Collection of words and their meanings
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 23, 2023 is: bower BOW-er noun Bower is a literary word that usually refers to a garden shelter made with tree boughs or vines twined together. // Resting in the shade of the bower was the perfect way to cool off during the hot summer afternoon. See the entry > Examples: “Today, a café occupies part of the ground floor, its tables and chairs distributed under a leafy bower on the veranda.” — Samanth Subramanian, The New York Times, 9 June 2022 Did you know? If you visited someone's bower a millennium ago, you'd likely have found yourself at an attractive rustic cottage. A few centuries later, a visit to a bower could have involved a peek into a lady's personal hideaway within a medieval castle or hall—that is, her private apartment. Both meanings hark back to the word's ancient roots: it comes from Old English būr, meaning “dwelling.” Today, bower is more familiar as a word for a garden shelter made with tree boughs or vines twined together, a meaning that overlaps with that of arbor. (The adjective bowery, meaning “like a bower” or “full of bowers” is used to describe areas that resemble or are filled with these leafy pergola-like structures). Bower also features in the name of bowerbirds, any of approximately 20 different bird species native to Australia, New Guinea, and nearby islands, the males of which build more-or-less elaborate structures using twigs, moss, and other plant materials to woo potential mates during courtship.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 22, 2023 is: officious uh-FISH-us adjective Officious typically describes a person who tends to offer unwanted advice in a way that annoys the advice recipients. It is a synonym of meddlesome. // After the boss told his workers what to do, his officious assistant stepped in to micromanage. See the entry > Examples: “Imagine, if you will, any professor from your past being told by some young, officious techie that his or her decades of training and teaching were about to be reimagined and transformed by the alchemy of the digital age into glitzy and compelling content sure to hold students' attention and, at a minimum, entertain them if not educate them.” — Howard Tullman, Inc.com, 22 Mar. 2022 Did you know? If you've ever dreamed of having your financial officer officiate your office wedding—well, you're officially alone there. But we won't meddle in your business; if we suggested a more, um, “charming” location, we'd be sticking our nose where it doesn't belong. We have our own offic word for such behavior: officious. As with some key words in your hypothetical dream wedding, officious comes from the Latin noun officium, meaning “service” or “office.” In its early use, officious meant “eager to serve, help, or perform a duty,” but that meaning is now obsolete, and the word today typically describes a person who offers unwanted advice or help. Since, again, we don't want to be such a person, we definitely won't suggest marrying at a banquet hall or botanical garden in lieu of the office, but we do applaud any consideration of that office-fave for your celebratory sweet, the humble sheet cake.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 21, 2023 is: gamut GAM-ut noun A gamut is a range or series of related things. When we say that something “runs the gamut,” we are saying that it encompasses an entire range of related things. // I adore licorice, mints, lollipops, candy corn—the whole gamut of penny candy. // On that fateful day, her emotions ran the gamut from joy to despair. See the entry > Examples: “A PEN America paper, published last September, records 2,532 instances of book banning in thirty-two states between July, 2021, and June, 2022. The challenges are spread throughout the country but cluster in Texas and Florida. Their targets are diverse, running the gamut from earnestly dorky teen love stories and picture books about penguins to Pulitzer-winning works of fiction.” — Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 10 Mar. 2023 Did you know? With the song “Do-Re-Mi,” the 1965 musical film The Sound of Music (adapted from the 1958 stage musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein) introduced millions of non-musicians to solfège, the singing of the sol-fa syllables—do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti—to teach the tones of a musical scale. Centuries earlier, however, the do in “Do-Re-Mi” was known as ut. Indeed, the first note on the scale of Guido d'Arezzo, an 11th century musician and monk who had his own way of applying syllables to musical tones, was ut. d'Arezzo also called the first line of his bass staff gamma, which meant that gamma ut was the term for a note written on the first staff line. In time, gamma ut underwent a shortening to gamut, and later its meaning expanded first to cover all the notes of d'Arezzo's scale, then to cover all the notes in the range of an instrument, and, eventually, to cover an entire range of any sort.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 20, 2023 is: telegenic tel-uh-JEN-ik adjective Someone or something described as telegenic is well-suited to the medium of television. Telegenic is often used to describe people whose appearance or manners are particularly attractive to television viewers. // Her favorite actor is so telegenic that he can make a bad series enjoyable. See the entry > Examples: “[Alison] Roman … learned at Bon Appétit that she was telegenic. She is the rare influencer who projects the same energy in person as she does on camera. Her wit and candor buoy the cooking video genre from informative to outright entertaining. Some of her fans comment that they tune in every week with no intention of making the recipes, just to watch Roman try to dislodge ingredients from her overstuffed refrigerator.” — Eliana Dockterman, Time, 19 Mar. 2023 Did you know? Telegenic debuted in the 1930s, a melding of television with photogenic, “suitable for being photographed especially because of visual appeal.” The word photogenic had other, more technical meanings before it developed that one in the early decades of the 20th century, but the modern meaning led to the use of -genic of interest here: “suitable for production or reproduction by a given medium.” (That sense is also found in the rarer videogenic, a synonym of telegenic.) Telegenic may seem like a word that would primarily be used to describe people, but there is evidence of telegenic describing events (such as popular sports), objects, and responses. Occasionally, one even sees reference to a telegenic attitude, presence, charisma, or other intangible.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 19, 2023 is: censure SEN-sher verb To censure someone is to formally criticize or reprimand them for an act or failure, especially from a position of authority. // He was censured by the committee for his failure to report the problem. See the entry > Examples: “Aware of recent occurrences in Deltona, whose City Commission censured one of its members for naming a private citizen and posting insults and vulgar comments about him on social media, [Mayor Gary] Blair said Orange City should declare such behavior out of bounds.” — Al Everson, The West Volusia Beacon (DeLand, Florida), 9 Mar. 2023 Did you know? If you're among those who confuse censure and censor, we don't blame you. The two words are notably similar in spelling and pronunciation, and both typically imply acts of authority. It's no surprise that they share a common ancestor: the Latin cēnsēre, meaning “to give as an opinion.” But here's the uncensored truth: despite the similarities, censure and censor are wholly distinct in meaning. Censure means “to fault or reprimand,” often in an official way; censor means “to suppress or delete as objectionable.” So if you're talking about removing objectionable content from a book or banning it from a library, the word you want is censor. And you can use censure to talk about criticizing, condemning, or reprimanding those pushing for censorship.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 18, 2023 is: zephyr ZEFF-er noun A zephyr is a breeze blowing from the west. More loosely, a zephyr can be any gentle breeze. // We were relieved when a zephyr blew in just as the heat of the day was peaking, allowing us to remain comfortably on the beach for a little while longer. See the entry > Examples: “As I played [the video game Okami], I'd pause to manually draw a slash, loop, or other shape using a calligraphy-style brush, creating a tornado or a fire. … An ‘O' around a tree's naked branches made it burst with cherry blossoms, a vision of abundance. A curlicue in the air created a zephyr that gently riffled through the sky. The world was my sketchbook, and I wanted to beautify the game's gorgeous woodblock and sumi-e ink art style.” — Nicole Clark, Polygon.com, 8 Feb. 2023 Did you know? To build on a classic lyric by Bob Dylan, you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows—especially if you know that wind is a zephyr. You see, poets have eulogized Zephyrus, the Greek god of the west wind—and his “swete breeth” (in the words of Geoffrey Chaucer)—for centuries. Zephyrus, the personified west wind, eventually evolved into zephyr, a word for a breeze that is westerly or gentle, or both. Breezy zephyr blew into English with the help of such delightfully windy wordsmiths as William Shakespeare, who used the word in his play Cymbeline: “Thou divine Nature, thou thyself thou blazon'st / In these two princely boys! They are as gentle / As zephyrs blowing below the violet.”
