I’m starting this category of Fascinating Words because I LOVE discovering words I don’t know, especially one like this one!
Here’s the definition from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary:
palimpsest: a manuscript (usually written on papyrus or parchment) on which more than one text has been written with the earlier writing incompletely erased and still visibleThe noun palimpsest originally described a document, such as a page from a manuscript written on parchment, that had been rubbed smooth so it could be used again, with traces of the original writing showing through. The word still carries that meaning, but ancient manuscripts are rare these days, so you’re more likely to hear palimpsest used to describe something that has traces of early stages showing through, like “the palimpsest of an urban neighborhood” — in which hints of earlier styles and designs are still evident among the new highrises.
I must save this word. For some reason, it makes me think of ‘treasure maps’…never know when I might need it!