How Do I Not Know This Word?

103 deg ~ yep, yet another day of trip-digits, but hey, we get a break tomorrow with a high of 95…break out the long underwear!

From the OED:

petrichor, n.

 A pleasant, distinctive smell frequently accompanying the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather in certain regions. Also: an oily liquid mixture of organic compounds which collects in the ground and is believed to be responsible for this smell.

 What I’d like to know is, how have I, a poet who loves dirt and the weather, gone this long without knowing this word?

Many thanks to Jean Morris who posts at Tasting Rhubarb for enlightening me.  Morris links to Marja-Leena Rathje’s blog with more information.  Apparently Bear and Thomas coined the word in 1964 for use in their article as quoted by the OED.  Cool that the OED quote is the original use of the word.

Here’s a little Van Gogh painting to imprint the word for me, “Wheat Field In Rain.” (Click image for link to original website.)

Posted by Sandy Longhorn


You rock, Sandy. I love this new word! On my way now to the east coast for parents and then Bread Loaf. Will try to post on my blog about it, but likely it will be one big burst on the 21st when I get home.

Glad you're healed!

Sandy Longhorn

Oh, E., jealous of your upcoming adventure. Enjoy!

Jessie Carty

i love finding new words 🙂 plethora is still one of my favorites.

Awesome word! I always thought it was something about concrete (I've never noticed it while, say, camping)when it's hot and wet, but I guess I was wrong. Thanks for teaching me something today.

WV: hologies

Sandy Longhorn

J., I learned "plethora" from The Three Amigos, still a great movie!

S., maybe we notice it more in the city b/c we're starved for the forest and miss it in the forest b/c nature is all around?

Is someone making a dictionary for all the WV words??? Sometimes they are fantastic.

Too weird. I just started working on a poem about that word!

Sherry O’Keefe

WV inspire and reveal those dirt and earth moments in our days when we are too busy behind windows and desks to stop what we are doing and notice creation never stops.

really enjoyed this post.


There's a new journal coming out called Petrichor Machine. You may wanna check it out…

Sandy Longhorn

Stacey, looking forward to reading the poem someday.

Sherry, thanks for the note.

Carol, I'll definitely check it out.

Quintilian B. Nasty

Thanks for the new word, Sandy. And the Van Gogh painting.

Sandy Longhorn

You're welcome, Q. We FINALLY had some rain today after 7 consecutive dry days at 100+ temps. I definitely went out and enjoyed the petrichor.