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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Offhand   Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:50 am

Word of the Day: Offhand

Offhand can be used as an adverb, where it means unprepared or brusquely; and as an adjective, where it means casual.

"President Clinton made an offhand confession on Tuesday night that he had raised taxes “too much” in his first budget in 1993, and the remark drew mockery from Congressional Republicans today." (NY Times)

"While adults will approve of the scenery, offhand humor and mild attempts at cultural sensitivity, children will like the sword fights and Crusoe’s ingenuity." (USA Today)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Mishap   Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:19 am

Word of the Day: Mishap

Mishap is a misfortune; an accident.

"All such confrontations contain combustible mixes of the money, power and mishap that seem to bubble out of the ground whenever a huge supply of oil or gas is for sale." (The Economist)

"The professional wrestler known as The Undertaker got minor burns on his chest and a scare during a pyrotechnics mishap." (LA Times)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Hermetic   Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:44 am

Word of the Day: Hermetic

Hermetic is an adjective, and it is used to described something made airtight by fusion or sealing. It can also be used more broadly to indicate anything isolated from external factors. The adverb is hermetically.

"Inside the somewhat hermetic Basque community here, which mixes at its own social club and at a handful of small restaurants like Bar Basque and Urrutia, which offer specialties like Txistorra sausages and Txakolí wine, the indictment has brought uncomfortable attention." (NY Times)

"Israel will develop anti-artillery and tunnel-detection technology to insure that the quarantine is hermetic." (The Economist)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Raucous   Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:29 am

Word of the Day: Raucous

Raucous /ˈrɔkəs/ is an adjective used to describe the loud harsh sound of voices or the cry of birds or animals. It can also be applied to boisterous, noisy, rowdy, disorderly behavior.

Raucous entered the language in the18th century from a Latin word meaning “hoarse, harsh, rough.
In political writing, this adjective is added so frequently to the word debate that “raucous debate” can be regarded as a cliché.

"For almost a year now, many states have been engulfed in a raucous debate about the Common Core State Standards." (Thomas H. Fordham Education Gadfly)

"Glover was called to the stage and further engaged the audience in a raucous call and response on “Hey NaNa” before settling into a slower groove with “Out in the Street.”" (SoundFuse Magazine)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Empirical   Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:52 am

Word of the Day: Empirical

Empirical is an adjective that describes a study or technique that relies upon observation and physical evidence as opposed to theory. It comes from Latin empiricus, “a physician guided by experience.”
“Empirical evidence” is a source of knowledge resulting from observation or experimentation. The most common use of empirical in writing for the general reader is in the expressions “empirical evidence” and “empirical study.”

"But the real problem, clearly, is that our nation’s scientists are so focused on other pursuits that they haven’t yet created a hybrid super-hitter. So we provided this blueprint. All the components below were chosen based on stats, reputations and untrained empirical observations." (USA Today)

"The databases described below are good choices for finding empirical studies in the social sciences. (University of Washington Bothell and Cascadia Community." College library site.)

"It is essential that students understand that acceptance of beliefs in science, unlike in religion, is based upon reliable empirical evidence and sound arguments." (Cooper R. A., 2001; The Goal of Evolution Instruction)
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PostSubject: Word of the day Egregious   Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:34 pm

Word of the day Egregious
 
Egregious (comparative more egregious, superlative most egregious)
 
1.Exceptional, conspicuous, outstanding, most usually in a negative fashion. The student has made egregious errors on the examination. [quotations ▼]
 
2.Outrageously bad.


The negative meaning arose in the late 16th century, probably originating in sarcasm. Before that, it meant outstanding in a good way. Webster also gives “distinguished” as an archaic form, and notes that its present form often has an unpleasant connotation (e.g., "an egregious error"). It generally precedes such epithets as “rogue,” “rascal,” "ass," “blunderer” – but may also be used for a compliment, or even on its own: “Sir, you are egregious.”
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PostSubject: Word of the day Coax   Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:33 pm

Word of the day: Coax.
 
 
verb
 
1
: to influence or gently urge by caressing or flattering : wheedle
 
2
: to draw, gain, or persuade by means of gentle urging or flattery
 
3
: to manipulate with great perseverance and usually with considerable effort toward a desired state or activity
 
 
EXAMPLES
 
 
Stem cells can be cultured to divide and then coaxed to turn into many different cell types.
 "He is a little scared of the other cats, but he would love for you to come coax him out from under the kennels and admire his big, beautiful blue eyes." — From an article in Los Alamos Monitor (New Mexico), December 7, 2013
DID YOU KNOW?
 
