Word – Sanguine
Sanguine – Word of the Day
- (adj.) Optimistic or positive, especially in an apparently bad or difficult situation.
- (adj.) A blood-red colour.
The word first appeared in Middle English as sanguin, which came from the Latin word sanguis(which means “blood”). Now here’s the million-dollar question: how did a word meaning “blood”, come to mean optimistic in the modern era?
In the middle ages, bodily health was believed to be governed by the balance of different liquids – or humors – in one’s body. If any of those four humors – phlegm, black bile (also called melancholy), yellow bile (or choler), and blood – predominated, then your disposition and health were said to be ruled by that humor.
People who were calm, slow, undemonstrative, and unexcitable were thought to have an abundance of phlegm – they were governed by that humor and were therefore phlegmatic. Those who were bilious had a bad disposition because of the large amount of yellow or black bile in their system. But those who were governed by blood were strong and confident – in a word, sanguine.
- The American President seemed oddly sanguine about the country’s economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic.
- His face went from a bright sanguine hue to a ghostly white in a matter of seconds.
- I love red wine. Drinking that sanguine elixir makes me feel alive.
- She looked particularly gorgeous in her new sanguine robe.