It’s much too hot to write anything. Moving my fingers is simply too much effort, never mind how hard it is to get my brain working at full capacity.

And it is actually hot. It’s not the typical 20° in June in the west of Ireland which feels hot, until later when you go on holiday and realise it was actually merely warm back in June. No, it’s 8.40pm, and 26.6°. It was 29.5° earlier. It’s hot.

I therefore find myself listless. Not so much in the sense that I’m not enthusiastic, or slothful, but certainly in the sense that I’m lacking in energy.

Listless is derived from the now archaic verb to list, meaning to be pleased, desire. This word, perhaps unsurprisingly, is related to the noun/verb lust, and related words like wanderlust. Listy was once an adjective in English, meaning pleasant or willing to do something. It’s a pity it’s gone, as it’s quite a nice word. Not too different from lusty, when you think about, but also a million miles away.

You might think lacklustre is related to listless, but the two have quite different origins. Lustre in this sense comes from the Middle French lustre, meaning gloss or radiance.

Yet while the two words might have quite different etymologies, feeling listless might lead to writing somthing lacklustre.

Phew, it’s just too hot…

5 thoughts on “Listless

    • I actually can’t imagine what that would feel like. I think the hottest I’ve experienced was pushing 40 in Sardinia, but that was mostly felt by my feet sticking out from the shade of the parasol.


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