 
In the days of yore, if you made a "cokes" of someone, you made a fool of them. "Cokes"—a now-obsolete word for "fool"—is believed to be the source of our verb "coax," which was first used in the 16th century (with the spelling "cokes") to mean "to make a fool of." Soon, the verb also took on the kinder meaning of "to make a pet of." As might be expected, the act of cokesing was sometimes done for personal gain. By the 17th century, the word was being used in today's senses that refer to influencing or persuading people by kind acts or words. By the early 19th century, the spelling "cokes" had fallen out of use, along with the meanings "to make a fool of" and "to make a pet of."


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PostSubject: Word of the Day - Fraught   Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:37 pm

Word of the Day: Fraught
 
Adjective
 
1
: full of or accompanied by something specified — used with "with"
 
2
: causing or characterized by emotional distress or tension : uneasy
 
"The new treatment is regarded as promising but fraught with potential side effects."
 "Parents from some cultures are not as comfortable reading with their children because books were not part of their everyday lives growing up. For other parents, reading with children is a fraught activity because of their own negative experiences learning to read." —From an article by Elaine Reese in The Atlantic, December 9, 2013
 
DID YOU KNOW?
 
 
"The drowmound was so hevy fraught / That unethe myght it saylen aught." That verse, from the 14th-century poem "Richard Coer de Lion," says that a large ship (a dromond) was so heavily loaded that it could barely sail. That's the first instance on record of the adjective "fraught." The word came to Middle English from the Middle Dutch or Middle Low German noun "vracht," which meant "load" and which is also the source of the word "freight." For centuries, "fraught" was used only of loaded ships, but its use eventually broadened. American English speakers are most likely to encounter "fraught" as part of the phrase "fraught with," meaning "full of or accompanied by." The "uneasy" sense of "fraught" is more common in British English than in U.S. English.
 
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Plastron   Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:25 pm

Word of the Day: Plastron

noun

1 a : a metal breastplate formerly worn under the hauberk b : a quilted pad worn in fencing practice to protect the chest, waist, and the side on which the weapon is held

2: the ventral part of the shell of a tortoise or turtle

3a : a trimming like a bib for a woman's dress b : a man's separate or detachable shirtfront

EXAMPLES
 
"History buffs would recognise the jacket for its trademark 'British Empire of the late 1800s' features including the royal blue fabric, gold rope embellishments and gilded brass buttons, while fashion lovers would be drawn to its Michael Jackson-like rich red plastron and Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club-style glitzy epaulettes." — From an article by Jenna Clarke in the Canberra Times (Australia), October 6, 2012
 "A hinged plastron … allows the animal to pull its head, legs and tail completely inside, away from hungry raccoons, skunks, minks and, in urban environments, cats and dogs." — From an article by Dave Taft in The New York Times, August 4, 2013
DID YOU KNOW?
 

English speakers first borrowed French's word for a breastplate, "plastron," as the name for the protective plate worn under a tunic of chain mail by knights. In the 17th century, "plastron" was extended to the pad used to protect the torso of a fencer. Two centuries later, herpetologists appropriated the word for a slightly different type of protection: the underside of a turtle's shell, which consists typically of nine bones overlaid by horny plates. That was followed by the word's application in the world of fashion to coverings that adorn the front of a woman's bodice, such as a lacy bib, as well as to a man's separate or detachable starched shirtfront (which is typically worn under a jacket).

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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Nonchalant   Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:53 pm

Word of the Day: Nonchalant

adjective

: having an air of easy unconcern or indifference
EXAMPLES
 
The most experienced public speakers are able to address audiences with a nonchalant ease.
 "When an accomplice accidentally kills a man, the gang's first casualty, it's Bonnie who is nonchalant." — From a television review on Slate.com by Willa Paskin, December 6, 2013
DID YOU KNOW?
 