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 17, 2023 is: rarefied RAIR-uh-fyde adjective Something described as rarefied is understood or appreciated by only a small or select group of people; the word is a synonym of esoteric. Rarefied can also be used technically to mean “being less dense,” a use that is typically applied to air that has less oxygen in it because of high elevation. // She has never been comfortable in the rarefied world of art dealers. // The climbers knew that breathing in the rarefied air near the mountain's peak would be difficult. See the entry > Examples: “Quiet luxury fashion is on the rise, helped by the unbranded ‘stealth wealth' styles favoured by the Roys in HBO's hit TV show Succession and the louche-yet-elegant looks donned by Gwyneth Paltrow during her now infamous ski trip trial. There is, however, always a rule breaker where you least expect one, and this spring, it's the ultimate ‘stealth' brand, Rolex, that's bending the rules and bringing a sense of playfulness to the rarefied milieu of haute luxury.” — Alexandra Zagalsky, The Week (London), 14 Apr. 2023 Did you know? In the upper reaches of Chomolungma, known more familiarly as Mount Everest, the air is so rarefied—so much less dense than at lower elevations—that most climbers use supplemental oxygen in order to successfully complete their climb. This sense of rarefied, a word that comes from a combination of the Latin words rarus (“thin” or “rare”) and facere (“to make”), has been in use since the 1500s. A second, figurative sense of rarefied developed in the following century to describe things that can only be understood by a small or select group, i.e. one “thinned” from the majority of people by dint of their unique experience, expertise, or status. It's this sense that we use when we say that to successfully summit Chomolungma puts one in rarefied company—just over 6,000 people have made it to the top at the time of this writing.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 16, 2023 is: disapprobation dis-ap-ruh-BAY-shun noun Disapprobation refers to the act or state of disapproving or of being disapproved of. // There was widespread disapprobation of the city's plan to slash educational funding. See the entry > Examples: "Set in 19th-century Western Australia at the height of the pearl trade, this book paints a nuanced portrait of the era as the backdrop for a feminist epic. In her debut novel, [author Lizzie] Pook introduces us to Eliza Brightwell, a pearler's daughter living in the fictional Bannin Bay of Western Australia. Eliza stands out from the other women of Bannin Bay because of both her plain looks and her independent personality. She's the sort to walk around town in battered boots rather than ride in a carriage like other ladies of her class, much to the disapprobation of the townsfolk." — Kirkus Reviews, 15 Apr. 2022 Did you know? Disapprobation is not only a synonym of disapproval but a relative as well. Both words were coined in the 17th century by adding the prefix dis-, meaning "the opposite or absence of," to existing "approving" words: synonyms approbation and approval. The ultimate source of the foursome is the Latin verb approbare, meaning "to approve." Another descendant of approbare is approbate, which means "to express approval of formally or legally." Love it or lump it, approbare has proven itself useful.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 15, 2023 is: maudlin MAUD-lin adjective Maudlin describes someone or something that expresses sadness or sentimentality in an exaggerated way. // The class had a hard time taking the maudlin poetry seriously. See the entry > Examples: “All seven musicians in the band complement each other so effortlessly that at times it's like they all breathe together. The album is often dark, and in the hands of less skilled songwriters could be maudlin and self-indulgent, but I think you can hear just how much fun they have playing together.” — Rob McHugh, The Guardian (London), 3 Jan. 2023 Did you know? The history of maudlin is connected both to the Bible and the barroom. The biblical Mary Magdalene is often (though some say mistakenly) identified with the weeping sinner who washed Jesus' feet with her tears to repent for her sins. This association led to the frequent depiction of Mary Magdalene as a weeping penitent, and even the name Magdalene came to suggest teary emotion to many English speakers. It was then that maudlin, an alteration of Magdalene, appeared in the English phrase “maudlin drunk” in the 16th century, describing a weepy, drunken state. Nowadays, maudlin is used to describe someone or something that expresses sadness or sentimentality in an exaggerated way; however, the “maudlin drunk” meaning was so intoxicating that it stuck around and became the “drunk enough to be emotionally silly” sense still in use today, as in “after a few glasses of port he became quite maudlin.”
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 14, 2023 is: engender in-JEN-der verb Engender is a formal word that means “to produce; to cause to exist or to develop.” It is used especially when feelings and ideas are generated. // The annual company picnic featured activities, such as a scavenger hunt, meant to engender a sense of teamwork and camaraderie among employees. See the entry > Examples: “Student silence and compliance are often more comfortable and comforting for those who are invested in and benefit from the status quo, but it is truly anti-learning. ... Listening to students does not mean ‘giving in to students' or treating students as customers. It's a step toward fostering engagement and engendering responsibility. If we say we are listening, students are more likely to speak. We just have to be ready to absorb some things we might not want to hear.” — John Warner, Inside Higher Ed, 17 Oct. 2022 Did you know? A good paragraph about engender will engender understanding in the reader. Like its synonym generate, engender comes from the Latin verb generare, meaning “to generate” or “to beget,” and when the word was first used in the 14th century, engender meant “propagate” or “procreate.” That literal meaning having to do with creating offspring (which generate shared when it was adopted in the early 16th century) was soon joined by the “to cause to exist or develop; to produce” meaning most familiar to us today. Generare didn't just engender generate and engender; regenerate, degenerate, and generation have the same Latin root. As you might suspect, the list of engender relatives does not end there. Generare comes from the Latin noun genus, meaning “origin” or “kind.” From this source we took our own word genus, plus gender, general, and generic, among other words.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 12, 2023 is: cordial KOR-jul adjective Cordial means “politely pleasant and friendly.” It also means “showing or marked by warm and often hearty friendliness, favor, or approval” and “sincerely or deeply felt.” // Despite past conflicts, the two nations now maintain cordial relations. See the entry > Examples: “On the way out, there were profuse thank-yous and cordial comments about future get-togethers, which never occurred.” — Peter Bart, Deadline, 16 Mar. 2023 Did you know? The Latin root cord- (or cor) is at the heart of the connection between cordial, concord (meaning “harmony”), and discord (meaning “conflict”). Cord- means “heart,” and each of these cord- descendants has something to do with the heart, at least figuratively. Concord, which comes from com- (meaning “together” or “with”) plus -cord, suggests that one heart is with another. Discord combines the prefix dis- (meaning “apart”) with -cord to imply that hearts are apart. Hundreds of years ago, cordial could mean simply “of or relating to the (literal) heart” (the -ial is simply an adjective suffix) but today anything described as cordial—be it a friendly welcome, a compliment, or an agreement—comes from the heart in a figurative sense. Cordial is also used as a noun to refer to a usually sweet liqueur, the name being inspired by the idea that a cordial invigorates the heart.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 11, 2023 is: aftermath AF-ter-math noun Aftermath refers to the period of time shortly following a destructive event, or to a negative consequence or result. // It was almost noon before I felt ready to clean up the mess that remained in the aftermath of the previous night's festivities. See the entry > Examples: “The ballad, stacked with layers of harmonies, establishes her independence in the aftermath of a relationship coming to an end.” — Larisha Paul, The Rolling Stone, 14 Apr. 2023 Did you know? At first glance, one might calculate aftermath to be closely related to mathematics and its cropped form math. But the math of mathematics (which came to English ultimately from Greek) and the math of aftermath grew from different roots. Aftermath dates to the late 1400s and was originally an agricultural term, an offshoot of the ancient word math, meaning “a mowing.” The original aftermath came, of course, after the math: it was historically the crop cut, grazed, or plowed under after the first crop of the season from the same soil. (Math is still used in some parts of the United Kingdom to refer to a mowing of a grass or hay crop, as well as to the crop that is mowed.) It wasn't until the mid-1600s that aftermath came to have the meanings now familiar to us, referring to the period of time following a destructive event, or to a negative consequence or result.
