Wednesday Wordage – Bucolic


Say: Bju-kolik.

A brilliant word to describe things relating to or typical of rural life. It can also be used to describe an idyllic countryside scene.

I think I first came across the word in reference to a pastoral poem that depicted the life of a shepherd.

Its first known use was circa 1609.

‘it evolved from the Latin bucolicus, from Greek boukolikos, from boukoloscowherd, from bous head of cattle + -kolos (akin to Latincolere to cultivate)’


So how has it been used?

‘St. Paul’s was a private Episcopal boys’ schooloutside of Concord, New Hampshire, sixty miles from Windsor, in the middle of a wooded, secluded,bucolic  nowhere.’

Ken Gormley, Archibald Cox: Conscience of a Nation

‘the North Shore commuter train scuds through bucoliclandscape for a while, the rocks and trees permitting glimpses of Appleton Farms …’

—John Updike, New England Monthly, October 1989

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