Since "nonchalant" ultimately comes from words meaning "not" and "be warm," it's no surprise that the word is all about keeping one's cool. The French word "nonchalant," which English speakers borrowed around 1730, has essentially the same meaning as our word. It was derived in Old French from the verb "nonchaloir" ("to disregard") and can be traced back to Latin "non" ("not") and "calēre," meaning "to be warm." "Unconcerned" is one synonym of "nonchalant," along with "casual," "complacent," and "insouciant."

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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Toady   Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:02 am

Word of the Day: Toady
 

noun

: one who flatters in the hope of gaining favors

The editorial unfairly characterizes the appointee as one of the mayor's toadies, ignoring her long record of unselfish service to the community.
 "But, Stan and his toady never actually laid a finger on me and the threats ceased as mysteriously and suddenly as they started." — From an article by Mike Tupa in the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise (Oklahoma), November 20, 2013
DID YOU KNOW?
 
We can thank old-time toadeaters for today's word. In 17th-century Europe, a toadeater was a showman's assistant whose job was to make the boss look good. The toadeater would eat (or pretend to eat) what were supposed to be poisonous toads. His or her charlatan master would then "save" the toad-afflicted assistant by expelling the poison. It's little wonder that such assistants became symbolic of extreme subservience, and that "toadeater" became a word for any obsequious underling. By the early 1800s, it had been shortened and altered to "toady," our current term for a servile self-seeker.

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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Jilt   Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:11 am

Word of the Day: Jilt
 
verb

To drop (someone, such as a lover) capriciously or unfeelingly

The song is about a woman who jilts her beloved for another man, only to realize she has made a terrible mistake.
 "A Georgia court ruled that a man who jilted his fiancée is liable for $50,000 in damages." — From an article by Robert W. Wood in Forbes, December 8, 2013

DID YOU KNOW?
 
Today's word traces back to the English dialect noun "jillet" ("a flirtatious girl"), itself from "Jill" or "Gill" (used both as a proper name and as a noun meaning "girl") plus the diminutive suffix "-et." "Jilt" itself came into use in the second half of the 17th century as a noun meaning "an unchaste woman" (a sense that is now obsolete) or "a woman who capriciously casts a lover aside," and also as a verb used for the actions of such a woman. These days, the person doing the jilting can be either male or female, and though "jilt" usually implies the sudden ending of a romantic relationship, it can also be used beyond the context of a romantic relationship with the broader meaning "to sever close relations with."

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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Belfry   Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:57 am

Word of the Day: Belfry
 
noun

1 : a bell tower; especially : one surmounting or attached to another structure

2  : a room or framework for enclosing a bell

3  : head

EXAMPLES

"Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch Of the North Church tower as a signal light,— One if by land, and two if by sea; And I on the opposite shore will be…." -- From Henry Wadworth Longfellow's 1860 poem "Paul Revere's Ride"
 "College representatives recently relocated a colony, which was estimated to comprise between 1,500 and 2,000 big brown bats, from the building's iconic bell tower.… College officials are endeavoring to provide the belfry's former occupants with new accommodations." — From an article by Matthew Stewart in the Maryville Daily Times (Maryville, Tennessee), November 24, 2013
DID YOU KNOW?
 

Surprisingly, "belfry" does not come from "bell," and early belfries did not contain bells at all. "Belfry" comes from "berfrey," a medieval term for a wooden tower used in sieges. The structure could be rolled up to a fortification wall so that warriors hidden inside could storm the battlements. Over time, the term was applied to other types of shelters and towers, many of which had bells in them. Through association, people began spelling "berfrey" as "bellfrey," then as "belfrey" and later "belfry." On a more metaphorical note, someone who has "bats in the belfry" is crazy or eccentric. This phrase is responsible for the use of "bats" for "crazy" ("Are you completely bats?") and the occasional use of "belfry" for "head" ("He's not quite right in the belfry").

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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Wangle   Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:47 am

Word of the Day: Wangle
 
verb

1: to resort to trickery or devious methods

2: to adjust or manipulate for personal or fraudulent ends

3: to make or get by devious means : finagle

EXAMPLES
 

Somehow, Irene managed to wangle front-row tickets and backstage passes for the concert.
 "He quits his job, wangling a huge pay-off by blackmailing his boss, and buys a ridiculous red sports car." — From a film review by Marc Lee at telegraph.co.uk, November 21, 2013
DID YOU KNOW?
 