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Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 10, 2023 is: laden LAY-dun adjective Laden describes things that are heavily loaded with something, literally or figuratively. // Airline passengers laden with luggage inched slowly through the gate. // His voice was heavily laden with sarcasm. See the entry > Examples: "While dating sites and apps can be convenient ways to meet a special someone, many singles find that the road to love is often laden with potholes and pitfalls." — Charanna Alexander, The New York Times, 14 Feb. 2020 Did you know? Something that is laden seems to be, or actually is, weighed down by the large amount of whatever it's carrying: tree branches laden with fruit bend toward the ground; newspaper articles laden with technical jargon are hard to read; and sugar-laden cereal is very, very sweet. Laden has been used as an adjective to describe heavily loaded things for a millennium, but its source is an even older verb: lade, meaning primarily "to load something." Lade today mostly occurs in contexts relating to shipping; its related noun lading may be familiar from the phrase bill of lading, which refers to a document listing goods to be shipped and the terms of their transport. Laden is itself sometimes used as a verb meaning "to load something" (as in "ladening the truck with equipment"), and an adjectival form of that word sometimes appears too, as in "a truck ladened with equipment." Plain old laden is preferred in such cases though: "a truck laden with equipment."
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 9, 2023 is: unctuous UNK-chuh-wus adjective Unctuous is a formal word used to describe someone who speaks and behaves in a way that is meant to seem friendly and polite but that is unpleasant because it is obviously not sincere. It can also mean “fatty,” “oily,” and “smooth and greasy in texture or appearance.” // Politicians are often at their most unctuous during election years, full of empty promises made solely to win over certain voters. // Braising chicken thighs with their skins on creates a rich, unctuous sauce that can be spooned back over the finished dish. See the entry > Examples: “The fate of a sycophant is never a happy one. At first, you think that fawning over the boss is a good way to move forward. But when you are dealing with a narcissist … you can never be unctuous enough.” — Maureen Dowd, The New York Times, 18 June 2022 Did you know? Nowadays, unctuous usually has a negative connotation, but it originated as a term describing a positive act: that of healing. The word comes from the Latin verb unguere (“to anoint”), a root that also gave rise to the words unguent (“a soothing or healing salve”) and ointment. The oily nature of ointments may have led to the use of unctuous to describe things marked by an artificial gloss of sentimentality. An unctuous individual may mean well, but the person's insincere effusiveness can leave an unwelcome residue—much like that of some ointments.
Dig Me Out - The 90's rock podcast
After the dissolution of Jawbreaker in 1996, lead singer and guitarist Blake Schwarzenbach spent the next year not playing music, but DJ'ing and writing video game reviews. But the itch to create came back with the help of former Texas Is The Reason drummer Chris Daly and Handsome singer Jeremy Chatelain on bass. Jets To Brazil isn't so much a reinvention as a natural evolution, leaving behind the sometimes rigid restraints of punk and hardcore, and exploring new sounds with keyboards and guitar effects. Songs In This Episode Intro - Crown of the Valley 20:37 - Starry Configurations 24:24 - Resistance is Futile 30:15 - King Medicine 40:16 - I Typed For Miles Outro - Morning New Disease Support the podcast, join the DMO UNION at Patreon. Listen to the episode archive at DigMeOutPodcast.com.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 8, 2023 is: deepfake DEEP-fayk noun Deepfake refers to an image or recording that has been convincingly altered and manipulated to misrepresent someone as doing or saying something that was not actually done or said. // The leaked video incriminating the school's dean was discovered to be a deepfake. See the entry > Examples: "All sorts of deepfakes are possible. Face swaps, where the face of one person is replaced by another. Lip synchronization, where the mouth of a speaking person can be adjusted to an audio track that is different from the original. Voice cloning, where a voice is being 'copied' in order to use that voice to say things." — Julia Bayer and Ruben Bouwmeester, DW.com, 14 Jan. 2022 Did you know? The old maxim "things aren't always as they seem" seems more true than ever in the age of deepfakes. A deepfake is an image, or a video or audio recording, that has been edited using an algorithm to replace the person in the original with someone else (especially a public figure) in a way that makes it look authentic. The fake in deepfake is transparent: deepfakes are not real. The deep is less self-explanatory: this half of the term is specifically influenced by deep learning—that is, machine learning using artificial neural networks with multiple layers of algorithms.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 7, 2023 is: satiate SAY-shee-ayt verb Satiate is a formal word that means “to satisfy (something, such as a need or desire) fully.” // My curiosity about Nicole's Spring Fling costume, which she promised would be “corny,” was finally satiated when she arrived at the party dressed as an incredibly lifelike cob of corn, complete with tassels. See the entry > Examples: “Every time I near the end of dinner at Yangban Society, Katianna and John Hong's Art District restaurant, I experience the same dilemma. I'm happily satiated. ... I couldn't possibly eat another bite. The thought is actually painful. But for Katianna's cheesecake, I persevere.” — Jenn Harris, The Los Angeles Times, 21 Nov. 2022 Did you know? The time has come at last to share the “sad” history of satiate, by which we mean that the two words—sad and satiate—are etymologically connected, not that the details will have you reaching for the tissue box. Both satiate and sad are related to the Latin adjective satis, meaning “enough.” When we say our desire, thirst, curiosity, etc. has been satiated, we mean it has been fully satisfied (satisfy being another satis descendant)—in other words, we've had enough. Satiate and sate (believed to be an alteration and shortening of satiate) sometimes imply simple contentment, but often suggest that having enough has dulled interest or desire for more, as in “Years of globe-trotting satiated their interest in travel.” Sad, which in its earliest use could describe someone who was weary or tired of something, traces back to the Old English adjective sæd, meaning “sated,” and sæd shares an ancient root with Latin satis.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 6, 2023 is: fulcrum FULL-krum noun In technical use, fulcrum refers to the support on which a lever moves when it is used to lift something. In figurative use, fulcrum refers to a person or thing that makes it possible for something to function or develop, or in other words, one who plays an essential role in something. // Although the lead actor was phenomenal, critics believe that the supporting cast was the real fulcrum of the show. See the entry > Examples: "For now, [Super Nintendo World] is entirely focused on Mario and the Mushroom Kingdom. ... According to [Shinya] Takahashi, while other properties have been considered ... it just made the most sense to start with Mario. 'When you think of Nintendo you think Mario,' he says. 'He's the fulcrum around which everything revolves.'" — Andrew Webster, TheVerge.com, 22 Feb. 2023 Did you know? Fulcrum, which means "bedpost" in Latin, comes from the verb fulcire, which means "to prop." When the word fulcrum was first used in the 17th century, it referred to the point on which a lever or similar device (such as the oar of a boat) is supported. The literal use easily supported figurative use, and it didn't take long for the word to develop a meaning referring to one deemed essential to the function or development of something. Despite fulcrum's multiple senses, the word's meanings have kept a steady theme. In zoology, fulcrum refers to a part of an animal that serves as a hinge or support, such as the joint supporting a bird's wing.
