What's in a Word | All Blogs

Cherish is the word …

By Debra Dobbins


I’m happy to report a small miracle: My Christmas tree is still upright.

Every December I worry that I’ve secured it tightly enough to last about a month laden with ornaments, lights and a star on top. Stuffing the tree into my car’s hatchback, lugging it into my home, coaxing it into a stand and then securing it are all dreaded holiday tasks. Every year, however, once the tree is up and decorated, I’m pleased I went to the trouble because it is bedecked with ornaments that bring back family memories I cherish.

“Cherish” is indeed a good word for the Christmas season. It’s the time of year we make special, sometimes herculean, efforts to get together with friends and family we cherish or at least to send them cards and letters to express our deep feelings for them. We observe cherished family traditions, ones cultivated over many years.

The word came into English from Old French in the early 14th century, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary. The French language still has many expressions with cher in them, such as mon cher.

The Online Merriam Webster Dictionary notes that “cherish” can also mean “to entertain or harbor in the mind deeply and resolutely.” Perhaps Ulysses S. Grant had this definition in mind when he wrote: “The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity.” (Source: www.brainyquote.com)

Photo courtesy of UK Cop Humour


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