Writing Prompts: Quiddity

Dictionary.com defines quiddity as ‘the essential nature of a thing’. My first thought went to Family Guy’s Quagmire, and his catchphrase ‘giggity’, but I think that carries a very different meaning!

Quiddity is one of those words that virtually never comes up anymore. I didn’t even know this word existed until I wrote this prompt, back on the 2nd of August. It has roots in Latin, and like the more well-known words ‘quintessential’ and ‘quintessence’, quiddity is derived from the Latin word ‘quid’, which means ‘what’.

How might one use the word? Well, you could say ‘the quiddity of these circumstances is unique’, or something along those lines. You might say ‘To understand the quiddity of this text, we’ll need to examine it further’. To be honest, I am struggling to think of how to use the word without coming across as either pompous, or silly!

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