I talk about this relatively new word in English, which actually has its origin in science fiction. The word follows a common pattern for words that start with a very specific meaning in a field or discipline, and then once they're in use in standard English they develop their own meanings and history. I wrap up by comparing it to the word schizophrenic, which has behaved similarly, but with a bit of a twist.Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5-TR)https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/dsmHistorical Dictionary of Science Fictionhttps://sfdictionary.com/Dictionary of Psychopathology, by Henry Kellermanhttps://cup.columbia.edu/book/dictionary-of-psychopathology/9780231146517
The Dictionary defines acceptance as "the action or process of being received as adequate or suitable", but what does it mean to us? Whether it's at work in a male-dominated environment, or at home, acceptance can mean many things. Today we're talking about being accepted, accepting ourselves, as well as accepting others. Go to www.paireyewear.com/TIPPING for 15% off your first purchase Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tippingthescalespodcast/?hl=en YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@tippingthescales9390/videos
A light Cru present tales of the sailor's paradise. Stories include a meditation on Fiddler's Green (and what you may have to do to get there); a resident's musings; and a remembrance. From Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: Fiddler's Green. The happy land imagined by sailors where there is perpetual mirth, a fiddle that never stops playing for dancers who never tire, plenty of GROG and unlimited tobacco. Stories begin around the 10:30 mark. Check out our website for a featured story from this week's episode, and be sure to follow us on Instagram (if that's your sort of thing). Please do send us an email with your story if you write along, which we hope you will do. Episodes of Radio FreeWrite are protected by a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-ND 4.0) license. All Stories remain the property of their respective authors.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 5, 2023 is: eponymous ih-PAH-nuh-mus adjective Eponymous is used to describe something named for a person or group (as in “Merriam-Webster, an eponymous publishing company named for George and Charles Merriam and Noah Webster”), or a person or group whose name is used for something (as in “the company's eponymous founders”). // The band's eponymous debut album received critical acclaim. See the entry > Examples: “The Outer Banks of North Carolina made a name for themselves long before the eponymous Netflix show premiered in 2020.” — Lydia Mansel, Travel + Leisure, 26 Mar. 2023 Did you know? What's in a name? If the name is eponymous, a name is in the name: an eponymous brand, café, river, or ice cream is named for someone or something. And because English is beastly sometimes, the one lending the name to the brand, café, river, or ice cream can also be described as eponymous. This means that if Noah Webster owns a bookstore called “Webster's Books,” it's an eponymous bookstore, and Noah himself is the bookstore's eponymous owner. Most of the time, though, we see eponymous describing a thing named for a person—for example, an eponymous brand named for a designer, or a band's eponymous album titled only with the band's name. The related word eponym is less ambiguous: it refers to the one for whom someone or something is named. At our hypothetical “Webster's Books,” Noah Webster is the bookstore's eponym. Appropriately enough, the Greek root of both words is onyma, meaning “name.”
“when I have exterminated that fourth egg” [VALL] While we discussed breakfast in the last episode, we felt we paid more attention to the toast than the eggs. And there was one quote in particular that didn't make the cut. We recall that quote, search for an egg-seller in the Sherlock Holmes stories, and ponder the evolution of chickens and eggs in the history of human cuisine. Which came first? It's just a Trifle. If you have a suggestion for a Trifles episode, let us know at trifles @ ihearofsherlock.com. If you use your idea on the air, we'll send you some Sherlockian goodies. Our Patreon supporters can listen to our shows ad-free and every one of them is eligible for our monthly and quarterly drawings for Baker Street Journals. Join our community of patrons today. Have you left us a rating and review on Apple Podcasts yet? You don't need to own an Apple device, and every review helps more people find the show. Links / Notes This episode: ihose.co/trifles331 Eggs - Some Victorian recipes (from The Dictionary of Daily Wants, 1859) Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube Email us at trifles @ ihearofsherlock.com Listen to us ad-free on Patreon and become eligible for our regular giveaways. Sponsor The Baker Street Journal Music credits Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band Copyright: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 4, 2023 is: chivalry SHIV-ul-ree noun Chivalry refers to the qualities of the ideal knight, such as honor, generosity, and courtesy—in other words, an honorable and polite way of behaving toward others. It is used especially to refer to such behavior as expressed by men toward women. // Some believe that holding doors open for others is an act of chivalry, but doing so only for women is considered patronizing by many. See the entry > Examples: “At a North Carolina charter school, all students follow the same curriculum. But their gender-specific uniform requirements—pants for boys, and skirts, skorts or jumpers for girls—separate them in a way a federal court on Tuesday deemed unconstitutional. The dress code … no longer can be enforced, Senior Circuit Judge Barbara Milano Keenan wrote in a majority opinion. The school founder's claim that the uniform rules promote chivalry ‘based on the view that girls are “fragile vessels” deserving of “gentle” treatment by boys' was determined to be discriminating against female students in the 10-to-6 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.” — María Luisa Paúl and Anne Branigin, The Washington Post, 15 June 2022 Did you know? Chivalry is dead, they say. The statement is indisputably true in at least one sense: the word chivalry first referred to medieval knights, as in “the king was accompanied by his chivalry,” and we're quite certain those knights are all long gone. But the word's meaning has shifted since the 14th century, with other meanings joining the first over the years. Today, chivalry typically refers to an honorable and polite way of behaving, especially by men toward women. And when people say “chivalry is dead” they're usually bemoaning either a perceived lack of good manners among those they encounter generally, or a dearth of men holding doors for appreciative women. The word came to English by way of French, and is ultimately from the Late Latin word caballārius, meaning “horseback rider, groom,” ancestor too of another term for a daring medieval gentleman-at-arms: cavalier. In a twist, the adjective form of cavalier is often used to describe someone who is overly nonchalant about important matters—not exactly chivalrous.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 3, 2023 is: importune im-per-TOON verb To importune someone is to annoy or pester them with repeated questions or requests. // Several students importuned the professor to extend the deadline of the lengthy essay assignment until she finally relented. See the entry > Examples: “We learned from Drew Lock at the end of the Denver Broncos' 2019 season that he planned to importune Peyton Manning for any advice, any tips on how to best attack the offseason.” — Chad Jensen, Sports Illustrated, 24 Jan. 2020 Did you know? “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” Oh, bother. If you've ever been on the receiving end of this classic road-trip refrain, then you, friend, have been importuned. Importune is most often encountered in formal speech and writing, however, so you're more likely to have responded “Stop bothering/pestering/annoying me!” (or just “No!”) than “Please cease importuning me while I'm driving!” Nevertheless, importune—like bother, pester, and annoy—conveys irritating doggedness in trying to break down resistance to a request for something, whether information (such as a precise ETA) or a favor, as in “repeated e-mails from organizations importuning me for financial help.” Importune also functions in the legal realm, where it is used for behavior that qualifies as pressing or urging another with troublesome persistence.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 2, 2023 is: plausible PLAW-zuh-bul adjective Plausible means "seemingly fair, reasonable, or valuable but often not so" or "appearing worthy of belief." // One problem with the horror movie is that the plot is barely plausible—there was no good reason for the kids to enter the abandoned mansion to begin with. See the entry > Examples: "The West Midlands is a region that is no stranger to myths. From the bustling motorway of the M5 to the quiet, secluded woods of Cannock Chase—you will hear tales of abnormal happenings. ... Some explanations are offered as to why such spooky events may be taking place. But others appear to be a mystery with no plausible explanation." — Jamie Brassington, Birmingham Live (UK), 16 Apr. 2022 Did you know? Put your hands together for plausible, a word with a sonorous history. Today the word usually means "reasonable" or "believable," but its origins lie in the sensory realm, rather than that of the mind. In fact, plausible comes to us from the Latin adjective plausibilis, meaning "worthy of applause," which in turn derives from the verb plaudere, meaning "to applaud or clap." Other plaudere words include applaud, plaudit (the earliest meaning of which was "a round of applause"), and explode (from the Latin explodere, meaning "to drive off the stage by clapping"). Will the evolution of plaudere continue? Quite plausibly, and to that we say "Bravo."
