Xyst is a covered portico, as a promenade (in ancient Greek and Roman architecture) or a garden walk planted with trees (in an ancient Roman villa). Xyst (pronounced zist) first started being used around 1655 or so and derives from the Latin xystus (garden terrace/shaded walk) and the Greek xystós (a covered colonnade).
Xyst, besides being an awesome word for Scrabble, can also be used to describe a long covered portico used by athletes for their exercises. The origins for this derives from the Greek xustos (literally: smoothed, polished area) and from xuein (to scrape, make smooth). This means xyst will be a rather fun word to break out during the upcoming Olympics, no?!
While not fit for athletes, this xyst is a lovely spot for a wandering meditation…
Xyst is one of those unique words created from what seems like random letters and yet it hold a multitude of usable definitions – ones that could almost be applied daily depending on your outdoor space preferences! Personally, I adore a good xyst, whether it’s natural, like a path lined with trees or more man-made like a wooden portico. Shade makes for the best kind of outdoor space (lower chance for a sunburn!)! What kind of xyst do you like best and how often will you be using the word xyst from now on?
Namaste ~ Ella
** If there’s a word you’d like to see added to the Word Nerd roster, please feel free to contact me or suggest it in the comments – I enjoy feedback and recommendations!