Word of the Day

Monday, February 08, 2021

badinage

[ bad-n-ahzh, bad-n-ij ]

noun

light, playful banter or raillery.

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What is the origin of badinage?

Badinage “playful banter” is a French compound noun of badiner “to joke, trifle” and the noun suffix -age, naturalized in English. Badiner is a derivative of the noun badin “joker, banterer,” from the Provençal verb badar “to gape,” which in turn comes from unrecorded Vulgar Latin batāre “to yawn, gape.” Badinage entered English in the second half of the 17th century.

how is badinage used?

“The Importance of Being Earnest” … has delighted audiences for more than a century with its badinage, irreverence and frothy romance. The real stars of the play have always been the words, which tumble out in a scathing, literate, giddy gush.

Ann Hornaday, "Fussy 'Earnest' Is Wilde at Heart," Washington Post, May 24, 2002

So, with laughter and shouts and endless badinage and merriment, the guests take their places.

Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, 1906

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Sunday, February 07, 2021

plashy

[ plash-ee ]

adjective,

marshy; wet.

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What is the origin of plashy?

Plashy “marshy, wet” is a derivative of Middle English plash(e), plaice, place “pool of standing water, marshy area,” from Old English plæsc “pool of water, puddle.” The adjective suffix -y comes from Middle English -i, -ie, -y, from Old English -ig (compare the German suffix -ig), which is related to the Greek adjective suffix -ikos and Latin -icus. Plashy entered English in the mid-16th century.

how is plashy used?

The hare is running races in her mirth; / And with her feet she from the plashy earth / Raises a mist, which, glittering in the sun, / Runs with her all the way, wherever she doth run.

William Wordsworth, "Resolution and Independence," Poems in Two Volumes, 1807

Suddenly I found myself face-to-face with a proud fastidious woman in confusion, hesitating, seeming to scruple at the prospect of having to step out of the Gallery and into the plashy road.

Robert Nye, The Voyage of Destiny, 1982

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Saturday, February 06, 2021

limerence

[ li-mer-uhns ]

noun

the state of being obsessively infatuated with someone, usually accompanied by delusions of or a desire for an intense romantic relationship with that person.

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What is the origin of limerence?

Limerence “obsessive infatuation with someone, usually accompanied by delusions of or a desire for an intense romantic relationship with that person” was coined in 1977 by Dorothy Tennov, an American psychologist, in her book Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love. Dr. Tennov says of her coinage: “I first used the term amorance then changed it back to limerence… It has no roots whatsoever. It looks nice. It works well in French. Take it from me it has no etymology whatsoever.”

how is limerence used?

What did Henry VIII’s poems express more feelingly than Shakespeare’s, and what did Don Juan, for all his reputation, probably never feel at all? The answer is limerence.

Roy Reed, "Love and Limerence," New York Times, September 16, 1977

Like everything else he’d said, she passed this under the microscope of obsessional limerence.

Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, 2013

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limerence

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