Word of the Day

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

à gogo

[ uh goh-goh ]

adverb

as much as you like; to your heart's content; galore: food and drink à gogo.

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What is the origin of à gogo?

The colloquial phrase à gogo comes from the name of a Parisian nightclub and discotheque Whisky à Go-Go “Whisky Galore,” which opened in 1947 and quickly became very hip (or hep). A similar club, Whisky a Go Go, opened in Chicago in 1958, and a third Whisky a Go Go opened in Los Angeles in 1964. The French phrase à gogo means “aplenty, galore”; it derives from a Middle French adverb sense “joyfully, uninhibitedly, extravagantly,” from the preposition à “to” and gogo, probably a reduplicated form of gogue “witticism, fun, amusement.” À gogo first appears in print in 1960.

how is à gogo used?

… go up and out onto the Boulevard St.-Germain with its cafes a gogo for unlikely‐seeming students and unpublished poets.

William A. Krauss, "If You Go See Paris by Metro for $1.50," New York Times, November 5, 1972

I was at my local park the other day, watching my sons playing tennis, and spotted the Mayor of London on another court—blond hair flying, Hawaiian shorts a go-go.

Rosie Millard, "Shame on those who have driven Alec Baldwin from public life," The Independent, February 24, 2014
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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Preamble

[ pree-am-buhl, pree-am- ]

noun

the introductory statement of the U.S. Constitution, setting forth the general principles of American government and beginning with the words, “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union. …”

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What is the origin of Preamble?

English preamble, “introductory statement or paragraph,” which has the variant spellings preambel, preambile, preambul in Middle English, comes from Old French preamble, preambule, from Medieval Latin preambulum, praeambulum “preliminary statement, preface (in legal documents).” Praeambulum is a neuter adjective used as a noun from the Late Latin adjective praeambulus “walking before,” a compound of the Latin preposition and prefix prae, prae– “before, in advance” (usually spelled pre– in English and completely naturalized), and the verb ambulāre “to walk, walk for health or pleasure, stroll.” Preamble first appears in English in Chaucer’s “Wife of Bath’s Tale” (from The Canterbury Tales, after 1387). The legal sense “introductory paragraph of a treaty, deed, will (or other legal document)” dates to the second half of the 16th century. Preamble, with a capital P, specifically refers to the opening statement of the U.S. Constitution, signed on September 17, 1787. Beginning with the momentous phrase “We the people,” the Preamble lays out the principles and purpose of the Constitution and the government it establishes.

how is Preamble used?

Is not the preamble the foundation of our Constitution; does it not contain the basic principles, and is not the accomplishment of these principles the aim, the end and the essence of our government and Americanism?

George M. B. Hawley, "Function of the Preamble," New York Times, July 16, 1933

… the Preamble is a declaration of purposes and the underlying spirit of the grand game, if such it may be called, of self-government and liberty to be played by the people of the United States.

Charles A. Beard, "A More Perfect Union and Justice," The Republic, 1944
Monday, September 16, 2019

clamant

[ kley-muhnt, klam-uhnt ]

adjective

compelling or pressing; urgent: a clamant need for reform.

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What is the origin of clamant?

The English adjective clamant comes from the Latin present participle clāmāns (stem clamant-), from the verb clāmāre “to shout, utter a loud noise.” The second sense in English, “compelling, pressing, urgent,” does not occur in Latin and is mostly a Scottish usage. Clamant entered English in the 17th century.

how is clamant used?

… despite the clamant need for economic and political measures which only peace can render possible, may it not be the part of the far-visioned statesmanship to face that inescapable issue now … ?

Henry P. Van Dusen, "China's Crisis," Life, September 2, 1946

I remember dwelling in imagination upon this or that dish till my mouth watered; and long before we got in for the night my appetite was a clamant, instant annoyance.

Robert Louis Stevenson, An Inland Voyage, 1878

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