We love words – Constancy

Today we take a look at the word Constancy:

late 15th century: from Latin constantia, from constant- ‘standing firm’ (see constant).

1. Steadfastness, as in purpose or affection; faithfulness.
2. The condition or quality of being constant; changelessness.

(ˈkɒnstənsɪ)

n

1. the quality of having a resolute mind, purpose, or affection; steadfastness
2. freedom from change or variation; stability
3. (Psychology)psycholthe perceptual phenomenon in which attributes of an object appear toremain the same in a variety of different presentations, e.g., a given object looks roughly the samesize regardless of its distance from the observer
4. (Environmental Science)ecologythe frequency of occurrence of a particular species in sampleplots from a plant community

Constancy

dyed-in-the-wool Confirmed, inveterate; complete, thorough, unmitigated, out-and-out. When wool is dyed before being made into yarn, its color is more firmly fixed and lasting. A variant of this expression appeared in Sir Thomas North’s translation of Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans (1579):

He hadthrough institution and education (as it were) died in wool the manners of children.

hard-and-fastIronclad, binding, strict, rigid, unbending. The literal, nautical sense of the term denotes aship on shore or aground, stuck and immovable. It is probably this sense that gave rise to the figurativemeaning in popular use today. Both the figurative and literal meanings date from the late 19th century.

man for all seasons A reliable, steadfast male; a man of principle who retains his integrity regardless ofthe situation. This expression alludes to a man who is unruffled by vicissitudes and who remains constantdespite changing circumstances, like the weather. The phrase was popularized when Robert Bolt used itas the title of his dramatization of the life of Sir Thomas More (1960).

regular brick An agreeable, sincere male; a regular guy. This expression, referring to the solid,unvariegated constitution of a brick, describes a man who is genuinely amiable, unaffected, and reliable.

I don’t stick to declare Father Dickwas a regular brick. (Richard H. Barham,The Ingoldsby Legends,1845)

through thick and thin Through difficulties or adversity, in spite of any or all obstacles; faithfully,unwaveringly. According to theOED, thick and thinwas originallythicket and thin wood. Thus thisexpression denoted an actual physical obstacle, as in the following quotation from Spenser’sFaerieQueene:

His tireling jade he fiercely forth did push Through thick and thin, both over bank and bush.

Currently through thick and thin is used figuratively as well, referring to any conceivable obstacle, and in context, connoting faithfulness.

There’s five hundred men here to back you up through thick and thin. (T. H. Hall Caine,The Manxman,1894)

true-blueLoyal, faithful; steadfast, staunch, unwavering, constant.

The Old Beau is true-blue, to the high-flown principles [of] King Edward’s First Protestant Church.(Edmund Hickeringill,Priest-craft, 1705)

The color blue has long been the symbol of truth and constancy. Some conjecture the association arose because of the renowned fastness of Coventry blue dye. According to theOED, true-blue was applied to the Scottish Presbyterian or Whig party of the 17th century, the Covenanters having assumed blue as their partisan color in opposition to the royal red. Their doing so may have been connected with Numbers 15:38of the Bible, in which the Lord commands Moses to have the Israelites put a blue ribbon on the fringes of the borders of their garments as a reminder to keep His commandments.

1. steadiness, stability, regularity, uniformity, perseverance, firmness, permanence,fixedness Climate reflects a basic struggle between constancy and change.
2. faithfulness, loyalty, devotion, fidelity, dependability, trustworthiness, steadfastnessEven before they were married, she had worried about his constancy.
Quotations
“But I am constant as the northern star”
“Of whose true-fixed and resting quality”
“There is no fellow in the firmament” [William Shakespeare Julius Caesar]