I was reading one song, and the title is:

"(Quicksilver daydreams of) Maria"

I searched some meanings, but they most sound pejorative and I think that is not the idea the phrase is trying to pass with quicksilver daydreams.

I found some words like voluble (this is not a bad choice), unstable, changeable.

What are good words to use that mean inconstant, but are not pejorative?

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    You make me wonder what the pejorative sounding meanings you've found are. :-) My favorite dictionary, Macmillan Dictionary, gives only one definition of quicksilver (the adjective): "changing often in ways that you do not expect". Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 6:11
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    "Fleeting" would be a possibility. or "ephemeral".
    – TimR
    Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 11:47
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    @DamkerngT., I would wager that Quicksilver ended up at Mercurial rather quickly and things would easily descend into pejoratives such as moody, flighty, fickle and the like. Commented Jun 9, 2015 at 0:25
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    Quicksilver has a more nuanced meaning to me than simply inconstant. Quickly changing, unpredictable, lively are the sorts of words I think of. Mercurial is related, but has more of a sense of fickleness or changing on a whim. I'm not sure there is an exact single word replacement.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Jun 9, 2015 at 19:36

1 Answer 1


Changeable or variable are non-pejorative adjectives for inconstant.

Quicksilver and mercurial mean the same thing according to the dictionaries I checked, they're listed as synonyms (e.g. on Merriam-Webster it comes up in the definition if you look for quicksilver).

Quicksilver is just another word for mercury (quicksilver has germanic origins, mercury is latin), and the word itself incorporates the fact that quicksilver changes a lot due to its interesting properties and is literally living silver.

Considering the lyrics of the song and where the word quicksilver is actually used, it's not weird, the song gets quite melanchonic.

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