Link from Today’s Show: Come to the Annual Ohio Event: https://coachdavelive.com/event/annual-ohio-event Brighteon Episode from 5-1-23: https://coachdavelive.tv/w/134LyVBo897nAWcu71ky8p Glory – Oh my Lord, Lord, Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCTttfrexik Isaiah 40:29-31 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=isaiah+40%3A29-31&version=KJV “Wait” https://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/wait Man in Black – Johnny Cash: […]
Folks, Django Gold joins us on this week's episode where we hear about an ancient liquid spewing from the ocean floor, why the awful Pinkertons got involved with Magic the Gathering, why a woman attempted to bring a gold-plated gun on a plane, why a UK landlord can't be naked around his tenants. and the peacock attacking people in the Bronx Follow Django on Twitter @django and get tickets for his comedy special taping at The Gutter in NYC on May 13th here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cysk-presents-django-gold-special-taping-tickets-594248963647 We are on Patreon! Become a patron for weekly bonus eps and more stuff!: www.patreon.com/whatatimepod Check out our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/whatatimetobealive Get one of our t-shirts, or other merch, using this link! https://whatatimepod.bigcartel.com/ whatatimepod.com Join our Discord chat here: discord.gg/jx7rB7J @pattymo // @kathbarbadoro // @eliyudin // @whatatimepod © 2023 What A Time LLC
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 1, 2023 is: Beltane BEL-tayn noun Beltane refers to the Celtic May Day festival. // She looks forward to the festivities and traditions her town has kept alive to celebrate Beltane each year. See the entry > Examples: “A yearly cycle of rituals, known as sabbats, celebrate the beginning and height of each of the four seasons of the Northern Hemisphere. Each ritual encourages participants to celebrate the changes the seasons bring to nature and to reflect on how those changes are mirrored in their own lives. For example, at Beltane—which takes place May 1, at the height of spring—Wiccans celebrate fertility in both the Earth and in people's lives. The rituals are constructed to not only celebrate the season but to put the participant in direct contact with the divine.” — Helen A. Berger, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 6 Sept. 2021 Did you know? To the ancient Celts, May Day marked the start of summer, and a critical time when the boundaries between the human and supernatural worlds were removed, requiring that people take special measures to protect themselves against enchantments. The Beltane fire festival originated in a summer ritual in which cattle were herded between two huge bonfires to protect them from evil and disease. The word Beltane has been used in English since the 15th century, but the earliest known instance of the word in print—as well as the description of that summer ritual—is from 500 years previous: it appears in an Irish glossary commonly attributed to Cormac, a king and bishop who lived in the south of Ireland, near the end of the first millennium.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 30, 2023 is: sinecure SYE-nih-kyoor noun Sinecure is a noun that refers to a usually paid job or position that requires little or no work. // The king was in the habit of rewarding his loyal supporters with sinecures. See the entry > Examples: “To make matters worse, the architects of failure are rarely, if ever, held accountable. Instead of acknowledging their mistakes openly, even discredited former officials can head off to corporate boards, safe sinecures, or lucrative consulting firms, hoping to return to power as soon as their party regains the White House. Once back in office, they are free to repeat their previous mistakes, backed by a chorus of pundits whose recommendations never change no matter how often they've failed.” — Stephen M. Walt, Foreign Policy, 3 Mar. 2021 Did you know? A sinecure (pronounced SYE-nih-kyoor) sounds like a pretty sweet deal: it's a job or title that usually comes with regular money but with little or no work. Who wouldn't want that? While the thing sinecure refers to might be desirable, the word itself is typically used with disdain—if someone refers to your job as a sinecure they don't think you earn the money you collect by doing it. The word's roots are likewise served with some side-eye: it comes from the Medieval Latin sine cura, meaning “without cure”—the lack of cure in this case being one for souls. The original sinecure was a church position that didn't involve the spiritual care or instruction of church members (theoretically, the church's sole purpose). Ecclesiastical sinecures have been a thing of the past since the late 19th century; positions referred to with the word these days are more likely to be board positions or academic appointments that require no teaching.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 29, 2023 is: expedite EK-spuh-dyte verb To expedite something is to speed up its process or progress. Expedite can also mean “to carry out promptly.” // To expedite the processing of your request, please include your account number on all documents. See the entry > Examples: “Builders have been accused of using cheap materials and skirting building codes to expedite projects and fatten profits—erecting structures that could not survive quakes.” — Nimet Kirac, The New York Times, 17 Feb. 2023 Did you know? Need someone to do something in a hurry? You can tell that person to step on it—or you can tell them expedite it. Figurative feet are involved in both cases, though less obviously in the second choice. Expedite comes from the Latin verb expedire, meaning “to free from entanglement” or “to release (a person) especially from a confined position.” The feet come in at that word's root: it traces back to Latin ped- or pes, meaning “foot.” Expedient and expedition also stepped into English by way of expedire.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 28, 2023 is: arboreal ahr-BOR-ee-ul adjective Arboreal is a literary term that means “of or relating to trees.” It can also mean “living in or often found in trees,” as in “arboreal monkeys.” // Despite taking weekly hikes on the same trail, she never ceases to be amazed by the forest's arboreal beauty. See the entry > Examples: “[The satanic leaf-tailed gecko's] mottled brown skin, replete with mossy splotches and vein-like ridges, makes it the perfect imitation of a decaying leaf. Any predator clever enough to see through its arboreal disguise and mount an attack will be in for a fright. The leafy gecko opens its mouth, sticking out a blood-red tongue and unleashing a chilling scream that will frighten off the boldest of predators.” — Holly Barker, Discover Magazine, 7 Oct. 2022 Did you know? Arboreal took root in English in the 17th century, at a time when language influencers were eager to see English take on words from Latin and Greek. Apparently unsatisfied with the now-obsolete word treen (“of, relating to, or derived from trees”), they plucked arboreal from the Latin arboreus, meaning “of a tree”; its ultimate root is arbor, meaning “tree.” That root arborized—that is, branched freely (to use the term figuratively): English abounds with largely obscure words that trace back to arbor, meaning “tree.” Generally synonymous with arboreal are arboraceous, arborary, arboreous, and arborous. Synonymous with arboreal specifically in the sense of “relating to or resembling a tree” are arborescent, arboresque, arborical, and arboriform. Arboricole is a synonym of arboreal in its “inhabiting trees” sense. (The influencers may have overdone it a bit.) Arboreal is far more common than any of these, but other arbor words also have a firm hold in the language: arborvitae refers to a shrub whose name translates as “tree of life”; arboretum refers to a place where trees are cultivated; and arboriculture is the cultivation of trees. And of course we can't forget Arbor Day, which since 1872 has named a day set aside for planting trees. Despite its spelling, however, the English word arbor, which refers to a garden shelter of tree boughs or vines twined together, has a different source: it came by way of Anglo-French from the Latin herba, meaning “herb” or “grass.”
