A one-legged Bluejay outside a very dirty window.
One fall day last year, I was looking out my window when I noticed a Bluejay standing on the picnic table. Those are pretty common around my neighborhood so I didn't really think anything of it until he hopped from the table to the bench...which is when I noticed that he only had one leg. That one simple detail made him more unique than all the other birds in my neighborhood, and I was quickly interested in the fate of my new friend. How had he lost his leg? Does it affect how he nests or roosts? What about his fighting capabilities? Now, I always keep an eye out for my little one-legged buddy, and he comes to visit my picnic table every once in a while. I didn't know until today that, to me, he had become a Salient Bluejay. Salient (sa∑lient) is defined as "moving by leaps or springs" and "prominent, conspicuous, or striking." It originated from the Latin saliens or salire, which mean "to leap." Salient is a little more common than other words we've learned about, and it has been used in literature and other media since the 1600s. Some examples include:
"The attempts of the Teutonic armies to envelop and destroy some portion of the Russian forces involved the creation of several dangerous salients in the Russian line, followed by an endeavor to close the neck of each salient by attacks from both sides and so to isolate the armies forming its apex." óDouglas Wilson Johnson, Topography and Strategy in the War, 1917 "The lions are most cunning and salient creatures." "Mr. Jones's most salient feature would have to be that beak-like nose. One wonders why he can't do something about it."
These are just a few of the ways that Salient can be used, and it can represent or describe anything that should catch one's attention. Now, whenever something catches your eye, you can smile and say "that is one salient ____!" To learn more, visit Vocabulary.com, Merriam Webster, and Dictionary.com.