"Wangle," a verb of uncertain origin, has been used in its sense "to obtain by sly methods" since the late 19th century. Occasionally, one sees "wrangle" used similarly, as in "wrangle a huge salary," but more typically it means "to argue or engage in controversy." Did the "obtain" sense of "wrangle" evolve through confusion with "wangle"? Not exactly. "Wrangle" was used with the meaning "to obtain by arguing or bargaining" as early as 1624, long before "wangle" appeared in the language. The sense had all but disappeared until recent decades, however, and its revival may very well have been influenced by "wangle." The "obtain" sense of "wangle" is currently more common than that of "wrangle," but both are considered standard.

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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Chinoiserie   Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:58 pm

Word of the Day: Chinoiserie
 
noun
 
: a style in art (as in decoration) reflecting Chinese qualities or motifs; also : an object or decoration in this style
EXAMPLES
 
We admired our host's daring taste in home décor, which combined spare modern elements with chinoiserie.
 "Bamboo chairs vie with 19th-century lacquered armoires, nooks covered in chinoiserie toile and paisley-block prints exude irresistible coziness, and whimsical yet inviting rooms reflect a confluence of historical periods ranging from Rococo to Regency." — From an article by Lindsay Talbot in Harper's Bazaar, October 1, 2013
DID YOU KNOW?
 
 
In 1670, King Louis XIV had the Trianon de Porcelaine erected at Versailles. It was a small structure—a pleasure house built for the king's mistress—and it was decorated with chinoiserie and faced with faience tiles with a blue and white chinoiserie pattern. The building persists in history as the first major example of chinoiserie—the English word is borrowed straight from French, which based the word on "chinois," its word for "Chinese"—but the trend it began long outlasted the building itself, which was destroyed a mere 17 years later to make way for the Grand Trianon. Chinoiserie itself was popular throughout the 17th and 18th centuries and enjoyed a brief revival in the 1930s. And people still enjoy it today.
 
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Gaffer   Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:12 pm

Word of the Day: Gaffer
 
noun
1 : an old man — compare gammer 2 British b : foreman, overseer c : employer

2 : a head glassblower

3 : a lighting electrician on a motion-picture or television set

EXAMPLES

Before the first day of shooting, the gaffer spent several days setting up all the lights.
 "Meanwhile, almost a hundred crew members, gaffers, lighting and camera people, makeup artists, sound technicians, producers and security were outside creating scenes for 'Draft Day.'" — From an article by Michael Heaton in the Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), May 15, 2013
DID YOU KNOW?
 
Though movie and cinema buffs associate "gaffer" with Hollywood, the word actually pre-dates motion pictures by about 300 years. The first recorded use of "gaffer" dates from the 16th century, when it was used as a title of respect for an older gentleman. Later it was used as a generic noun for any elderly man, and then it picked up the sense "foreman" (still used in British English), perhaps because the foreman was the most experienced and, most likely, the oldest person in a work crew. Today "gaffer" is usually applied to the head lighting electrician on a movie set. The gaffer's assistant is called the "best boy."

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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Ostentatious   Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:31 pm

Word of the Day: Ostentatious

adjective

: marked by or fond of conspicuous or vainglorious and sometimes pretentious display
EXAMPLES
 
Now that he has money, Edwin wears expensive designer clothes, drives an ostentatious car, and frequents the trendiest upscale nightclubs.
"'Washingtonians are more understated in their style,' says Pamela Sorensen, founder of the website Pamela's Punch, where she covers the local social scene. 'Being flashy or ostentatious is frowned upon.'" — From an article by Kimberly Palmer in the Washingtonian, January 2014
DID YOU KNOW?

"Showy," "pretentious," and "ostentatious" all mean given to outward display, but there are subtle differences in the meaning of these show-off words. "Showy" implies an imposing or striking appearance, but usually also implies cheapness or bad taste. "Pretentious" suggests an appearance of importance not justified by a thing's value or a person's standing. "Ostentatious" is the most peacockish of all, stressing the vanity of the display.

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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Hoopla   Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:21 am

Word of the Day: Hoopla
 
noun

1 : excited commotion : to-do

2 : exaggerated or sensational promotion or publicity
EXAMPLES

In my opinion, the movie didn't live up to the hoopla surrounding it.
 "There was no formal introduction, no hoopla as the leading scorer in Maryland men's basketball history took a seat behind the bench for the first time in his new role." — From an article by Don Markus in The Baltimore Sun, November 29, 2013
DID YOU KNOW?
 

