mesonoxian (mez-o-NOCKS-ee-an) — adjective: of or pertaining to midnight.But I’m also doing a bad job, I’m afraid, because the history here doesn’t make for such an interesting story: it’s just mesos, “middle,” plus the genitive of the Latin noctis, “night.” That’s very straightforward, if melodic in the way that vespertime puts all things evening-related into a linguistically beautiful context. So instead of delving into the wordiness of it all, I’m instead going to offer your twelve thoughts on the subject of midnight.
- As a kid, I thought of midnight as mythical. Like Never Never Land, it could be pondered but not actually reached, for the ability to maintain consciousness that long would render a person superhuman.
- During my twenties, however, staying up until midnight (whether for work or recreation) became commonplace, and the witching hour got pushed back to three- or even five-o’-clock.
- Today, I’m usually in bed by midnight but awake when it arrives. And reading. And sober.
- It bothers me when people refer to 12 a.m. or 12 p.m., because I know that the twelves are neither ante nor post meridiem. They are the meridiems.
- It was the first time I can recall being awake at midnight. I was terrified. I hid under the blankets, even though I was smart enough to realize that a few layers of fabric would do little to protect me from the slashes and gouges of monsters.
- Today, I’m unsure whether I was better off being terrified by imagined monsters or simply being intimidated by the real challenges of grown-up life.
- Once, as a kid, I went to bed and then woke up around midnight as a result of a noise that sounded like someone fake gagging in an especially theatrical fashion. In the morning, I learned two of the sheep had died. No one else heard the noise or knew what I was talking about. To this day, I have no idea what would have caused that noise.
- I almost wrote this entry about a different word, quarternight — the point halfway between sundown and midnight.
- I can remember having a babysitter and being allowed to watch the start of Saturday Night Live, so long as the TV was turned off by the time my parents got home. In particular, I remember a Bill Murray-hosted episode with a sketch called “The Whipmaster.” I was never allowed to watch it all the way to “Weekend Update,” however. Perhaps my elders were trying to protect me from Dennis Miller.
- “Midday to Midnight” is an unlikely song, for a number of reasons, but I am glad that it exists.
- I can say with certainty that I watched midnight broadcasts of the following movies: A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Fellini’s Satyricon, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Mulholland Drive, Spirited Away and The Brady Bunch Movie.
- For all the epiphanies I’ve had during sleepless midnights, I’ve had at least as many pointless moments of anxiety about matters that I would have recognized as unimportant at any other hour.
Previous words of the week after the jump.