Word of the Day

Word of the day

Sunday, November 27, 2022

zinfandel

[ zin-fuhn-del ] [ ˈzɪn fənˌdɛl ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling

noun

a dry red wine made from a black vinifera grape in California.

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What is the origin of zinfandel?

Zinfandel, “a dry red wine,” is of uncertain origin, but there is one promising explanation. Perhaps through an intermediary such as Czech or Hungarian, the idea is that zinfandel is a corruption of Zierfandler, a variety of Austrian grape. Though the change from the original Zierfandler to zinfandel is a little unusual, there is a phonological basis for this; what remains mysterious is how zinfandel came to refer to a black grape used to make red wine when Zierfandler is a red grape used to make white wine. Zinfandel was first recorded in English in the late 1890s.

EXAMPLE OF ZINFANDEL USED IN A SENTENCE

As the dinner guests arrived, he broke open a bottle of zinfandel to welcome them to his home.

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Saturday, November 26, 2022

succotash

[ suhk-uh-tash ] [ ˈsʌk əˌtæʃ ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling

noun

a cooked dish of kernels of corn mixed with shell beans, especially lima beans, and, often, with green and sweet red peppers.

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What is the origin of succotash?

Succotash, “a cooked dish of corn and beans,” is adapted from msíckquatash, “boiled whole kernels of corn,” in Narragansett, which is an Algonquian language with roots in what is now Rhode Island. Narragansett and its close Algonquian relatives, including Massachusett and Maliseet, are the sources of many loanwords in American and Canadian English, such as mugwump, toboggan, and the Word of the Day wampumSuccotash was first recorded in English circa 1750.

EXAMPLE OF SUCCOTASH USED IN A SENTENCE

They loved going over to their grandmother’s for dinner because she always served some variation of succotash.

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Friday, November 25, 2022

génoise

[ zheyn-wahz ] [ ʒeɪnˈwɑz ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling

noun

a light yellow cake made with eggs and butter and typically layered, filled, and frosted or made into petits fours for serving.

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What is the origin of génoise?

Génoise, “a light yellow cake,” is the feminine form of French génois, “of Genoa.” Genoa, known as Gênes in French, Genova in Italian, and Zêna in the local Ligurian language, is a major city in northwestern Italy. The city’s name has multiple possible origins. The Latin name, oppidum Genua, may reflect a connection to genū, “knee,” or gena, “cheek,” perhaps because of its location in a corner of the Gulf of Genoa or near the mouth of an ancient waterway. However, in the Middle Ages, Genoa’s Latin name was changed to Janua, and this alternative may stem from Janus, the two-faced Roman god of beginnings and doorways, or the noun jānua, “door” (compare janitor and January). Génoise was first recorded in English in the early 1930s.

EXAMPLE OF GÉNOISE USED IN A SENTENCE

The pastry chef made the most exquisite génoise that we almost didn’t want to eat it!

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