Word of the Day

Word of the day

Tuesday, July 05, 2022
Today's Word Of The Day was chosen by Abiola Mubarak Mohammed

borborygmi

[ bawr-buh-rig-mahy ] [ ˌbɔr bəˈrɪg maɪ ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling

plural noun

rumbling or gurgling sounds caused by the movement of gas in the intestines.

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Why Abiola Mubarak Mohammed chose borborygmi

As a prize for winning the Dictionary Derby, Abiola Mubarak Mohammed, a medical professional, chose today's Word of the Day. When asked why borborygmi was chosen for Word of the Day, Abiola Mubarak Mohammed wrote, "It was the first word that crossed my mind the moment this golden opportunity availed itself. It was my medical word of choice for the most intriguing medical term entry in my final year (in my yearbook). The word simply speaks for itself."

What is the origin of borborygmi?

Borborygmi “gurgling sounds in the intestines” is the plural of borborygmus, which indicates a single gurgling sound. Like many singular Latin nouns ending in -us, this ending switches to -i in the plural form, but remember that not all -us nouns from Latin change in this way; one opus becomes two opera, one octopus becomes two octopodes, and—technically—one Prius should become two Priora, though the hypercorrection Prii has won over in popularity. The y in borborygmi shows that, before Latin, the word was borrowed from Ancient Greek: one borborygmós and two borborygmoí, with the -os and -oi endings becoming Latinized to -us and -i according to the custom at the time. Borborygmós was created by imitating the rumbling sound in question, and for a similarly formed word, compare bárbaros “foreign,” the source of barbarian and the name Barbara. Borborygmi was first recorded in English in the 1710s.

how is borborygmi used?

Whoo, that was embarrassing. I accidentally let my borborygmi go. Of course, borborygmi is involuntary, I can’t help it. Borborygmi, the rumbling sound of your gut, doesn’t come from your stomach, nor is it solely because you’re hungry.

Sam Watt, “The Science of Gut Rumbles,” Northern Public Radio, June 8, 2018

For all that the dog is demonic and the detective dazzling, the genius of The Hound of the Baskervilles lies in its main location …. This bog’s borborygmi, says the novel’s villain, cause the ghostly howling that can sometimes be heard, but the natives say it’s the hound, and they’re right.

Marc Griffiths, “‘Unleashed, mad and dangerous’: How Britain’s wild, romantic moorland is our ‘signature habitat,’ inspiring everything from Beowulf to The Hound of the Baskervilles,” Country Life, June 13, 2020
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Word of the day

Monday, July 04, 2022

egalitarian

[ ih-gal-i-tair-ee-uhn ] [ ɪˌgæl ɪˈtɛər i ən ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling

adjective

asserting, resulting from, or characterized by belief in the equality of all people, especially in political, economic, or social life.

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What is the origin of egalitarian?

Egalitarian “characterized by belief in the equality of all people” is an alteration of equalitarian, with French égal replacing the equal- component. Both English equal and French égal come from Latin aequālis “equal, like,” based on aequus “even, plain, just,” an adjective of unknown origin. Aequus is the source of English adequate, equal, equilibrium, equinox, equivalent, and iniquity. The evolution from Latin aequālis to French égal reflects three common sound changes: Latin ae usually becomes French é, Latin qu between vowels often becomes French g, and Latin suffixes such as -is are either reduced to -e or even dropped entirely. For the first of these changes, compare Latin prae with French pré- “before,” and for the other two, compare Latin aquila with French aigle “eagle.” Egalitarian was first recorded in English in the early 1880s.

how is egalitarian used?

Yet even many couples who pride themselves on a fair distribution of duties aren’t so balanced when it comes to carrying the harder-to-quantify “mental load,” the taxing work of managing a household and anticipating its many needs. (Same-sex couples tend to be more egalitarian, but can end up in lopsided arrangements as well.)

Joe Pinsker, “Lessons From 40 Men in Egalitarian Relationships,” The Atlantic, June 28, 2022

Bitcoin represents a techno-utopian dream. Satoshi Nakamoto, its pseudonymous inventor, proposed that the world run not on centralized financial institutions but on an egalitarian, math-based electronic money system distributed through a computer network.

Siobhan Roberts, “How ‘Trustless’ Is Bitcoin Really?” New York Times, June 6, 2022
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Word of the day

Sunday, July 03, 2022

suffrage

[ suhf-rij ] [ ˈsʌf rɪdʒ ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling

noun

the right to vote, especially in a political election.

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What is the origin of suffrage?

Suffrage “the right to vote” comes from Latin suffrāgium “voting tablet,” and though suffrage resembles suffer, the two are not completely related. While suffer comes from Latin sufferre “to endure,” suffrage is ultimately based on the verb suffrāgārī “to support.” These two Latin verbs share a prefix, the preposition sub “under” (which assimilates to suf- when followed by an f for easier pronunciation), but sufferre combines sub with ferre “to bear,” and the -frāgārī part of suffrāgārī is of uncertain origin. The most popular hypothesis is that -frāgārī is related to the verb frangere “to break,” which would make suffrage a relative of fracture, fragile, fragment, and frangible. Suffrage was first recorded in English in the late 14th century.

how is suffrage used?

Prominent U.S. suffrage organizations ignored the exclusion of Puerto Rican women from the 19th Amendment—just as many of them ignored the struggles of women of color to gain citizenship or exercise voting rights within the states …. Not until another electoral coalition including Socialists won control of the Puerto Rican legislature in 1933 did it become possible to extend suffrage to all women.

Anne S. Macpherson, “The 19th Amendment didn’t grant Puerto Rican women suffrage,“ Washington Post, August 26, 2020

References are often made to the challenges concerning universal suffrage in Somalia, but in fact, away from the central government in Mogadishu, some states in the Somali federal system are showing what is possible—for example, the state of Puntland successfully made local elections with a one person, one vote system in some districts in recent months.

Claire Thomas and Mohamed Eno, “An election successfully completed—but at what price?” Open Global Rights, June 6, 2022
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