Word of the Day

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

antigodlin

[ an-ti-god-lin ]

adjective

lopsided or at an angle; out of alignment.

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What is the origin of antigodlin?

Antigodlin is an adjective used chiefly in the American South and West. The origin of the word is unclear, but it may be a combination of the familiar prefix anti- “against, opposite” and godlin or goglin, a variant pronunciation of goggling, the present participle of goggle, in the archaic sense “to squint” and originally meaning “twisted to one side, cockeyed.” The form godlin may also be reinforced by the folk etymology “against God.” Antigodlin entered English in the early 20th century.

how is antigodlin used?

This was moved so as to make it set, as the witness expressed it, “antigodlin.” … we suppose he meant that it was set diagonally to the window after being moved so as to permit the party to pass between the side of the box and the window.

Rudolph Kleberg, "Frank Fields v. The State," The Texas Criminal Reports, Volume 61, 1911

When the ecology of the environment is out of sorts (“anti-godlin” as my mountain neighbors might say, referring to anything that is out of balance or out of plumb or that goes against God and the laws of nature), we also see symptoms …

Thomas Rain Crowe, Zoro's Field: My Life in the Appalachian Woods, 2005
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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

blamestorming

[ bleym-stawr-ming ]

noun

the process of assigning blame for an outcome or situation.

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What is the origin of blamestorming?

Blamestorming was originally a colloquialism in American English, modeled on the much earlier (1907) brainstorming. Blamestorming entered English in the 1990s.

how is blamestorming used?

Unfortunately, the common behavior exhibited many businesses is to have a meeting “the morning after” for a “blamestorming” session. This is where the CEO or manager sits around with their team and figures out who is to blame for the company’s latest failure.

, "Are You a 'Blamestormer'?" Forbes, May 1, 2012

And as long as we’re blamestorming here, how about the developers who turned the Rollman property into McMansions in the early 1990s?

B. J. Foreman, "Herd Mentality," Cincinnati, September 2009
Monday, June 11, 2018

scrutator

[ skroo-tey-ter ]

noun

a person who investigates.

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What is the origin of scrutator?

English scrutator comes straight from the Latin noun scrūtātor “searcher (after something or someone hidden),” a derivative of the verb scrūtārī“ to probe, examine closely,” originally “to sort through rags.” Scrūtārī itself is a derivative of the (neuter plural) noun scrūta “discarded items, junk.” Scrutator entered English in the late 16th century.

how is scrutator used?

Mistrust, assuming the ascendency, commenced its regency, and the observations of so indefatigable and eagle eyed a scrutator produced a conviction of the blackest perfidy.

Judith Seargent Murray, "No. LXXVIII," The Gleaner: A Miscellaneous Production in Three Volumes, 1798

I did not find him to be a thinker, and much less a scrutator

Abbé Barruel, Memoirs, Illustrating the History of Jacobinism, translated by Robert Clifford, 1799

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