Words we like: antebellum

The latest installment in The N&O’s Old North State series, Warrenton fights to regain lost glory, allows us a chance to use the lovely sounding word, antebellum. Staff writer Kristin Collins’ story refers to the town’s "antebellum architecture" and to its heyday before the Civil War.

The word antebellum comes from Latin. The prefix ante means "before," as in antecedent or "in front of," as in anteroom. The second part, bellum, means "war." It’s also a root word for bellicose and belligerent.

Antebellum refers most often to the time before the American Civil War, although the Oxford English Dictionary notes that it can refer to the times before the 20th century’s two world wars.

This article was originally posted by the Raleigh News & Observer, a subsidiary of The McClatchy Co.; is posted here to provide continuity; and is copyright © 2011 The News & Observer Publishing Company, which reserves the right to remove this post.