Posts Tagged: Eric Puchner

Word of the Day: Atrabilious


(adj.); gloomy, morose, or morbid; bad-tempered, irritable; from the Latin agra bili(s) (“black bile”)

“Caleb stopped, massaged, then stopped again, as though he felt something under the skin. ‘Too big to be a morphine pump,’ he said cheerfully. At 32 years old, fresh-faced and boyishly handsome, he looks less like an undertaker than like the member of an a cappella group.”

Eric Puchner, from “Death Becomes Him”

When we think about places that house the dead—funeral homes, cemeteries, mortuaries and the like—atrabilious is a fitting term to describe the kind of aura surrounding them.