Word of the Day

Monday, July 06, 2020

bailiwick

[ bey-luh-wik ]

noun

a person's area of skill, knowledge, authority, or work: to confine suggestions to one's own bailiwick.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of bailiwick?

Bailiwick nowadays means “one’s area of skill, knowledge, authority, or work,” and less commonly, its original sense “the district within which a bailiff has jurisdiction.” Bailiwick comes from Middle English baillifwik (bailliwik, bailewik), a compound noun formed from bailliff “an officer of the court; an official with minor local authority” and wick (wic, wike, wicke) “dwelling, home, village, town, city,” from Old English wīc “dwelling place, abode,” from Latin vīcus “village; a block (in a town or city often forming an administrative unit),” which appears in placenames such as Sandwich (on the coast of Kent), Old English Sandwic, Sondwic “market town on sandy soil, or Warwick “village by the weir (low dam).” Bailiwick entered English in the mid-15th century.

how is bailiwick used?

He was spooning up gelato but talking about music, which is his bailiwick, if it’s anybody’s.

Nick Paumgarten, "The Man Who Was There," The New Yorker, March 26, 2007

I wasn’t surprised to see him there because this was an action venue that was right in his political bailiwick

Herb Boyd, "George Curry (1947-2016): An Advocate and Soldier for Black Media," Ebony, August 23, 2016

Listen to the word of the day

bailiwick

Play Podcast Stop Podcast
00:00/00:00
quiz icon
WHAT'S YOUR WORD IQ?
Think you're a word wizard? Try our word quiz, and prove it!
TAKE THE QUIZ
arrows pointing up and down
SYNONYM OF THE DAY
Double your word knowledge with the Synonym of the Day!
SEE TODAY'S SYNONYM

Get A Vocabulary Boost In Your Inbox

Get the Word of the Day every day!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Sunday, July 05, 2020

hitherto

[ hith-er-too ]

adverb

up to this time; until now: a fact hitherto unknown.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of hitherto?

The adverb hitherto, “up to this time or place,” comes from Middle English hiderto; the modern spelling with th replacing d first appears in Wycliffe’s Bible (1382). Hitherto seems to have completely replaced hiderto by the time of Tyndale’s translation of the Bible in 1526. Hiderto first appears in English in the first half of the 13th century.

how is hitherto used?

The attention suddenly lavished on this hitherto obscure doctrine is surprising, but heartening, to anyone who has long labored in the civil-rights field …

Eric Schnurer, "Congress Is Going to Have to Repeal Qualified Immunity," The Atlantic, June 17, 2020

A team of archaeologists found “new evidence for hitherto unknown features or monumental structures” about two miles northeast of Stonehenge …

Becky Ferreira, "Scientists Found a Mysterious Structure of Deep Shafts Near Stonehenge," Vice, June 23, 2020

Listen to the word of the day

hitherto

Play Podcast Stop Podcast
00:00/00:00
Saturday, July 04, 2020

egalitarian

[ ih-gal-i-tair-ee-uhn ]

adjective

asserting, resulting from, or characterized by belief in the equality of all people, especially in political, economic, or social life.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of egalitarian?

The English adjective and noun egalitarian “asserting, resulting from, or characterized by belief in the equality of all people, especially in political, economic, or social life,“ comes from the French adjective and noun égalitaire of the same meaning. Égalitaire is a derivative of the noun égalité “equality,” but in English égalité is usually used in allusion to the French Revolutionary motto liberté, égalité, fraternité “liberty, equality, fraternity.” (Égalité first appears in English in 1794 in a letter written by vice president John Adams to his wife Abigail: “I hope my old Friend, will never meet the Fate of another Preacher of Égalité, who was I fear almost as sincere as himself.”) Égalité is a derivative of the adjective égal, from the Latin adjective aequālis “equal (in amount, size, duration, etc.), symmetrical, uniform, contemporary” (as a noun, aequālis means “a person of the same age as another, a contemporary, a person of equal rank or ability.” Egalitarian entered English in the late 19th century.

how is egalitarian used?

If we do not learn the lessons of history and choose a radically different path forward, we may lose our last chance at creating a truly inclusive, egalitarian democracy.

Michelle Alexander, "America, This Is Your Chance," New York Times, June 8, 2020

Our commitment to egalitarian ideals has been severely tested by everything from the untenable quality of the United States’s yawning wealth gap to the resurgence of an ethno-nationalism that has led to anti-humanitarian policies against Latinx migrants and Muslim families.

Robert L. Tsai, "What Is Inequality?" Los Angeles Review of Books, August 22, 2019

Listen to the word of the day

egalitarian

Play Podcast Stop Podcast
00:00/00:00

Get A Vocabulary Boost In Your Inbox

Get the Word of the Day every day!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.