Today’s Word to Your Motha is perfect for parents of young children or any children or anybody, really. It’s a word that at one point or another affects us all. It’s a word we can tuck away in the recesses of our minds to pull out each November as cold and flu season descends.
Febriferous – adj. Producing fever.
Although I chose febriferous as today’s word because I liked how it sounded, febrifacent is just as good if not better.
Febrifacient – (feb re fay shent) adj. 1. Producing fever. n. 2. Something that produces fever.
Febrific – adj. Producing or marked by fever.
Febrile – adj. Pertaining to or marked by fever, feverish.
Febrifuge – adj. (not to be confused with centrifuge) Serving to dispel or reduce fever, as a medicine.
There you have it. A choice of four words to say the exact same thing. Use one or use them all. In fact, I dare you to use one of the words on your pediatrician the next time your kid is sick.
I dare you to call your doctor’s office and explain, “I don’t know what to do. The baby’s been febrile for days. We need to see the doctor now.” How impressed will the staff be? They’ll never mess with you again.
Afterward, when the baby’s health is fully restored of course, you can discuss your medical experience at your next playgroup knowledgeably and in terms you know the other moms won’t understand like this: “I’m not sure what febriferous virus she contracted, but whatever febrifacient she was exposed to, it was virile and tenacious. She was lethargic and bedridden for days, which is not at all like her. I knew something was wrong so I called the doctor, and I told him in no uncertain terms she was febrific and he needed to prescribe a febrifuge immediately. After that she finally started to recover, and I was so relieved. I’ve never seen her so febrile before.”
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