of peace to be on my mind always, but I often let life get in the way. Recent events, though, have brought my ever-present (if sometimes buried) hopes for peace to the forefront.

The word peace came to English in the 1100s, meaning freedom from civil disorder. It came to English through Old French from the Latin word pacem or pax. Our modern word pact more closely reflects the initial meaning of peace’s Proto-Indo-European root, pag or pak, which meant to make firm, to join together, to agree.

Ah that we humans of the world might join together & firmly agree on peace.

Some modern synonyms for peaceful include:

placid, an undisturbed & unruffled calm

calm, a total absence of agitation or disturbance

tranquil, a more intrinsic & permanent peace than the peace suggested by the word calm.

serene,  an exalted tranquility

harmonious, musical agreement or settled governmental order

In lieu of leaving a comment for this post, I’m hoping we can all instead bring peaceful thought & action to the forefront, & maybe, just maybe (with all due respect to Margaret Meade) a small group of thoughtful word nerds can change the world for the better.

My thanks go out to this week’s sources: OED, Merriam Webster, Wordnik, Webster’s New World Dictionary, 1959, & Etymonline


  1. Charlie, I'm so glad you chose Peace for this week's Wordmonger. It's been a couple of terrible weeks news-wise, make it months, and for some reason this week just piled all the misery on. Pax to all of us, sooner than later. All the best, my pal, Paul.

    1. Ahoy Paul - thanks. I knew other had to be feeling similarly. I'm pleased to be pondering peace with you.