In French, the interjection "houp-là" is used roughly the same way as English's "upsy-daisy" or "whoops-a-daisy," as one might say when picking up a child. (This usage can be found in English, too, in such works as Booth Tarkington's The Magnificent Ambersons and James Joyce’s Ulysses.) In the early 20th century, the word, playing on the syllable "hoop," gave its name to a ring-toss game played at carnivals. But before that, "hoopla" was used in American English to refer to a kind of bustling commotion, and later, as a term for sensationalist hype.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Ubiquitous   Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:11 am

Word of the Day: Ubiquitous
 
adjective

: existing or being everywhere at the same time : constantly encountered : widespread
EXAMPLES
 
The band's catchy new song is ubiquitous—I seem to hear it everywhere I go.
 "Blackberry, once the darling of business and ubiquitous in every meeting, is being replaced as other devices move in offering faster, smarter and sleeker phones." — From a blog by Liz Hester at talkingbiznews.com, December 16, 2013
DID YOU KNOW?
 
"Ubiquitous" comes to us from the noun "ubiquity," meaning "presence everywhere or in many places simultaneously." "Ubiquity" first appeared in print in the late 16th century, but "ubiquitous" didn't make an appearance until 1830. (Another noun form, "ubiquitousness," arrived around 1874.) Both words are ultimately derived from the Latin word for "everywhere," which is "ubique." "Ubiquitous," which has often been used with a touch of exaggeration for things and people that seem to turn up everywhere, has become a more widespread and popular word than "ubiquity." Though not quite ubiquitous, if you keep your eyes and ears open, you're apt to encounter the word "ubiquitous" quite a bit.

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PostSubject: Word of the day: Zany - who knew this was so old?   Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:59 pm

Word of the day: Zany
 
DEFINITION
 
noun

1: a subordinate clown or acrobat in old comedies who mimics ludicrously the tricks of the principal

2: one who acts the buffoon to amuse others

3: a foolish, eccentric, or crazy person
EXAMPLES
 
My brother's friends are an unpredictable bunch of zanies.
 "The Man … invites us to listen in as he plays his cherished two-record album of 'The Drowsy Chaperone,' a fictitious 1928 romp featuring wall-to-wall music and a cast of zanies." — From a theater review by Tony Farrell in the Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia), November 11, 2013
DID YOU KNOW?
 
Zanies have been theatrical buffoons since the heyday of the Italian commedia dell'arte, which introduced those knavish clowns. The Italian "zanni" was a stock servant character, often an intelligent and proud valet with abundant common sense, a love of practical jokes, and a tendency to be quarrelsome, cowardly, envious, vindictive, and treacherous. Zanni, the Italian name for the character, comes from a dialect nickname for Giovanni, the Italian form of John. The character quickly spread throughout European theater circles, inspiring such familiar characters as Pierrot and Harlequin, and by the late 1500s an anglicized version of the noun "zany" was introduced to English-speaking audiences by no less a playwright than William Shakespeare (in Love's Labour's Lost).

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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Melancholia   Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:27 pm

Word of the Day: Melancholia

noun

: a mental condition and especially a manic-depressive condition characterized by extreme depression, bodily complaints, and often hallucinations and delusions; broadly : a feeling of sadness and depression
EXAMPLES
"As the debates about the future shape of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), Fifth Edition, continue, a review of one of the liveliest arguments, about melancholia as a diagnostic category in its own right, appears timely." — From an article by Paul Grof in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, April 2013
 "While some lyrics in Brian Wilson's handwriting are drenched in melancholia, most convey the band's signature, sunny optimism." — From an article in The Daily Home (Talladega, Alabama), April 20, 2013
DID YOU KNOW?
 
Today's word traces back to Greek "melan " ("black, dark") and "cholē" ("bile"). Medical practitioners once adhered to the system of humors—bodily fluids that included black bile, yellow bile, blood, and phlegm. An imbalance of these humors was thought to lead to disorders of the mind and body. One suffering from an excess of black bile (believed to be secreted by the kidneys or spleen) could become sullen and unsociable—liable to anger, irritability, brooding, and depression. Today, doctors no longer ascribe physical and mental disorders to disruptions of the four humors, but the word "melancholia" is still used in psychiatry (it is identified a "subtype" of clinical depression in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and as a general term for despondency.

