*Language of Being Lost

Chapter 31 thirty one



LOST (15c)  past participle of LOSE

1: not made use of, won, or claimed

2 a: no longer possessed b: no longer known

3: ruined or destroyed physically or morally:  DESPERATE

4 a: taken away or beyond reach or attainment:  DENIED  b: INSENSIBLE, HARDENED

5 a: unable to find the way  b: no longer visible  c: lacking assurance or self-confidence:  HELPLESS


7: not appreciated or understood:  WASTED

8: obscured or overlooked during a process or activity

9: hopelessly unattainable:  FUTILE

LOSE (bef. 12c)

[ME, fr OE losian to prish, lose, fr. los destruction; akin to OE leosan to lose; akin to ON losa to loosen, L luere to atone for, Gk lyein to loosen, dissolve, destroy]

1 a: to bring to destruction  b: DAMN

2: to miss from one’s possession or from a customary or supposed place

3: to suffer deprivation of:  part with especially in an unforeseen or accidental manner

4 a: to suffer loss through the death or removal of or final separation from (a person)  b: to fail to keep control of or allegiance of

5 a: to fail to use:  let slip by:  WASTE  b (1): to fail to win, gain, or obtain  (2): to undergo defeat in  c: to fail to catch with the senses or the mind

6: to cause the loss of

7: to fail to keep, sustain, or maintain

8 a: to cause to miss one’s way or bearings  b: to make (oneself) withdrawn from immediate reality

9 a: to wander or go astray from  b: to draw away from:  OUTSTRIP

10: to fail to keep in sight or in mind

11: to free oneself from:  get rid of


[ME destresse, fr. AF destresce, fr. VL districia, fr. L districtus, past participle of distringere]

1 a: seizure and detention of the goods of another as pledge or to obtain satisfaction of a claim by the sale of the goods seized  b:  something that is distrained

2 a:  pain or suffering affecting the body, a bodily part, or the mind:  TROUBLE  b: a painful situation:  MISFORTUNE

3: a state of danger or desperate need

syn DISTRESS, SUFFERING, MISERY, AGONY means the state of being in great trouble.  DISTRESS implies an external and usually temporary cause of great physical or mental strain and stress.  SUFFERING implies conscious endurance of pain or distress.  MISERY stresses the unhappiness attending especially sickness, poverty, or loss.  AGONY suggests pain too intense to be borne.

AGONY (14c)

[ME agonie, fr. LL agonia, fr. Gk agonia struggle, anguish, fr. agon gathering, contest for a prize, fr. agein to lead, celebrate – more at AGENT]

1 a: intense pain of mind or body:  ANGUISH, TORTURE b: the struggle that precedes death

2: a violent struggle or contest



[ME angwisshe, fr. AF anguisse, angoisse, fr. L angustiae, pl., straits, distress, fr. angustus narrow; akin to OE enge narrow – more at ANGER]

: extreme pain, distress, or anxiety

syn see SORROW

ANTAGONIZE (ca. 1742)

[GK antagonizesthai, fr. anti- + agonizesthai to struggle, fr. agon contest – more at AGONY]

1: to act in opposition to:  COUNTERACT

2: to incur or provoke the hostility of


1: one that contends with or opposes another:  ADVERSARY, OPPONENT

AGONIST (ca. 1623)

[LL agonista competitor, fr. Gk agonists, fr. agonizethai to contend, fr. agon]


1: one that is engaged in a struggle


1: of or relating to the athletic contests of ancient Greece


3: striving for effect:  STRAINED

4: of, relating to, or being aggressive or defensive social interaction (as fighting, fleeing, or submitting) between individuals usually of the same species

AGONIZE (1583)


: to cause to suffer agony:  torture


1: to suffer agony, torture, or anguish



(Verb) (14c)

[ME struglen]

1: to make strenuous or violent efforts in the face of difficulties or opposition

2: to proceed with difficulty or with great effort

(noun) (1560)


2: a violent effort or exertion:  an act of strongly motivated striving


CONTEST (1603)

[MF contester, fr. L contestair (litem) to bring an action at law, fr. contestair to call to witness, fr. com– + testis witness – more at TESTAMENT]



: to make the subject of dispute, contention, or litigation; especially:  DISPUTE, CHALLENGE


[ME, fr. AF or L; AF contender, fr. L contendere, fr. com- + tendere to stretch – more at THIN]

