Apricity is an archaic term, long out of use, meaning warmth from the winter sun. It’s been around since the 1600s when Henry Cockeram added the word to his cleverly titled reference book The English Dictionary; or, An Interpreter of Hard English Words. The expression, however, never really caught on with the general public.
It should have. Apricity is not only my favorite word in the entire English language, it’s also my favorite scientific phenomenon.
Heck, I shove apricity into conversations and posts a lot, hoping against hope it will somehow find an audience who adores it as much as I do. So far, I’ve failed miserably. I never hear it used or see it printed, but I did feel it. Yesterday, in fact. I needed to run to Kroger’s, so I hopped in the car and there it was, the soothing, uplifting warmth of the sun. In the dead of winter. There is no more glorious encounter on earth. Not in these dark, forlorn months of bitter cold. Apricity is better than gold.
Yet, in the interest of full disclosure, I should clarify: this warmth might more accurately be called climate change. The warmth, the wildfires, hurricanes, blizzards, robins in Illinois in January — we are in dangerous territory. Cataclysm this way comes.
So if it’s as inevitable as it appears, let’s call it apricity instead of self-inflicted destruction.