This is part 11 of the Early Church History class. Have you heard of the Roman emperor Constantine? He had a massive impact on Christianity. Not only did he end the brutal persecutions of his predecessors, but he also used the Roman government to actively support the Church. However, his involvement also resulted in significant changes that eventually led to the merger between Church and State called Christendom. In this episode you'll learn about the good and the bad effects of Constantine's involvement in Christianity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQDFaIh2SsY&list=PLN9jFDsS3QV2lk3B0I7Pa77hfwKJm1SRI&index=11 Listen to this episode on Spotify or Apple Podcasts —— Links —— More podcasts about Constantine Get Kegan Chandler's book, Constantine and the Divine Mind Find out more about this summer's Family Camp here. More Restitutio resources on Christian history See other classes here Support Restitutio by donating here Join our Restitutio Facebook Group and follow Sean Finnegan on Twitter @RestitutioSF Leave a voice message via SpeakPipe with questions or comments and we may play them out on the air Intro music: Good Vibes by MBB Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) Free Download / Stream: Music promoted by Audio Library. Who is Sean Finnegan? Read his bio here —— Notes —— Today, we're looking at one of the most influential people in church history: Constantine (272-337). Also called Constantine the Great or Constantine I There would be 10 more emperors named Constantine. Constantine 11th was the last Roman emperor who died when the Muslims conquered Constantinople in 1453. Constantine's “Edict of Milan” 303-313 - The Great Persecution 313 - Toleration granted to Christians and all religions Restore confiscated property Constantine's Favoring of Christianity Exemption from public office Tax exemption Use of cursus publicus Printing of Christian scriptures Closing of law courts on Sundays Abolition of face-branding as a punishment Constantine and Churches Donated 3,000 bags of money to church in African provinces Rebuilt and enlarged damaged churches Built new churches, especially through his mother, Helena Helena also allegedly finds the true cross (relic). Constantine's Government Appointed government officials that were Christians Sought advice from Christian bishops on decisions Shared his table with Christians Had bishops accompany soldiers Christian Attitude Toward Military Prior to Constantine Jesus and his apostles taught to love enemies (Matthew 5.5, 9, 38-48; 1 Thessalonians 5.15; Romans 12.14, 17-21; 1 Peter 3.8-11) Didache 1.3-4; Justin Martyr, First Apology 39, Irenaeus, Against Heresies 4.34, Tertullian, On Idolatry 19, Hippolytus, Apostolic Tradition 16.17-19, Origen, Against Celsus 5.33, Cyprian, Epistle I: To Donatus 6, Arnobius, Against the Heathen 1.6, Lactantius, Divine Institutes 5.8. Preston Sprinkle: “Despite the presence of Christians in the military, it is clear that no single Christian writer before Constantine sanctioned the use of violence, not even toward bad guys.” Constantine's Vision Had been a worshiper of Sol Invictus (Unconquered Sun) Allegedly saw something above the sun Had a dream in which Christ told him to use his initials, chi rho (also called, labarum), on his soldiers' shields (“in this you will conquer”) At the battle of the Milvian Bridge, Constantine defeated Maxentius, fished his body out of the river, decapitated him, and paraded his head through the city on a stick. Christian Leaders Seek Favor Christians requested the emperor to persecute other Christians. Constantine's Edict Against the Heretics Novatians, Valentinians, Marcionites, Paulians, Cataphrygians Currying imperial favor to defeat one's Christian enemies became a standard tactic. The Constantinian shift initiated a new stage in church history—Christendom, the idea that a society or nation could be Christian. Before long, all infants would be baptized, making everyone a member of the church by birth. Everyone would be raised Christian. The government would pay clergy their salaries. How many of these so-called Christians followed Christ? Evangelism was no longer needed. The kingdom had come. The Roman Empire became the holy Roman Empire and was seen as God's kingdom on earth. Review Constantine's involvement in Christianity brought several significant changes, both good and bad, initiating the “merger” of the church and the state known as Christendom. Constantine ended the persecution of Christians, issuing the Edict of Milan (along with Licinius) in 313. Constantine donated large sums of money to rebuild churches, build new churches, and support clergy. Constantine's favoritism of Christianity incentivized people to join the church. Christians changed from discouraging military participation to blessing it. Christians pursued the emperor's favor to persecute pagans, Jews, and other Christian sects with different beliefs. Constantine's desire to have Christian advisors in his entourage caused some Christians to begin identifying the Roman Empire as God's kingdom on earth. Rather than strict obedience to the teachings of Christ, Christendom came to lower the requirements for all, while the zealous left, pursued monasticism whether as isolated hermits or in communities.  Scholars point out that the “Edict of Milan” was really a letter sent from Nicomedia.  More quotations in David Bercot, Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs.  Preston Sprinkle, Fight (Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2013), 212-3.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 27, 2023 is: vicissitudes vuh-SISS-uh-toodz noun plural The word vicissitudes usually refers to events or situations that occur by chance. It can also apply specifically to the difficulties or hardships, usually beyond one's control, that are commonly encountered in a life, career, etc., or simply to the quality or state of being changeable. // Capricorns are often described as persistent, down-to-earth strivers, unlikely to be thrown off by the vicissitudes of life. See the entry > Examples: “Picture a majestic coniferous forest. The hierarchy in scale and time is pine needle, tree crown, patch, stand, whole forest, and biome. The needles change annually with the seasons. The tree crowns over several years. The patch after many decades. The stand every hundred years or so. The forest over a thousand years. And the biome over tens of thousands of years. The different layers allow the entire system to roll with the vicissitudes and stresses of crowding, parasites, weather, disease, and fire. Continuity is maintained without sacrificing adaptation.” — Jacob L. Taylor, SeekingAlpha.com, 28 Oct. 2022 Did you know? In one entry of his nine-volume biography of Walt Whitman's later years, Horace L. Traubel quotes the Good Gray Poet remarking on an in-process manuscript: “If we keep pegging away slowly but persistently, the book must in the end come out—if I should last, and I guess I will. But we mustn't crow until we've left the last limit of the woods behind us—till we're clean out into the open. The vicissitudes are many—the certainties few.” Whitman's reflection sheds some light on vicissitudes (the singular form vicissitude is rare but also extant), a word that can refer simply to the fact of change, or to instances of it, but that often refers specifically to hardships or difficulties brought about by change. To survive “the vicissitudes of life” is to survive life's ups and downs, which is more than worth sounding one's “barbaric yawp” about over the roofs of the world. The word is a descendant of the Latin vicis, meaning “change” or “alternation.”
