Apricot & countenance

Danish. I wrote the first and the last entry for the literary encyclopedia ORD. The first entry discusses the rich cultural connotations of the apricot and the fascinating history of its name: the word apricot began in Latin and was then loaned through Greek, Arabic, and Old French, in a clockwise journey around the Mediterranean. The last entry turns to the final word in Danish dictionaries, the soon-to-be-obsolete expression åsyn, a beautiful and Biblically resonant term for “face.” I discuss the strange appeal of this word, which designates both how we appear to others and how they appear to us.

“Abrikos” (“Apricot”) and “Åsyn” (“Countenance”), in ORD: Encyklopædi (2022, Copenhagen: Politikens Forlag), pp. 9–10 and 324–25. Link.