I’m beginning to notice a theme this week: philosophy, religion, and sevens. Not that I mind themes; they can make things so much more interesting. This week’s Words on Wednesdays post will be of particular interest to fantasy writers in all genres, as well as anyone writing in the field of comparative religion. Regardless of whether you fit this bill or not, I hope you will enjoy reading through this list as much as I enjoyed compiling it.
Afflatus n. an inspiration or impulse granted by a divine muse.
This word peaked in usage around the late 19th century. To a modern audience, it will most likely sound foreign and poetic.
Augury n. an omen regarding the future.
Augurs in antiquity were court seers and viziers. Their work is also known as augury.
Fatidic adj. of or pertaining to prophecy.
This one is pretty straightforward. It’s a rare word, though, so use with caution.
Prescience n. foreknowledge or foresight.
Probably the most familiar word on the list, prescience is often used today to describe actions taken in light of deduction rather than actual prophecy.
Presentiment n. intuition regarding the future, particularly of something ominous.
This is the most specific word on this list. Be sure to use it correctly.
Vatic adj. describing future events.
A literary term, vatic has a jagged usage history. Like these words, it’s due for a revival.
Votary n. one who has dedicated his or her life to service in a religious order; or, a devoted follower of a person or movement.
While this word may not be directly linked to prophecy, it can be used to described a believer in, or devotee of, a particular prophet or foretelling.
Do you have any favorite words that belong on this list? Let me know in the comments!