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 26, 2023 is: carouse kuh-ROWZ ("OW" as in 'cow') verb Carouse means "to drink alcohol, make noise, and have fun with other people." // After a long night of carousing around Puerto Vallarta, the travelers settled into their hotel room. See the entry > Examples: "While my best friend and I took in two rowdy Mardi Gras parades during our weekend trip, we didn't come just to carouse. I wanted to eat seafood po' boys and hear music and experience Cajun culture as we relished the early spring Southern greenery. We wanted to experience this singular American city." — Laura Johnston, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), 19 Feb. 2023 Did you know? Sixteenth-century English revelers toasting each other's health sometimes drank a brimming mug of booze straight to the bottom—drinking an "all-out," they called it. German tipplers did the same and used the German expression for "all out"—gar aus. The French adopted the German term as carous, using the adverb in their expression boire carous ("to drink all out"). That phrase, with its idiomatic sense of "to empty the cup," led to carrousse, a French noun meaning "a large draft of liquor." And that's where English speakers picked up carouse in the 1500s, using it first as a direct borrowing of the French noun, which later took on the sense of a general "drunken revel," and then as a verb meaning "to drink freely." The verb later developed the "rowdy partying" use familiar to us today.
TInder is the most popular dating app in the world... Do you recorgnize any of these terms???
Ideas from CBC Radio (Highlights)
Ukrainian poet Ostap Slyvynsky has been at the Lviv railway station helping refugees on their way west, escaping the horrors of war. They tell him stories of what they have left, what they have seen and experienced. He has created a sort of A to Z of all these stories — a compendium of all the things that people say about war.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 25, 2023 is: orthography or-THAH-gruh-fee noun Orthography refers to “correct spelling,” or “the art of writing words with the proper letters according to standard usage.” // As the winner of several spelling bees, she impressed her teachers with her exceptional grasp of orthography. See the entry > Examples: “What makes [poet John] Ashbery difficult ... is nonetheless different from what makes his ‘modernist precursors' like Pound and Eliot difficult. It requires no supplemental linguistic, historical, philosophical, or literary knowledge to appreciate. ... His verse rarely relies on outright violations of the norms of syntax, orthography, or page layout to achieve its effects. Rather, it tends to be composed of grammatically well-formed units combined in such a way as to produce semantically nonsensical wholes.” — Ryan Ruby, The Nation, 27 Jan. 2022 Did you know? The concept of orthography (a term that comes from the Greek words orthos, meaning “right or true,” and graphein, meaning “to write”) was not something that really concerned English speakers until the introduction of the printing press in England in the second half of the 15th century. From that point on, English spelling became progressively more uniform. Our orthography has been relatively stable since the 1755 publication of Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language, with the notable exception of certain spelling reforms, such as the change of musick to music. Incidentally, many of these reforms were championed by Merriam-Webster's own Noah Webster.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 24, 2023 is: reprehensible rep-rih-HEN-suh-bul adjective Reprehensible is a formal word that means “worthy of or deserving blame or very strong criticism.” // A recent news article called for the mayor's resignation, citing the recent accusations of bribery as both plausible and reprehensible. See the entry > Examples: “The extraordinary blooms, visible from the 15 Freeway, led to people parking on the freeway shoulders and blocking city streets to walk into the hills. City officials tried offering shuttle buses and forming lines to the trails to manage the throngs, but some people ignored the trails and just scrambled up the hillsides, wading through the flowers and even dislodging rocks that rolled onto people below, according to news reports. That behavior was reprehensible, [Evan] Meyer said, and potentially devastating to the flowers everyone was clamoring to see.” — Nathan Solis, The Los Angeles Times, 28 Feb. 2023 Did you know? It may be easy to grasp that reprehensible is all about blame, but the word's origins tell a grabbier story. The word comes from the Latin reprehendere (literally “to hold back”), a combination of re- and prehendere, meaning “to grasp.” Prehendere is at the root of other grasp-related words, among them apprehend, used when grabbing hold of bad guys, comprehend, used when it's concepts that are grasped, and prehensile, used to describe anatomical features—for example, a monkey's tail or an elephant's trunk—that grasp especially by wrapping around. Grasp these words, and there's nothing reprehensible about your grasp on this little corner of the English lexicon.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 23, 2023 is: gravamen gruh-VAY-mun noun Gravamen is a formal word that refers to the significant part of a complaint or grievance. // The gravamen of Walter's letter to the editor was that the newspaper frequently reports on the school system's failures but rarely covers its successes and improvements. See the entry > Examples: “The only thing worse than living under a totalitarian Communist regime is outliving one. That seems to be the half-serious gravamen of ‘The Interim,' a novel published in 2000 by the East German writer Wolfgang Hilbig (1941-2007) and now translated into supple, vivid English by Isabel Fargo Cole. It's not a completely absurd grievance. Not everyone does well with the kind of freedom afforded by the free market.” — Caleb Crain, The New York Times, 2 Nov. 2021 Did you know? Gravamen is not a word you hear every day (even rarer is gravamina, the less expected of its two plural forms; gravamens is the other), but it does show up occasionally in modern-day publications. It comes from the Latin verb gravare, meaning “to burden,” and ultimately from the Latin adjective gravis, meaning “heavy.” Fittingly, gravamen refers to the part of a grievance or complaint that gives it weight or substance. In legal contexts, gravamen is used to refer to the grounds on which a legal action is allowed or upheld as valid. (The word is synonymous with a legal use of gist not found outside technical contexts). Gravis has given English several other heavy words that throw their weight around more frequently, including gravity, grieve, and the adjective grave, meaning “important” or “serious.”
