Word of the Day

Monday, May 21, 2018

adultescent

[ ad-uhl-tes-uhnt, uh-duhl- ]

noun

a young adult or middle-aged person who has interests, traits, etc., that are usually associated with teenagers.

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What is the origin of adultescent?

The informal noun kidult, a combination of kid and adult, which dates from about 1960, has mostly been replaced by the equally informal noun adultescent (from adult and adolescent), which first appears in the mid-1990s.

how is adultescent used?

It almost seems as if we’re actively trying to raise a nation of “adultescents.”

Elizabeth Kolbert, "Spoiled Rotten," The New Yorker, July 2, 2012

Adultescent came of age in 2004, but only as a word. The adult it describes is too busy playing Halo 2 on his Xbox or watching SpongeBob at his parents’ house to think about growing up.

John Tierney, "Adultescent," New York Times, December 26, 2004
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Sunday, May 20, 2018

sub rosa

[ suhb roh-zuh ]

adverb

confidentially; secretly; privately.

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What is the origin of sub rosa?

The English adverbial phrase sub rosa comes directly from the Latin phrase sub rosā “under the rose,” from the use of a rose suspended from the ceiling of the council chamber during meetings to symbolize the sworn confidence of the participants. This use of the rose is based on the Greek myth that Aphrodite (Latin Venus) gave a rose to her son Eros (Latin Cupid); Eros then gave the rose to Harpocrates, the god of silence and secrets, to ensure that Aphrodite’s dalliances remained hidden. Sub rosa entered English in the 17th century.

how is sub rosa used?

He was too impatient. He should’ve worked sub rosa, built a wider network of supporters; and he should not have struck openly.

Michael Flynn, In the Lion's Mouth, 2011

Besides the pleasure of a newly acquired possession, there is an agreeable feeling of having bought it sub rosa.

Daniele Varè, Maker of Heavenly Trousers, 1935
Saturday, May 19, 2018

omnifarious

[ om-nuh-fair-ee-uhs ]

adjective

of all forms, varieties, or kinds.

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What is the origin of omnifarious?

English omnifarious comes from the Late Latin adjective omnifarius “of all sorts.” The combining form omni- in omnifarious is completely naturalized in English and needs no explanation. The element -farious comes from the Latin combining form -fārius, -farius, which is used to form multiplicative adjectives (e.g., twofold, threefold, simplex, duplex) and is a back formation from the Late Latin adjective bifārius “twofold, double,” in turn derived from the Latin adverb bifāriam “in two parts or places.” Omnifarious entered English in the 17th century.

how is omnifarious used?

… these essays in Mr. Trilling’s new book all aim directly or indirectly at the central suppositions of our omnifarious 20th-century culture.

Robie Macauley, "From the Particular to the Universal," New York Times, November 14, 1965

The point here is all these other “platforms” offer but a fraction of the omnifarious ~500 product and services that Google subsidizes to offer for free in “competition” with mostly fee-based proprietary platform products and services.

Scott Cleland, "Why Google's Not a 'Platform,'" Forbes, October 19, 2011

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