Vocabulary / Knowledge

Today's Word "Whence"

whence \hwens\ (pronoun) - From where? "Fred apparently was bitten by a scorpion in his office -- whence his complaint about company safety." Proto-Indo-European had a series of interrogative pronouns (what? when? where?) based on kw- + ...

Today's Word "dishabille"

dishabille \dis-uh-BEEL\ (noun) - 1 : The state of being carelessly or partially dressed. 2 : Casual or lounging attire. 3 : An intentionally careless or casual manner. "Marta's parents were utterly scandalized when they toured her dorm, seeing ...

Today's Word "murrain"

murrain \meh-REYN\ (noun) - A plague, a pestilence, especially affecting cattle, such as anthrax or foot-and-mouth disease; any horrendous event. "A murrain upon your head!" or, as Trinculo put it in Shakespeare's 'The Tempest' (III, ii, 50), "A ...

Today's Word "satiety"

satiety \suh-TY-uh-tee\ (noun) - The state of being full or gratified to or beyond the point of satisfaction. "His hungry eyes looked with a hitherto unknown, amazed satiety. More than that: here hunger was satiety and satiety, hunger." -- Harry ...

Today's Word "toper"

toper \ TOH-puhr \ (noun) - One who drinks frequently or to excess. "But there remains a core of bottom-line voters to whom the promise of tax cuts is as seductive as gin to a toper. -- David Nyhan, 'Tax cuts for all - wheee...

Of 'the' I Sing

Q: Why is Ukraine sometimes called "the Ukraine"? -- Deb Carter, Felton, California

A: This is a timely and relevant question, loaded with geopolitical implications. And it raises a far more serious issue: why we sometimes call Donald Trump "...