Charles Waters, co-author of Dictionary for a Better World: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z, shares a poem for Poetry Month. ADDITIONAL LINKS: Charles Waters website - www.charleswaterspoetry.com Purchase the book - Dictionary for a Better World: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z CREDITS: This podcast episode of The Children's Book Podcast was written, edited, and produced by Matthew Winner. For a full transcript of this episode, visit matthewcwinner.com. Write to me or send me a message at email@example.com. Our podcast logo was created by Duke Stebbins (https://stebs.design/). Our music is by Podington Bear. Podcast hosting by Libsyn. You can support the show and buy me a coffee at www.matthewcwinner.com. We are a proud member of Kids Listen, the best place to discover the best in kids podcasts. Learn more at kidslisten.org. Fellow teachers and librarians, want a way to explore building a stronger culture of reading in our communities? In The Reading Culture podcast, Beanstack co-founder Jordan Bookey hosts conversations that dive into beloved authors' personal journeys and insights into motivating young people to read. And I am a big fan! Check out the Reading Culture Podcast with Jordan Bookey, from Beanstack. Available wherever podcasts are found. DISCLAIMER: Bookshop.org affiliate links provided for any book titles mentioned in the episode. Bookshop.org support independent bookstores and also shares a small percentage of any sales made through this podcast back to me, which helps to fund production of this show.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 22, 2023 is: beguile bih-GHYLE verb To beguile is to attract or interest someone, or to trick or deceive them. // He beguiled the audience with his smooth and seductive voice. // She was cunning enough to beguile her classmates into doing the work for her. See the entry > Examples: “Recycling themes from ‘Dangerous Liaisons' and ‘John Tucker Must Die,' the movie [Mr. Malcolm's List] follows two young women as they exact retribution on a snooty bachelor. The more Machiavellian of the pair is Julia Thistlewaite (Zawe Ashton), who early on endures a public snubbing by the coveted Mr. Malcolm (Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù). Vexed, Julia summons an old school chum, Selina Dalton (Freida Pinto), and enlists her in a vindictive plot to beguile Malcolm and then break his heart as payback.” — Natalia Winkelman, The Boston Globe, 29 June 2022 Did you know? A number of English words have traveled a rather curious path from meanings related to deception or trickery to something less unwelcome. A prime example is beguile, which first appeared in English around the 13th century with the meaning “to lead or draw by deception.” For the next several centuries, most of the senses of the verb had to do, in one manner or another, with deceiving. Around the time of Shakespeare, however, a more appealing sense charmed its way into the English language and hasn't left since: “to attract or interest someone,” or in other words, “to charm.” Nowadays, you're just as likely to hear beguile applied to someone who woos an audience with charisma, as to a wily trickster who hoodwinks others to get their way.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 21, 2023 is: wistful WIST-ful adjective To be wistful is to be full of or to inspire yearning or desire tinged with melancholy. Wistful can also mean “suggestive of sad thoughtfulness.” // As the car pulled away, Lea cast one last wistful glance at the house where she'd spent so many happy years. See the entry > Examples: “Josh Tillman, better known by stage name Father John Misty, dives headlong into big-band jazz on his sumptuous and melancholy fifth album [Chloë and the Next 20th Century]. With honeyed vocals and a potent dose of gallows humor, the shape-shifting crooner is reborn as a Sinatra-style lounge act, weaving wistful tales of heartache and tragedy over lush orchestrations.” — Patrick Ryan, USA Today, 30 Dec. 2022 Did you know? We see you there, dear reader, gazing silently up at the moon, heart aching to know the history of wistful, as if it could be divined on the lunar surface. And we'd like to ease your melancholy by telling you that the knowledge you seek—nay, pine for—is closer at hand. But the etymology of wistful, while intriguing, is not entirely clear. It's thought that the word is a combination of wistly, a now-obsolete word meaning “intently” and, perhaps, the similar-sounding wishful. Wistly, in turn, may have come from whistly, an old term meaning “silently” or “quietly.” What's more certain is that our modern wistful is a great word to describe someone full of pensive yearning, or something inspiring such yearning.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 20, 2023 is: fortitude FOR-tuh-tood noun Fortitude is a formal word that refers to the strength of mind that enables someone to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage. Less formal words with similar meanings include grit, fiber, and pluck. // To reach the summit of Denali requires not only great physical strength and training but the fortitude to persevere no matter the challenge. See the entry > Examples: “This emotional novel about forgiveness honors the immense fortitude manifested by families separated during wartime.” — review, The Christian Science Monitor, 24 Jan. 2023 Did you know? Fortitude comes from the Latin word fortis, meaning “strong,” and in English it has always been used primarily to describe strength of mind. For a time, the word was also used to mean “physical strength”; William Shakespeare used it that way in Henry VI, Part 1: “Coward of France! How much he wrongs his fame / Despairing of his own arm's fortitude.” But despite use by the famous bard himself, that meaning languished and is now considered obsolete. Even the familiar phrase “intestinal fortitude” is just a humorous way to refer to someone's courage or mental stamina, not the literal strength of their digestive system. (If you're looking to describe such a gastrointestinal tract, we might suggest “iron stomach.”)
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 19, 2023 is: undergird un-der-GHERD verb Undergird means “to strengthen or support (something) from below” or “to form the basis or foundation of.” // Their way of life is undergirded by religious faith. See the entry > Examples: “Genuine connection has always been scarce, but during the height of the pandemic in 2020 it became even more so. [Jake] Johnson wrote the screenplay for Self Reliance during this scary, unpredictable and lonely period. The lessons from isolation undergird the film's emotional core.” — Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Mar. 2023 Did you know? When undergird was a new word in the 16th century, it was ships that were undergirded—that is, made secure below—and the undergirding was done by passing a rope or chain underneath. That literal sense has long since fallen out of use, but in the 19th century undergird picked up the figurative “strengthen” or “support” meaning that we still use. Centuries before anything was undergirded, however, people and things could be girded—that is, encircled or bound with a flexible band, such as a belt. Girding today is more often about preparing oneself to fight or to do something difficult, as in “girding themselves for an ideological battle.” About as old as gird is the word's close relation, girdle, which originally referred to an article of clothing that circles the body usually at the waist; the girdles of today address the same anatomical territory but with the squeezy aim of making the waist look thinner. Gird also gives us girder, a noun referring to a horizontal piece supporting a structure.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 18, 2023 is: dolorous DOH-luh-rus adjective Dolorous means "causing, marked by, or expressing misery or grief." // The acerbic and dolorous writings of Charles Bukowski garnered praise among lovers of poetry depicting the lives of the downtrodden in American society. See the entry > Examples: "Having haunted arenas longer than some ghosts haunt cathedrals, the Cure have their live sound down to a towering tee. ... Featherlight guitar filigrees land like hammers, dolorous synth string drones rumble from the deep. [Robert] Smith's agelessly yearning and yelping vocals, his lyrics steeped in suburban ennui and true love against the big, bad world, are the voice of the eternal moody teen." — Malcolm Jack, The Guardian (London), 5 Dec. 2022 Did you know? If you've ever studied a Romance language, you've likely run into words related to Latin dolor, meaning "pain" or "grief." Indeed, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian all refer to pain using descendants of dolor. English (which despite its many Latinate terms is categorized as a Germanic language) has dolor to thank for dolorous. When the word first appeared, it was linked to physical pain; as the British surgeon John Banister wrote in 1578, "No medicine may prevail … till the same dolorous tooth be … plucked up by the roots." The "causing pain" sense of dolorous coexisted with the "sorrowful" sense for centuries, but (to the dolor, perhaps, of some) its use is now rare.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 17, 2023 is: hackles HAK-ulz noun Hackles are hairs along the neck and back of an animal (especially a dog) that are capable of being raised to a stiff, upright position (as when a dog is frightened or angry). The plural noun hackles is often used figuratively with raise or rise to describe a person's response to something that causes anger or annoyance; thus, hackles can also mean “temper” or “dander” (as in “don't get your temper/dander up”). // A number of the issues discussed in the political debate raised some hackles among members of the opposing party. See the entry > Examples: “If you want to raise someone's hackles, tell them how to spend, donate, or invest their money. Sure, we all want guidance, but few of us are open to obeying a total stranger.” — Dana George, The Motley Fool (Alexandria, Virginia), 6 Jan. 2023 Did you know? In its earliest uses in the 15th century, hackle referred to either the plumage along a bird's neck or to a device used to comb out long fibers of flax, hemp, or jute. Things took a turn in the 19th century when English speakers extended the word's plural use to both dogs and people. Like the bird's feathers, the hairs on the back of a dog's neck stand up when the animal is agitated. With humans, use of the word hackles is usually figurative. So, if you heckle someone, you'll likely raise their hackles in the process, meaning you'll make them angry or put them on the defensive.