Tag Archives: words matter


Cognoscente: Someone possessing superior knowledge in a particular field, usually the arts; a connoisseur, an aficionado, a discerning expert. 

I get the feeling a “cognoscente” is likely a member of the Illuminati of the art world.  Or, based on modern art purchases, perhaps the “cognoscente” is simply a gullible person with a large checking account.

Cognoscente derives from its now obsolete Italian twin: cognoscente (now conoscente).  Naturally, the Italian word comes from the Latin verb cognosco (I know). 

The Latin cognosco comes from the Latin preposition con (with) and the Greek word γιγνώσκω (gignosko) meaning, “I know.”


Connoisseur: A person well versed in any subject; a skillful or knowing person; a critical judge or master of any art, particularly of painting and sculpture.

From French connaisseur.  The French word derives from the verb connoître (acquainted, to know).  Father of the modern French verb is the Old French verb conoistre, itself from Latin cognosco (I know). 

Cognosco comes from the Latin word con (with) and the Greek word γιγνώσκω (gignosko) meaning, I know.


Cognizance: having knowledge of something. 

When you possess cognizance, you possess knowledge. 

As G. I. Joe says, “Cognizance is half the battle.”  Or, something like that.

Cognizance can also mean perception, awareness, the ability to notice things. 

Cognizance ultimately comes from the Latin word con (with) and the Greek word γιγνώσκω (gignosko) meaning, I know.  Naturally, the word took a while to show up in English.  First it travelled through French, where is was conoissance (knowledge, wisdom).


I’ve been silent for a few days. Have not posted the word of the day. There is a reason. It’s a good one. I’ve been hiding out. I was nervous. My anatidaephobia had flared up again.

Anatidaephobia derives from the Latin word for duck, anas and the Greek word for fear, φοβία (phobia).