A.Word.A.Day drabble – 6/18/10: “nimbus”
A Word A Day by Anu Garg
PRONUNCIATION: (NIM-buhs), plural: nimbi or nimbuses
1. A rain cloud.
2. A halo or aura around the head of a person depicted in a piece of art.
From Latin nimbus (cloud). Ultimately from the Indo-European root nebh- (cloud) that is also the source of nebula, nephometer (a device used in measuring the amount of cloud cover), and Sanskrit nabh (sky).
He’d put his kids on the plane back to their mother an hour ago. Now he was home again, alone, a dark nimbus of self-pity hanging overhead. And he was out of beer.
The cashier at the convenience store smiled and flashed her cleavage when he came in. He nodded and wandered towards the cooler.
When he went to pay, she was talking to some swishy guy who was telling a story about “Michael and Tommy and Nigel.”
The word just slipped out.
“Excuse me?” the guy said.
“Did you just call him a fag?” asked the cashier. “Get out.”