Today's Word "Turdiform"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

turdiform \TEHR-deh-form\ (adjective) - Having the shape of a thrush.

"I'm not sure of the name of this turdiform little flyer is but I'm sure you will agree that it is a delight to the eye."

Latin turdus thrush + forma "form." Today's word seems unrelated to any other word in English with the possible exception of "thrush" itself. If you ...Read more

Today's Word "indolent"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

indolent \IN-duh-lehnt\ (adjective) - 1 : Disinclined to exert oneself; habitually lazy. Conducive to inactivity or laziness; lethargic. 2 : Causing little or no pain. Slow to heal, grow, or develop; inactive.

"For the indolent body there are soft lounges, soft stools; for indolent feet soft rugs; for indolent eyes faded, dingy, or flat colors....Read more

Today's Word "salmagundi"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

salmagundi \sal-muh-GUHN-dee\ (noun) - 1 : A salad plate usually consisting of chopped meat, anchovies, eggs, and onions, served with oil and vinegar. 2 : Any mixture or assortment; a medley; a potpourri; a miscellany.

"While the movie purported to be a historical drama, most found it to be a baffling salmagundi of underaged, contemporary stars...Read more

Today's Word "hortatory"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

hortatory \HOR-tuh-tor-ee\ (adjective) - Marked by strong urging; serving to encourage or incite; as, "a hortatory speech."

"Giles later gave up the position in the conviction that he could reach thousands with his beguiling pen while only hundreds with his hortatory voice."

Hortatory is from Latin hortatorius, from hortari, "to exhort, to ...Read more

Today's Word "Remonstrant"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

remonstrant \reh-MAHN-strehnt\ (adjective) - In a state of vigorously objecting to, earnestly aggrieved by or opposed to something.

"The remonstrant set of Russel's jaw convinced Andre that she could never persuade him to give her the remote control for the TV."

From Medieval Latin remonstrare, "to demonstrate." The Latin ...Read more

Today's Word "vituperate"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

vituperate \vy-TOO-puh-rate, -TYOO-, vi-\ (verb) - To find fault with; to scold; to overwhelm with wordy abuse; to censure severely or abusively; to rate.

"The incensed priests...continued to raise their voices, vituperating each other in bad Latin." -- Sir Walter Scott, 'Ivanhoe'

Vituperate comes from Latin vitupero, vituperare, to scold, ...Read more

Today's Word "chortle"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

chortle \CHOR-tl\ (transitive and intransitive verb) - To utter, or express with, a snorting, exultant laugh or chuckle.

(noun) - A snorting, exultant laugh or chuckle.

"Kip punctuated each of his sarcastic remarks with his customary, derisive chortle."

Chortle a combination of chuckle and snort. It was coined by Lewis Carroll (Charles L. ...Read more

Today's Word "faineant"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

faineant \fay-nay-AWN\ (adjective) - 1 : Doing nothing or given to doing nothing; idle; lazy.

(noun) - 1 : A do-nothing; an idle fellow; a sluggard.

"A faineant government is not the worst government that England can have. It has been the great fault of our politicians that they have all wanted to do something." -- Anthony Trollope, Phineas ...Read more

Today's Word "Bort"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

bort \bort\ (noun) - Poor-quality diamond, or diamond fragment, used as an industrial abrasive, as in grinding wheel.

"James was so notoriously cheap that Theresa wasn't at all surprised to discover that her supposedly 'high-quality' engangement ring contained nothing more than a bort."

Possibly metathetic variation of brot, from Old English ...Read more

Today's Word "tittle-tattle"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

tittle-tattle \TIT-uhl TAT-uhl\ (noun) - 1 : Idle, trifling talk; empty prattle. 2 : An idle, trifling talker; a gossip.

(verb) - 1 : to talk idly; to prate.

"Both were in their seventies, and like two old parrots they told, in identical words, the tale they had heard so often from their mother...The tittle-tattle of a half-starved countryside...Read more

Today's Word "auscultation"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

auscultation \o-skuhl-TAY-shuhn\ (noun) - 1 : The act of listening. 2 : The act of listening for sounds made by internal organs, as the heart and lungs, to aid in the diagnosis of certain disorders.

"After Tess's doctor performed chest auscultation with a stethoscope he detected heart murmurs and harshness of the lungs."

Latin auscultatio, ...Read more

Today's Word "grok"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

grok \GRAWK\ (transitive verb slang) - To understand, especially in a profound and intimate way. Slang.

'"Even if you explain it in short words I'm not going to grok it, okay?" Benjamin frowned the uncomprehending frown of someone whose learning of the English language had missed the word "grok" entirely."' - Eric Flint, Andrew Dennis, '1634: ...Read more

Today's Word "prink"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

prink \PRINGK\ (transitive verb) - To dress up; to deck for show.

(intransitive verb) - To dress or arrange oneself for show; to primp.

"Richard and Peg's back room held an excellent double bed with thick linen curtains drawn about it from rails connecting its four tall posts, several chests for clothing, a cupboard for shoes and boots, a ...Read more

Today's Word "Newel"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

newel \NOO-el, NYOO-\ (noun) - 1 : A center column that supports the steps of a spiral staircase. 2 : A post supporting the handrail of a staircase.

"Midway through the stair project Larry appeared with a solid pine stair newel, stripped and sanded."

Middle English nowel, from Middle French nouel, kernel, from Late Latin nucalis, nutlike, from...Read more

Today's Word "arcanum"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

arcanum \ar-KAY-nuhm\ (noun) plural arcana \-nuh\ - 1 : A secret; a mystery. 2 : Specialized or mysterious knowledge, language, or information that is not accessible to the average person (generally used in the plural).

"Millford was gifted in the utilization of the arcana of computer languages and thus was in high demand in a variety of ...Read more

Being Letter-Perfect Casts Its Spell

Knowledge / The Word Guy /

Duz speling evan mattar enymore?

After all, you knew what I meant, right? Companies deliberately misspell brand names (Froot Loops, Tumblr, Chick-fil-A). TV news graphics are rife with errors ("high tempertures," "choaos in streets"). And don't even get me started on emails, texts and internet posts.

That spelling autocorrect feature doesn't...Read more

Today's Word "clamber"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

clamber \KLAM-buhr; KLAM-uhr\ (intransitive verb) - To climb with difficulty, or on all fours; to scramble.

(noun) - The act of clambering.

"See them clamber, these quick monkeys! They clamber away, one atop the other, and so drag themselves into the mud and the abyss." -- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, 'Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All ...Read more

Today's Word "tarry"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

tarry \TAR-ee\ (verb intr.) - 1 : To delay or be late in going, coming, or doing. 2 : To wait. 3 : To remain or stay temporarily, as in a place; sojourn. (verb tr.) To wait for; await. (noun) A temporary stay; a sojourn. (adjective) Of, resembling, or covered with tar.

"Never one to tarry, Kate was always the first to arrive at any social ...Read more

Today's Word "velleity"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

velleity \veh-LEE-uh-tee; vuh-\ (noun) - 1 : The lowest degree of desire; imperfect or incomplete volition. 2 : A slight wish or inclination.

"While most of his friends thought that his desire to become a singer of popular music was little more than a velleity, in Ted's mind it was a burning desire, superceding all others."

Velleity is derived...Read more

Today's Word "Sciolist"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

sciolist \SAI-uh-list\ (noun) - One who engages in pretentious display of superficial knowledge.

"Jason's ignorance of the progress which the marketing department had up to that time made was only equalled by his insolence toward its members in comparison with whom he was the merest sciolist."

From Late Latin sciolus (smatterer), ...Read more


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