I don’t learn a new word all that often, so I always enjoy it as much as possible when it happens.
Medical and other jargon excluded, of course. I mean regular words. Today’s word:
It’s clear where it comes from, or at least I immediately see parallels between this and words like “perchlorate,” in which the “per-” is essentially short for “hyper-” and is therefore an intensifying prefix that means “more.”
So if “fervid” means “intensely passionate about something,” I guess “perfervid” must mean “excessively over-the-top passionate about something.” Which is indeed the case.
It’s not that attractive a word, though. That “per-fer-” repeats the -er- sound, which is not aesthetically pleasing. This is a word I’m actually more likely to drop into casual conversation for the fun of it, rather than using in a novel. If I did use it in a novel, it’d be SF, not high fantasy. The word sounds all wrong for high fantasy, though “fervid” is fine.
Did you all know the word “perfervid” already?