Word of the Day

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
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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
Sunday, June 10, 2018

sennight

[ sen-ahyt, -it ]

noun

Archaic. a week.

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What is the origin of sennight?

The archaic English noun sennight means literally “seven nights,” i.e. a week. The Old English form was seofan nihta; Middle English had very many forms, including soveniht, sevenight, seven nyght, sennyght.

how is sennight used?

It had taken them only a sennight to travel from Sentarshadeen … into the heart of the lost Lands to face the power of Shadow Mountain.

Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory, To Light a Candle, 2004

She that I spake of, our great captain’s captain, / Left in the conduct of the bold Iago, / Whose footing here anticipates our thoughts / A sennight‘s speed.

William Shakespeare, Othello, 1622

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