1:  to strive or vie in contest or rivalry or against difficulties:  STRUGGLE


[ME, fr. AF, fr. LL & L; LL testamentum covenant with God, holy scripture, fr. L, last will, fr. testari to be a witness, call to witness, make a will, fr. testis witness; akin to L tres three & to L stare to stand, fr. the witness’s standing by as a third party in a litigation – more at THREE, STAND)


[ME testifien, fr. AF testifier, fr. L testificari, fr. testis witness]

1 a: to make a statement based on personal knowledge or belief:  bear witness  b: to serve as evidence or proof


[ME witnesse, fr. OE witness knowledge, testimony, witness, fr. wit]

1: attestation of a fact or event:  TESTIMONY

2: one that gives evidence

3: one asked to be present at a transaction so as to be able to testify to its having taken place

4: one who has personal knowledge of something

COMPETE (1620)

[LL competere to seek together, fr. L, to come together, agree, be suitable, fr. com– + petere to go to, seek – more at FEATHER]

: to strive consciously or unconsciously for an objective (as position, profit, or a prize):  be in a state of rivalry

FEATHER (bef. 12c)

[ME fether, fr. OE; akin to OHG federa wing, L petere to go to, seek, Gk petesthai to fly, piptein to fall, pteron win


1: a sufficiency of means for the necessities and conveniences of life

2: the quality or state of being competent:  as a: the properties of an embryonic field that enables it to respond in a characteristic manner to an organizer b: readiness of bacteria to undergo genetic transformation

3: the knowledge that enables a person to speak and understand a language – compare PERFORMANCE

RIVALRY (1598)

: the act of rivaling:  the state of being a rival:  COMPETITION

RIVAL (1577)

[MF, fr.L rivalis one using the same stream as another, rival in love, fr. rivalis of a stream, fr. rivus stream – more at RUN]

1 a: one of two or more striving to reach or obtain something that only one can possess  b: one striving for competitive advantage


3: one that equals another in desired qualities:  PEER


[L desperatus, past participle of desperare}

1 a: having lost hope b: giving no ground for hope

2 a:  moved by despair b: involving or employing extreme measures in an attempt to escape defeat or frustration

3: suffering extreme need or anxiety

4: involving extreme danger or possible disaster

5: of extreme intensity




[ME despeiren, fr. AF desperer, fr. L desperare, fr. de– + sperare to hope; akin to L  spes hope – more at SPEED]

: to lose all hope or confidence – to lose hope for

SPEED (bef. 12c)

[ME spede, fr. OE sped; akin to OHG spuot prosperity, speed, OE spowan to succeed, L spes hope, Lith speti to be in time]

1 archaic: prosperity in an undertaking:  SUCCESS

2 a: the act or state of moving swiftly:  SWIFTNESS  b: rate of motion


[ME, fr. AF destroy-, destrui-, stem of destrure, fr. VL destrugere, alter. of L destruere, fr. de– + struere to build – more at STRUCTURE]

1: to ruin the structure, organic existence, or condition of; also: to ruin as if by tearing to shreds

2 a: to put out of existence:  KILL  b: NEUTRALIZE  c: ANNIHILATE, VANQUISH


: to cause destruction


HOPE (bef. 12c)


[ME, fr. OE hopian; akin to OHG hoffen to hope]

1: to cherish a desire with anticipation

2 archaic: TRUST


1: to desire with expectation of obtainment

2: to expect with confidence:  TRUST

syn see EXPECT


1 archaic: TRUST, RELIANCE

2 a: desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment  b: someone or something on which hopes are centered  c: something hoped for

DESIRE (13c)

[ME, fr. AF desirer, fr. L desiderare, fr. de– + sider-, sidus heavenly body]

1:  to long or hope for:  exhibit or feel desire for

2 a:  to express a wish for:  REQUEST  b archaic:  to express a wish to:  ASK

(WISH is connected to WELL, as in well-being)

EXPECT (1560)

[L exspectare to look forward to, fr. ex– + spectare to look at, frequently of specere to look – more at SPY]

1 archaic: WAIT, STAY

2: to look forward

3: to be pregnant:  await the birth of one’s child


1 archaic: AWAIT

2: to anticipate or look forward to the coming or occurrence of


4 a: to consider probable or certain  b: to consider reasonable, due, or necessary  c: to consider bound in duty or obligated.

(This is quite a new, or “young” word and concept in English.  I don’t see how an infant is born “expecting” to be loved or cherished or cared for.  What would the genetic programming do?  Related to the seeking of proximity?  And what are the feelings engendered?  to anticipate or look forward to the coming or occurrence of __ could not be true if the infant had a monster for a parent….what about the waiting for somebody else?)

