Word of the Day

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

benedict

[ ben-i-dikt ]

noun

a newly married man, especially one who has been long a bachelor.

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What is the origin of benedict?

Benedict is a familiar correction of Benedick (Benedicke), the former confirmed bachelor newly married in Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing (1600). Benedict as a common noun entered English in the 19th century.

how is benedict used?

It had, when I first went to town, just become the fashion for young men of fortune to keep house, and to give their bachelor establishments the importance hitherto reserved for the household of a Benedict.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Devereux, 1829

“Why are you so anxious for all England to be informed that you are a Benedict?” I enquired scornfully.

Alan Dale, A Marriage Below Zero, 1889
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Monday, June 25, 2018

scupper

[ skuhp-er ]

verb

British. Informal. to prevent from happening or succeeding; ruin; wreck.

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What is the origin of scupper?

The origin of the verb scupper is uncertain. It originated as military slang (“to surprise and slaughter; utterly defeat”). The verb scupper may be a development from the noun scupper “an opening in a ship’s side even with the deck to allow water to flow away,” but the semantic development is unclear. Scupper entered English in the 19th century.

how is scupper used?

A row between the EEC and the US is threatening to scupper the UN Convention on the Ozone Layer, which was to have been agreed in Vienna next month.

, "Ozone agreement up in the air," New Scientist, February 7, 1985

McMaster has tried to prevent his celebrity from scuppering his career.

Patrick Radden Keefe, "McMaster and Commander," The New Yorker, April 30, 2018
Sunday, June 24, 2018

edentate

[ ee-den-teyt ]

adjective

toothless.

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What is the origin of edentate?

Edentate means “lacking teeth, toothless,” a neutral term; it is also used in taxonomic names for an order of mammals lacking front teeth, e.g. sloths, armadillos, another neutral sense. The origin of edentate is the Latin adjective ēdentātus, the past participle of the verb ēdentāre “to knock (someone’s) teeth out,” definitely not a neutral sense. Edentate entered English in the 19th century.

how is edentate used?

As would have been the case a million years ago, a typical colonist can expect to be edentate by the time he or she is thirty years old, having suffered many skull-cracking toothaches on the way.

Kurt Vonnegut, Galápagos, 1985

Anyway, an edentate man led a bloated, mouth-foaming goat down a road webbed with knee-deep gullies.

Aleksandar Hemon, The Lazarus Project, 2008

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