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  1. Aesopian: Visual Word of the Day

    Aesop was a Greek slave who supposedly lived 620bc–560bc on the island of Samos and told animal fables that teach a lesson (e.g., “The Tortoise and the Hare”). The term Aesopian entered English much later . . . in the late 17th century.

  2. Intersectionality: Visual Word of the Day

     Our social identities intersect in ways that shape how we perceive the world, and how the world perceives us. The concept of intersectionality was coined in 1989 by legal scholar Kimberle Crenshaw. Before then, many people viewed social identity as a single distinct quality. Intersectionality is the theory that every individual has multiple social identities that intersect. It is the intersections of these identities …

  3. Cerebrate: Visual Word of the Day

     Plug in your brain. Cerebrate is a verb meaning “to use the mind.”

  4. Oblivescence: Visual Word of the Day

     Forgetting is a natural part of life. Experiences shape us and grow with us, even though we may forget those experiences over time. Who you were then isn’t who you are now, but that change doesn’t have to be tragic. You may forget some of the steps, but the joy of dancing never fades. Forgetting is an important part of growth and change. Oblivescence is …

  5. getty

    How Drunk Are You?

      Sloshed, sozzled, soused, snockered . . . One of the strangely wonderful things about English is how many words there are for being drunk (note that there are far fewer words for being sober). There are a couple possible reasons for this. First, consuming illicit substances has often been illegal, meaning people had to find ways to talk about it, without actually talking about …

  6. Sisyphean: Visual Word of the Day

    A Sisyphean task is like fighting an uphill battle . In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was the ruler of Corinth. He was known for his trickery; he even cheated death. He was sentenced to Tartarus, a special place in Hades where the wicked were punished. His punishment was to repeatedly roll a huge stone to the top of a slope. Near the summit, the stone always escaped …

  7. Kate Glasheen

    Reverie: Illustrated Word of the Day

    Who doesn’t have tropical, midweek reveries? A revery is a daydream, but in music it is also an instrumental composition of a vague and dreamy character.

  8. Enfant Terrible: Visual Word of the Day

    A lesson in linguistics . . . and how not to be terrible. The term enfant terrible is an example of how words can change in meaning when moving from one language to another. While French speakers would maintain the literal meaning of this phrase (“terrible child”), English speakers have adapted it to mean something more metaphorical: “an outrageously outspoken or bold person who says and does indiscreet or irresponsible things.”

  9. Silver-tongued: Visual Word of the Day

    As charming as a silver bell. To be silver-tongued is to be persuasive or eloquent, named after the pleasing sound of a silver bell. You’d think all great leaders would have to be silver-tongued speakers, but that isn’t so! For example, Thomas Jefferson actually had a speech impediment and was reluctant to speak. Luckily for us, he used his writing to communicate, earning him the …

  10. Turncoat: Visual Word of the Day

    Would a turncoat by any other name sound as treasonous? Yup! Turncoat is an unflattering name for a person who changes sides to join the opposite party. Thanks to history, we have glorious examples of these two-timers. For example, Benedict Arnold was an infamous American turncoat. He was a general in the Revolutionary War who later defected to the British Army.

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