Thursday, April 5, 2012

A to Z Challnege: E - Esoteric

Esoteric

Does everyone remember The Esoteric Order of Dagon? What? No one reads Lovecraft anymore? It's mentioned most frequently in one of H.P. Lovecraft's most famous tales of the weird and wicked, The Shadow over Innsmouth.

But that's not really the point of this post. As fascinating as both that short story, and the cult that's mentioned in it are, the word esoteric can have a much broader meaning, and application.

es·o·ter·ic [es-uh-ter-ik] adj. 1. understood by or meant for only the select few who have special knowledge or interest; recondite
2. private; secret; confidential

Synonyms: obscure, private, secret, hidden, inner, mysterious, mystical, mystic, occult, arcane, cryptic, inscrutable, abstruse, recondite, cabbalistic (notice the similarity to our A term: arcane)

Etymology: 1650s, from Gk. esoterikos "belonging to an inner circle," from esotero "more within," comparative adv. of eso "within," related to eis "into," en "in" (see en- (2)). In English, originally of Pythagorean doctrines. According to Lucian, the division of teachings into exoteric and esoteric originated with Aristotle.

62 comments:

Lynn said...

I've had that word esoteric thrown at me before. :) Wonderful E post. Lynn

Tonja said...

Finally a word I recognize.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Me and my esoteric crystals.

Christine Murray said...

Great post - though I haven't read Lovecraft yet. It's in my TBR pile though.

maine character said...

Esoterikos would be a cool title. Or band name.

farawayeyes said...

I know this word. It's even cool to say.

Will said...

Nothing I love more than the esotoric! Makes me feel aqll exclusive and special!

MOV said...

great post! will try to weave my new word into a conversation that only a select few will understand...

found you on the a to z and am following now! will be back to read more. :)

feel free to take a peek at my blog too if you have time:

http://mothersofbrothersblog.blogspot.com

best,
MOV

Susan Roebuck said...

Now, this one I can relate to. I didn't know it was synonymous with inscrutable though..reckon I can add that one too!

Laurita said...

As soon as I saw your topic I thought of Lovecraft. Weird little things like that make me happy. It's a great word.

Jessica Bell said...

Gosh, so many synonyms!

becca said...

totally learned a new word today

Debbie McConnell said...

Can't say that I've read Lovecraft, learnt a new word. I must admit I like it's meaning.

Stopping by via the A - Z Challenge, I've visited your added you via GFC.
Feel free to visit me at
http://www.scatteredmusings.net/2012/04/buying-car/

Thanks
Deb

Zan Marie said...

Good word only if our writing isn't labled esoteric. LOL! I think we all aspire to a bigger audience. ; )

Yvonne Osborne said...

No, but I love the word esoteric.

Bish Denham said...

I'd completely forgotten about the Esoteric Order of the Dragon... that's how long it's been since I last read Lovecraft. High school.

Danielle B. said...

What a great new word. It can explain a friendship I use to have. Only her and I knew what the heck we were talking about and meant.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've read Shadow Over Innsmouth!

Old Kitty said...

Off I go to re-read my Lovecraft!!! Take care
x

Alyssia said...

Oh, this is a new word for me!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm going to be so much smarter by the end of the month with your challenge theme, Matt. :D

Lynn Proctor said...

learning lots--cool post

Rick Daley said...

Great word, it has a very poetic feel to it. I also like the way it looks on the page. Sometimes the right combinations of letters have a visual appeal that transcends their basic meaning.

Em-Musing said...

Yeah...why aren't more reading Lovecraft? Great "E".

Sarah Ahiers said...

you know, i don't know if i've ever used "esoteric" in my writing.

A Quiet Corner said...

That's a perfect word to describe my husband, Matt!...LOL!!!...:)JP

caramiaamore said...

Another great word!

Cara

Jay Noel said...

I just like saying "esoteric." I think it was a 9th grade vocabulary word, and just liked the word every since.

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I think I have a little bit of an esoteric feel to part of my WIP...thinking about that.

vic caswell (aspiring-x) said...

oooh! i think i'm going to start calling "inside jokes" esoteric humors! :P i'll sound smart that way, right?