This is interesting on “anticipate,” again a young English word:  we have seen HEAVE before, as in heaven and….


[L anticipatus, past participle of anticipare, fr. ante– + cipare (fr. capere to take) – more at HEAVE]

1: to give advance thought, discussion, or treatment to

2: to meet (an obligation) before due date

3: to foresee and deal with in advance:  FORESTALL

4: to use or expend in advance of actual possession

5: to act before (another) often so as to check or counter

6: to look forward to as certain:  EXPECT


1 a: a prior action that takes into account or forestalls a later action  b: the act of looking forward; especially:  pleasurable expectation


[ME desolat, fr. L desolatus, past participle of desolare to abandon, fr. de– + solus alone]

1: devoid of inhabitants and visitors:  DESERTED

2: joyless, disconsolate, and sorrowful through or as if through separation from a loved one

3 a: showing the effects of abandonment and neglect:  DILAPIDATED  b: BARREN, LIFELESS  c: devoid of warmth, comfort, or hope:  GLOOMY


DEVOID (15c)

[ME, past participle of devoiden to dispel, fr. AF desvoider, fr. desdis– + voider to empty – more at VOID]

: being without a usual, typical, or expected attribute or accompaniment – used with of

VOID (14c)


[ME voyde, fr. AF, fr. VL vocitus, alternative of L vocivus, vacivus empty, fr. vacare to be empty]

1 a: not occupied:  VACANT  b: not inhabited:  DESERTED

2: containing nothing


4 a: being without something specified:  DEVOID

EMPTY (bef. 12c)

[ME fr. ED aemettig unoccupied, fr. aemetta leisure, perhaps fr. ae– without + –metta (probably akin to motan to have to) – more at MUST]

1 a: containing nothing  b: not occupied or inhabited  c: UNFREQUENTED  d: not pregnant  e: NULL

2 a: lacking reality, substance, meaning, or value:  HOLLOW  b: destitute of effect or force  c:  devoid of sense:  FOOLISH


4 a: IDLE  b: having no purpose or result:  USELESS

5: marked by the absence of human life, activity, or comfort

MUST (bef. 12c)

[ME moste, fr. OE moste, past indic. & subj. of motan to be allowed to, have to; akin to OHG muozan to be allowed to, have to]

1 a: be commanded or requested to  b: be urged to:  ought by all means to

2: be compelled by physical necessity to:  be required by immediate or future need or purpose to

NULL (ca. 1567)

[AF nul, lit., not any, fr. L nullus, fr. ne– not + ullus any; akin to L unus one – more at NO, ONE]

1: having no legal or binding force:  INVALID

2: amounting to nothing:  NIL

3: having no value:  INSIGNIFICANT

ONE (bef. 12c)

[ME on, an, fr. OE an; akin to OHG ein one, L unus (OL oinos), Skt eka]

1: being a single unit or thing

2 a: being one in particular  b: being preeminently what is indicated


Is that the message that we get?  That we are null and void?  Infants are born with the need to seek proximity for survival……and the people to whom it attaches to interact with it to form its brain.  So if only very bad is there, with no hope for escape…..what is the message that the infant receives?


ESCAPE (13c)

[ME, fr. AF escaper, eschaper, fr. VL excappare, fr. L ex– + LL cappa head covering, cloak]

1 a: to get away (as by flight)  b: to issue from confinement  c of a plant: to run wild from cultivation

2: to avoid a threatening evil


1: to get free of:  break away from

2: to get or stay out of the way of:  AVOID

3: to fail to be noticed or recallable by


I am trying to find words for what there are no words for:  the experience of the infant abused and hated from birth.  Trying to find words for the states of mind for an infant that doesn’t even have a mind to have a state of mind.  And from there, where can things possibly go?


THREAT (bef. 12c)

[ME thret coercion, threat, fr. OE threat coercion; akin to MHG droz annoyance, L trudere to push, thrust]

1: an expression of intention to inflict evil, injury, or damage

2: one that threatens

3: an indication of something impending

IMPEND (1585)

[L impendere, fr. in- + pendere to hang – more at PENDANT]

1 a: to hover threateninglyMENANCE b: to be about to occur

2 archaic: to hang suspended

MENACE (14c)

[ME manace, fr. AF manace, menace, fr. L minacia, fr. minac-, minax threatening, fr. minari to threaten – more at MOUNT]

1: a show of intention to inflict harm:  THREAT

2 a: one that represents a threat:  DANGER b: a person who causes annoyance

MOUNT (bef. 12c)

