Origin of the word Diaphanous:
The word diaphanous has Greek forefathers. And its origin story is actually very visible in nature, just like this word which implies near 100% visibility. It is derived from the roots: dia, meaning “through,” and phaino/phanous/phany, meaning “to show/make visible”. Thus, we reach at the meaning ‘to show through’.
There are two other words that we can learn from the root phaino/phanous/phany. These two words are listed as below:
- Epiphany: Epiphany is a sudden revelation or a moment of sudden understanding. It is derived from the roots, epi- “on, to, upon” + phany, “to show”. It implies that when one is upon something suddenly or when something is visible all of a sudden. We all have such divine moments in our life, when in a flash we can understand something that we never understood before. As an example, try to remember the moment when all of a sudden a difficult mathematics problem was solved in an instinct, and yet you could not really figure out what happened: did lighting strike or you became a genius with sudden understanding all of a sudden?
- Theophany: If epiphany is a moment of sudden understanding or an instance of understanding being made visible suddenly, then theophany is not too far behind. It is also an appearance, only this time it is of divine nature. Theophany is the sudden manifestation or appearance of a deity in a form that can be seen by a human. In a way, it is the sighting of god by a human being.
The dictionary definitions for diaphanous are as follows:
1. very sheer and light; almost completely transparent or translucent. (adjective)
2. delicately hazy. (adjective)
3. (usually of fabrics such as silk) fine and translucent. (adjective)
Masters tip to remember Diaphanous:
Got to learn Diaphanous? Just simple remember how men like to see women: in clothes that are as transparent as possible (the more female curves are visible, the better it is). These clothes are diaphanous ones. This method of ours may sound a little offensive to women but our only purpose is to learn this word, we are no misogynists.
Usage examples for Diaphanous:
1. Men often enjoy watching women clad only in diaphanous clothing.
2. The diaphanous material of Susan’s dress left little to the imagination.
3. The stain glass window was very diaphanous and I could almost clearly see the people moving in and out of our house.