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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Jaunty   Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:05 am

Word of the Day: Jaunty
 
adjective

: sprightly in manner or appearance : lively
EXAMPLES
 
Flashbulbs lit up the scene as the bubbly actress sashayed down the red carpet, wearing a jaunty little headpiece that complemented her airy designer gown.
 "As Soapy Smith, a homeless guy down on his luck, his ability to recreate every aspect of this jaunty, sly survivor is perfect." — From a theater review by Edith McCauley in the Rock River Times (Illinois), December 18-24, 2013
DID YOU KNOW?
 
You might not guess that the words "jaunty" and "genteel" are related—but they are. Both words evolved from the French word "gentil," which carried the sense of "noble." At first "jaunty" was used, like "genteel," for things aristocratic, but as the years went by people stopped using it that way. Today "jaunty" is used to describe things that are lively and perky rather than things that are aristocratic and elegant.

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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Pratfall   Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:58 pm

Word of the Day: Pratfall
 
noun

1 : a fall on the buttocks

2 : a humiliating mishap or blunder
EXAMPLES
 
"I didn't really fall! I was doing a silly pratfall, and the press said I actually fell over, but I didn't. Just one of my clowning things." — From an interview with Emma Thompson in Newsday, December 11, 2013
 "For the last two months, our healthcare.gov guinea pig Alice has had one frustrating moment after another. She visited the site repeatedly since its series of rolling pratfalls started Oct. 1. It never worked." — From an op-ed by John Dickerson in the Columbia Daily Tribune (Columbia, Missouri), December 8, 2013
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The human posterior has been given a number of designations over the centuries, some not acceptable in polite company. "Prat," a slang term with only slightly indecorous overtones, has been used in reference to the backside since the 16th century. It wasn't until the 1930s, however, that falling on one's prat gave rise to the term "pratfall." The word first cropped up in the lingo of comedy theater, where a pratfall is often part of a slapstick routine. It wasn't long before we gave the word its extended sense of "blunder." Now, with "prat" rarely used as a synonym of "derriere" anymore, "pratfall" is as apt to suggest getting a pie in the face as landing on one's behind.

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PostSubject: Re: Word of the Day -   Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:27 pm

Word of the Day: Acephalous
adjective

1: lacking a head or having the head reduced

2: lacking a governing head or chief

EXAMPLES
 
Having no head capsule, the larva is acephalous.
"Mouskas believes there is ample room to improve the Cyprus shipping registry including appointing a director at the Department of Merchant Shipping (DMS), which has been acephalous since Sergios Serghiou retired two and half years ago." — From an article by Charles Savva at mondaq.com, updated December 2, 2013
DID YOU KNOW?
 
The English word "acephalous" was borrowed from Medieval Latin, in which it meant "headless" and was chiefly used to describe clerics not under a bishop or lines of verse having the first foot missing or abbreviated. The fountainhead of these meanings is the Greek word "kephalē," meaning "head." Other English descendants of "kephalē" include "cephalic," meaning "of or relating to the head" or "directed toward or situated on or in or near the head," and "encephalitis," meaning "inflammation of the brain."

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PostSubject: Word of the Day - Stymie   Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:03 am

Word of the Day - Stymie
 
verb

: to present an obstacle to : stand in the way of

EXAMPLES
 
Progress on the project has been stymied by lack of funds.

"Even the town's initiatives couldn't stop someone from buying Wagner's land and developing it with houses. The only safeguards lie in the forest's marshes and hills that might stymie much development." — From an article by Taylor W. Anderson in the Chicago Tribune, December 12, 2013
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Golf was being played in Scotland as early as the 15th century, but it wasn't until the 19th century that the sport really caught on in England and North America. It was also in the 19th century that the word "stymie" entered English as a noun referring to a golfing situation in which one player's ball lies between another ball and the hole on the putting green, thereby blocking the line of play. Later, "stymie" came to be used as a verb meaning "to bring into the position of, or impede by, a stymie." By the early 20th century, the verb was being applied in similarly vexing non-golf contexts.

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