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Loved the E word, I have heard of it before. Well done enjoyed the read.

Yvonne.

Clarissa Draper said...

I love that word. And thanks for the daily latin lesson. I seriously have always wanted to take latin.

Nancy Thompson said...

This is one of those words I have to look up every time I run across it. Why won't it stick? Argh! Maybe this time it finally will. I bet you use it all the time, don't you, you brainiac? Thanks for another lesson.

Retro-Zombie said...

Hell Yeah...Lovecraft!

Excellent! ... to the challenge "E" is for Efficient!
Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
A to Z Co-Host
IZOMBIE: Visit the Madness

Pearl said...

One of my favorite words.

My father was in a band in the 50s called The Esoterics. :-)

And Lovecraft? Please. I love him.

Pearl

Susan Oloier said...

I do so like the word esoteric. It even has a nice sound.

Chris Fries said...

Great A-to-Z series, and a great word!

Although, if you put it together, "esoteric lovecraft" sounds like a 1960's sex manual...

Bryan Russell said...

I really have to read some of Lovecraft's short stories. Even if he was a misogynistic racist.

Kristen Pelfrey said...

Lovecraft!
Love craft.
*waves in the general direction of Georgia*

Donna K. Weaver said...

What a great word. Never considered it in this way.

Elana Johnson said...

I think there's a lot of esoteric terms in the writing world. It took me years to figure out some of the abbreviations.

Carla Karam said...

Love your A to Z theme... I'll have to log on to your site (which is very nice) more often to improve upon my vocabulary! Thanks for the education!
Visiting from the A to Z Challenge http://takingbackmylifemakingitmyown.blogspot.com/

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

I think Lovecraft is just awesome. I wish they would make "The Mountains of Madness" into a film. It got cancelled but they could have done it for fifty million less than what it cost to launch Prometheus.

Kristen Wixted said...

This is one of my favorite words. In Russian it is pronounced "zagodachnaya"
Well, if you're referring to a female. Could also be "zagodachnoy"
Cool that I know that, huh?

Joshua said...

I think esoteric and arcane are often confused interchangeably with each other.

Timothy Brannan said...

Of course!

Great word by the way. I picked "Eldritch" myself.

I am trying to read all the A to Z blogs, but coming back to the ones I really like.
Looking forward to seeing what you do all month!

Tim
The Other Side
The Freedom of Nonbelief

Angela Brown said...

Great word choice for E. I vaguely remembered the word but now have it and some of its helpful synonyms in mind.

Stephanie Allen said...

I think I've heard that word thrown around a few times, but never actually stopped to look it up. Great post =)

Grammy said...

Hi, Esoteric is a great word! Thanks for the reminder. Best regards to you. Ruby

Rebecca Kiel said...

I love knowing the definitions of words. I was just thinking of the roots of words today in the context of some sanskrit words I know.

Melissa Bradley said...

HP rocks! Esoteric is one of those words that I love because it sounds so intriguing when you say it.

Andrew Leon said...

You seem to like words that have to do with special or secret knowledge...

I never got around to Lovecraft. Meant to but just never did.

Dawn Ius said...

I can't believe I used this word JUST today without even knowing all of this cool stuff :-)

Rob and Lisa said...

Lovecraft is on my reading list. How come I have never read his work before?

Lisa

Sarah Pearson said...

I absolutely love the sound of this word :-)

ediFanoB said...

I read Lovecraft more than 25 years ago.

Your post activated some memories ...

Traci Kenworth said...

Interesting word.

Jamie Gibbs said...

I've only read one Lovecraft story (penned under a different name, I believe) but I do want to delve deeper into the mythos. Love using the word esoteric in conversation :)


Jamie Gibbs
Fellow A-Z buddy
Mithril Wisdom

Rusty Webb said...

Yeah! A word I know and love. Finally.

~Sia McKye~ said...

I use this word in my normal vocabulary.

Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

Simon Kewin said...

I remember it well! A great word; I kind of wish I'd picked this one myself!

Sean McLachlan said...

There's also an APA (Amateur Press Association) called The Esoteric Order of Dagon. I was a member for a couple of years before work and family conspired to make me cut down on a few extra activities.