There’s nothing like a tasty treat! When that treat is tasty not because it is sweet, but because it has a rich flavor such as that associated with meat or roasted vegetables, it may be called savory. Savory means “pleasant or agreeable in taste or smell,” but has come to represent a particular taste profile in the culinary world. Of the five basic taste sensations, savory best aligns with umami, a word adopted from Japanese in the early 1960’s that describes a meaty or mushroom-like flavor featured in Asian cuisine. Savory can also refer to a pleasing or attractive person or thing, like a savory architecture book full of vivid photographs. Its antonym, unsavory, gives off a malodor, describing someone or something that is not wholesome, as in, “Her job as an undercover investigator involved interacting with some unsavory characters.”
A cheerful person is just that, full of cheer! Another word for being in good spirits and floating above life’s worries is buoyant. While buoyant describes the physical properties that allow an object to stay afloat, it also means “not easily depressed” or “cheerful.” Buoyant also can describe a resilient economy or the stock market when it is on a high trajectory. In general, something buoyant tends to rise, or has a lightness of spirit that keeps it bouncing along, you know, like a buoy.
Welcome to 2021, synonym seekers! To welcome someone is to greet their arrival with pleasure. To go a step further, we’d also like to embrace the new year (and our loved ones, but at a safe distance!). To embrace is not only to hug, but also to receive someone or something gladly or eagerly. It can also mean to accept or avail oneself of something, as in: “The new year is a time we can embrace new practices, like yoga or eating more green vegetables.” At a time when the future seems so uncertain, in 2021, let's resolve to embrace the present, or, as they say in Latin, carpe diem!