Quintessentially English

As Tamara and I passed this house, she commented on the roses around the door and how “quintessentially English” the frontage looked.

It got me thinking about the word quintessential. Where does it come from?

Here is the etymological dictionary on the word quintessence:

Early 15th century. In ancient and medieval philosophy, quintessence was the pure essence, the substance of which the heavenly bodies were composed. Literally, the fifth essence.

The fifth essence is outside of the four essences – air, fire, earth, and water – and something more transcendent.


  1. Tamara says:

    What an interesting word derivation, David! Thanks for thinking of looking into the word more. Ah, and what a romantic, summery frontage it is that we saw – quintessentially English or otherwise. Your photo has captured it well 🌺.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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