Vocabulary Confusion/Bleg

So, in Sunday’s service (St. Basil Liturgy now that we are in Lent) the phrase “God is [..], adorable” appeared. The word “adorable” in its original meaning actually came from Christian contexts meaning “worthy of adoration” but now mostly is applied to small mammals meaning “very cute”. “Oh, he’s so adorable” is not usually applied to God but to kittens, small seals, and babies.

Which brings to mind the question, is there a word in English that means “worthy of adoration”? If so what is that word?

I think “venerable” has gone through a similar degradation, and similarly I don’t know a word meaning “worthy of veneration” in the English language.

Do you?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Boonton says:

    What’s wrong with “venerable”?

  2. Mark says:

    I think it merely refers to age not that one is “worthy of veneration”.

  3. Boonton says:

    Naaa, “the venerable bum sleeping on the street corner urinating on himself” doesn’t quite sound right. I suppose you might have a point that you don’t hear it assocated with things that aren’t old (“the venerable baby Jesus” sounds a bit odd too…but not quite as much) but it will have to do unless you can invent a better one.

  4. Mark says:

    I think it’s that “we” (as in the mostly protestant Americans) don’t actually venerate anything. If you don’t venerate anything then “worthy of veneration” becomes just and old whatever who doesn’t embarrass himself in obvious ways. Our political instincts also tend to reject any notion of veneration (and the idiots we keep electing come in to play there as well).

  5. Boonton says:

    Well if we don’t venerate anything why would we need a word for venerable?

  6. Mark says:

    “We” don’t venerate anything, doesn’t (a) mean we shouldn’t and (b) … the Orthodox do, which means for the Orthodox trying to keep their language in services current … what word should they be using?