Word of the Day

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

blellum

[ blel-uhm ]

noun

Scot. Obsolete. an idle, indiscreet talker.

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What is the origin of blellum?

Not only does blellum not have an etymology, it has very few citations. One of which is in the poem Tam o’Shanter (1790) by Robert Burns (1759–96); so it’s a keeper.

how is blellum used?

A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum

Robert Burns, "Tam o' Shanter," The Edinburgh Herald, March 18, 1791

How was ye to foresee that Mr. Manners was a blellum?

Winston Churchill, Richard Carvel, 1899
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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

toyetic

[ taw-yet-ik ]

adjective

(of a character or object from a movie, TV show, etc.) potentially marketable as a toy: a toyetic superhero.

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What is the origin of toyetic?

Toyetic, an obvious composition of toy and the adjective suffix -etic, was supposedly coined by the American toy developer and marketer Bernard Loomis (1923–2006) in a conversation with Steven Spielberg about making figures based on Spielberg’s movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977).

how is toyetic used?

There’s a singular pleasure that comes with holding a Star Wars toy. The film’s vehicles, weapons, heroes, and villains, after all, are uniquely “toyetic” …

Melissa Leon, "How 'Star Wars' Revolutionized the Toy Industry," The Daily Beast, January 1, 2018

It adds another powerhouse toyetic property to their portfolio, with a proven track record of success.

Rob Salkowitz, "Hasbro Powers Up, Acquiring Power Rangers From Saban For $522 Million," Forbes, May 1, 2018
Monday, September 24, 2018

sibilate

[ sib-uh-leyt ]

verb

to utter or pronounce with a hissing sound.

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What is the origin of sibilate?

Sibilate comes from Latin sībilātus, past participle of the verb sībilāre “to hiss, hiss in disapproval.” From sībilant-, the present participle stem of sībilāre, English has the noun and adjective sibilant, used in phonetics in reference to hissing sounds like s or z. Sibilate entered English in the 17th century.

how is sibilate used?

It may be that there is some mysterious significance in the pitch at which an idea is vocalized; but, as for this writer, we doubt if it makes any difference whether he sibilates his opinions to himself in half-suppressed demi-semiquavers, or roars them to the world through a fog-trumpet–their obliquity may safely be assumed as a constant quantity.

E. L. Youmans, "Herbert Spencer's Sociology," Appletons' Journal, February 21, 1874

“I’ve been in for twenty years,” he sibilates in my ear.

Kevin Dutton, The Wisdom of Psychopaths, 2012

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