I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Word Lovers

Buried deep in the Bible, I found a man’s name that intrigues me. You’ll find it mentioned, in passing only, in a long list of people the apostle Paul greets in Romans 16. If you have the patience to read through the names there, you’ll find a curious one in verse 15: Philologus.

I do have a hard time imagining someone saying, “Hey, what’s up, Philologus?” It doesn’t have the same ring as Timmy or Johnny. (Probably wasn’t long before someone just called him Gus.)

But a search for his name in a Greek Lexicon captivated me. 

It says the name comes from two Greek words: Philo and logus. Basically it means Lover of the word.

Here at The Ponderers, we’re all Lovers of the word—in more ways than one. Yes, we love the Word of God and often find ourselves deep in its pages for instruction, comfort, and inspiration.

But we are Lovers of the word in another sense too. We write. Rewrite. Ponder over every paragraph, every sentence, and, yes, every word. We study Word Painting at conferences with Susie May Warren. We purchase the best Thesaurus money can buy and use it discriminately. 

When we find the perfect word for our sentence, it can actually make us giddy. Or make us teary-eyed. (Okay, I admit it. I’ve cried over some of my scenes.)

We chose the name The Ponderers for our group in a bit of fun rebellion when Susie told us not to have our characters pondering all the time.

But we could have called ourselves The Word Lovers. Or The Philologus Ladies—except that sounds weird, and we’re really not that strange.

Most of the time.

Tell us if you identify with Philologus. Or would your momma ever call you such a name?


  1. Great post, Teri! I love word-studies. And I bet Philologus hated his name like almost every other kid in the world. I agree, I bet it wasn't long before he had everyone calling him Gus. lol

    I love words, love to play games like Scrabble, Wheel of Fortune, and I love writing, pondering over my every word...makes for a slow chapter sometimes. lol

  2. Very fun post, Teri!

    Yep, I love words. I love word games. I love things that make words like computers, typewriters, office supplies. Remember the old-fashioned Dymo label makers of the 70s? (Except Amy, who's too young.)

    What I didn't like about my name was being told I was made out of "rocks and sand." My mom always said it was "sugar and spice and everything nice."

  3. I can relate. I'd probably call him Philo for short but then that reminds me of dough.

    I love how you named the blog! Too funny!

  4. Fun fun fun post, Teri!! I have never heard that name before, and you're right--it kind of lays on the tongue instead of rolling off.

    I love words. Surrounded by them. Can't imagine life without them.

    I can't imagine my mom naming me Philogus Diane...

  5. Love this post, Teri. And, I love words. I've actually compiled a list of verbs after reading your post about descriptive verbs and nouns to use when stuck or brainstorming. :)

    Scattergories and Scrabble are two games I love playing and my husband doesn't--he's a numbers guy. Thinking on another tangent, words can bring life or pain. I hope as a word-lover, I bring life with mine.

  6. Pat, I love those word games too!

  7. Roxanne, I agree with your mother about the sugar and spice and all things nice!

  8. Jessica, Yes, we had fun with Susie over the name the Ponderers. She still loves us even after the rebellion.

  9. Fun post, Teri. Oh yeah, we're word people. I actually get less excited by words on their own and more excited about the perfect word in the perfect place. Like a zinger of a verb that, in one word, encapsulates the emotion of a whole paragraph or conversation or even scene. I love words that don't pull me from a story, but instead, sink me further into it.

    And that name...awesome! :)

  10. You're right, Lisa, the name keeps wanting to roll on the tongue instead off it.

  11. Jeanne, Great to hear about your word list. I used to have a list but I've found my random word box to really jolt me away from using the first word that comes to mind. Blessings!

  12. Teri!
    I loved this post. So apt. But your right, I couldn't in good conscious name my child that!

    Gus would def. become the preferred nickname!

  13. I haven't liked the meaning of my name so was extra careful naming my 2 sons. This is exactly the kind of insight I love most and will never forget. Makes me wonder if that was his given name, or something he did so notably well that people started calling him that, but I enjoyed thoroughly--thanks so much, Teri.

  14. Yes, Delores, it would be interesting to know just how he got such a name. But it fits us here at the Ponderers.

  15. What a fun and pleasant post. Thanks Teri, for putting a smile on my face today. I mean it!