September 23, 2016
jovial (adjective)
\JOH-vee-ul\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: full of or expressing good humor
How do you use it?
Anthony is a jovial guy, the type who is always smiling or cracking a joke.
Are you a word wiz?

Our writer was in a jovial mood and made this one easy to answer. Who or what do you think is the origin of the word "jovial"?

In Roman mythology, planets were named after gods. People were thought to share the personality traits of the god whose planet was rising when they were born. Jupiter, also called Jove, was the chief Roman god and was considered a magnificent, powerful type who was the source of happiness. Someone born under Jupiter might have been described with the Latin adjective "jovialis" (meaning "of or relating to Jove"). English speakers picked up that word as "jovial" in the late 1500s and applied it to folks who shared the good-natured character of Jupiter (regardless of their zodiac sign!).
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