[ME, fr. OE munt & AF munt, mont, both fr. L mont-, mons; akin to W mynydd mountain, L minari to project, threaten]


2:  to increase in amount or extent


[ME daunger, fr. AF dangier, dongier, fr. VL dominiarium, fr. L dominium ownership]

1 a archaic: JURISDICTION  b obs: REACH, RANGE


3: exposure or liability to injury, pain, harm, or loss

4: a case or cause of danger

HARM (bef. 12c)

[ME, fr. OE hearm; akin to OHG harm injury, OCS stramu shame]

1: physical or mental damage:  INJURY


HURT (13c)

[ME, probably fr. AF hurter to strike, prick, collide with, probably of Gmc origin; akin to ON hrutr male sheep]

1 a: to inflict with physical painWOUND b: to do substantial or material harm to:  DAMAGE

2 a: to cause emotional pain or anguish to:  OFFEND  b: to be detrimental to:  HAMPER


1 a: to suffer pain or grief  b: to be in need – usually used with for

2: to cause damage or distress

PAIN (14c)

[ME, fr. AF peine, fr. L poena, fr. Gk pine payment, penalty; akin to GK tinein to pay, tinesthai to punish, Av kaena revenge, Skt cayate he revenges]


2 a: usually localized physical suffering associated with bodily disorder (as a disease or an injury); also: a basic bodily sensation induced by a noxious stimulus, received by naked nerve endings, characterized by physical discomfort (as pricking, throbbing, or aching), and typically leading to evasive action  b: acute mental or emotional distress or suffering:  GRIEF


[ME punisshen, fr. AF puniss-. Stem of punir, fr. L punier, fr. poena penalty – more at PAIN]

1 a: to impose a penalty on for a fault, offense, or violation  b: to inflict a penalty for the commission of (an offense) in retribution or retaliation

2 a: to deal with roughly or harshly  b: to inflict injury on:  HURT



GRIEF (15c)

[ME gref, fr. F gref, grief injustice, calamity, fr. gef, adj. heavy, grievous, fr. VL frevis, alter. of L gravis]


2 a: deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement  b: a cause of such suffering

3 a: an unfortunate outcome:  DISASTER – used chiefly in the phrase come to grief b: MISHAP, MISADVENTURE  c: TROUBLE, ANNOYANCE


The infant and the parent are locked in competition, in a struggle and a battle for resources.  The infant is doomed.  It is powerless, helpless, and cannot compete equally with the parent, and has no one to summon to fight on its own behalf.  It is a primitive, primal battle for survival.  The parent did not get their own needs met, and is locked in their own past where the struggle to survive, to avoid annihilation meant their entire focus was on the battle they had with their own parents.

And there are no witnesses.  The infant is ALONE and terrified of one thing:  that it will perish.

In my mother’s case somehow the whole issue around atonement came into play.  Retribution, revenge.

Infant and parent are locked into a competition – are competing for resources to survive – unconsciously.  Found under COMPETENCE:  “a sufficiency of means for the necessities and conveniences of life” – there wasn’t enough for the infant, and they are stuck here, never having moved from competing for resources to competence, on any level

They are RIVALS for that which they SEEK.  Fascinating that compete is tied in its roots to seek, and to FEATHER, which is then tied to both falling and flying.  Compete is tied to “coming together” to seek something together….go back and study all of this!

The concept of rivalry is based on competition between peers, equals.  Total distortion as a parent is NOT a peer to an infant, and yet in the parent’s state of mind, way back there at the beginning where they are frozen and stuck, the parent IS still an infant in competition for survival, for its own life.  The image within RIVAL is a stream….basic biological necessity:  “one striving for competitive advantage.”  Root of rival:  “one using the same stream as another.”

They are all lost back at the very beginning!

Definition under THEAT has to do with IMPENDING, impend tied to THREATEN and to MENACE – impend tied to pendant tied to hanging – not flying or falling, just hanging!!

What was it in my mother’s psyche that turned this competition with me for vital resources into a battle between good and evil, God and the Devil?  Was it that her infantile battle between life and death was tied verbally to these concepts?  Or is there some fundamental, biological, evolutionary tie in the human psyche between these two?

If there is, then I should be able to track it through the “state of mind” recorded in the origins of these ideas in our language.  The structure of individual thoughts being guided by their culture or society’s “group thought” as communicated through their language —and then there’s the nonverbal part…

To destroy one’s competition.  What other choice could there be if one is locked into that battle?



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