Sunday Morning Coffee: Words are so Cool!

It’s actually Saturday night. I like to do this post early when I can so I don’t have to rush through it.

I love words. The etymology of words always fascinates me. I picked up a new one today. I’ve heard it before, but never looked up the definition and history (etymology), and I’m glad I took the time to do so today.

Terry was reading a book by Arno C. Gaebelein on the Gospel of Matthew. The author had commented that the word wisdom was an accurate adumbration of Jesus. We looked it up in a dictionary, and the best choice for this particular use is that wisdom, in the passage, is a foreshadowing  of Jesus.

Proverbs 9:10 tells us that the fear (respect, reverence) of God is the beginning of wisdom. He is wisdom. Therefore, His Son, Jesus, is wisdom.

But I was still curious about that big word that I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone else use, so I looked up the etymology. It is, quite literally, to cast a shadow:

Assorted-color Straight Umbrella Hanging on Black Wire

late 16th century: from Latin adumbrat- ‘shaded’, from the verb adumbrare, from ad- ‘to’ (as an intensifier) + umbrare ‘cast a shadow’ (from umbra‘shade’). (Wikipedia)

And here’s more, from my online dictionary:


Dictionary result for umbra


  1. the fully shaded inner region of a shadow cast by an opaque object, especially the area on the earth or moon experiencing the total phase of an eclipse.

There’s more, about the penumbra and the antenumbra, but I’ll let you look that up if you’re interested.

And I finally know now where the word umbrella  comes from.

See? Words are SO interesting!

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