1

Today I bought an old cloth-bound copy of a commentary on the Gospel of John by Leon Morris for $16. I'm a bit of a book-o-phile and also a little OCD, so normally would be quite keen to have a brand new hard-cover copy of a book if I could, but I wouldn't trade this for anything.

Inside it has a hand-written dedication by Morris himself to someone called "Francis", and when I looked on the first leaf, it has the name of Francis Foulkes (of St John's College, himself a commentator).

What's a word I could use when writing about this find that would capture the awesomeness of it (but not as street as awesomeness!)?

As in: I just made the most ___________ find!

9
  • 1
    What's wrong with amazing or awesome? Both of which you use in your question, and both of which I would use in that situation. But you might also try incredible. (One-in-a-million? spectacular?)
    – Jim
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 3:23
  • @Jim They are both a bit casual for what I'm after. I really wanted something that's not exactly antiquated, but closer to that than the terms I used. Something with some weight, some gravitas, some ... awesomeness. LOL. Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 3:25
  • 4
    serendipitous ?
    – mgb
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 3:52
  • @mgb Hey, that is much more what I was after. It really fits in a lot of ways. +1 Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 3:53
  • Wondrous? Bonanza? ... Hmm.
    – Ricky
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 4:22

2 Answers 2

1

The single word that comes to mind after reading your description is 'serendipitous'. I won't suggest that word because it's already been suggested in the comments.

Other words seem less apt, but certainly there are many. It's true, also, that best would be a word fitting the individual occasion, rather than a general, all-purpose word (such as 'serendipitous'). So, considering the nature of your particular find, this word may be best overall:

providential, adj. and n.
A. adj.
1. a. Of, relating to, or ordained by divine providence.

["providential, adj. and n.". OED Online. September 2015. Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/153453?redirectedFrom=providential (accessed November 24, 2015).]

In your example, 'providential' works well:

I just made the most providential find!

Other good candidates, depending on what aspect of the find you want to emphasize, include

  • propitious
  • adventitious
  • auspicious

Of those, 'propitious' emphasizes the current circumstances at the time of the find:

  1. presenting favorable conditions; favorable ....

[propitious. (n.d.) Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary. (2010). Retrieved November 24 2015 from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/propitious ]

'Auspicious' looks forward to future circumstances:

Adj. 1. auspicious - auguring favorable circumstances and good luck ....

[auspicious. (n.d.) WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. (2003-2008). Retrieved November 24 2015 from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/auspicious .]

A usage note points up the distinction between 'auspicious' and 'propitious':

auspicious, propitious - Auspicious implies success in the future, while propitious means favorable conditions are present; auspicious means promising or of good omen—not just special or memorable.

[propitious. (n.d.) Farlex Trivia Dictionary. (2011). Retrieved November 24 2015 from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/propitious .]

Last, 'adventitious' emphasizes the accidental, unexpected nature of your find:

  1. added or appearing accidentally or unexpectedly.

[adventitious. (n.d.) Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged. (1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003). Retrieved November 24 2015 from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/adventitious .]

1

Let me suggest "fortuitous":

I just made the most fortuitous find!

Definition:

  1. Happening by accident or chance.
  2. Resulting in good fortune; lucky.

(AHD)

This has the added benefit of alliteration and thus sounds more impactful, IMO.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.