Word of the Day

Saturday, September 08, 2018

caboshed

[ kuh-bosht ]

adjective

Heraldry. (of an animal, as a deer) shown facing forward without a neck: a stag's head caboshed.

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What is the origin of caboshed?

Caboshed, also spelled caboched and cabossed is a technical term in heraldry referring to a beast decapitated behind its horns. The -ed shows that the variant spellings are all past participles of the very rare and obsolete verb cabochen, cabachen “to behead (a deer or other beast) right behind its horns.” The English verb comes from the French verb cabocher (past participle caboché), a derivative of caboche (Old French caboce), a pejorative northern French dialect (Norman, Picard) word meaning “head” (literally “cabbage”). Caboche may be a development of Latin caput “head.” Caboshed entered English in the 16th century.

how is caboshed used?

… an heraldic shield featuring a lion’s head caboshed, with medusa hair, a single bulging eye, a beard, and tusks …

John Clute, Appleseed, 2001

A fanciful menagerie flourished on the banners: the caboshed boar of Janos of Hungary, the naiant dolphin of a Sicilian Norman, the salient-countersalient white stags of Conrad’s men, and everywhere the Templars’ Pegasus.

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Crusader's Torch, 1988
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Friday, September 07, 2018

locavore

[ loh-kuh-vawr, -vohr ]

noun

a person who makes an effort to eat food that is grown, raised, or produced locally, usually within 100 miles of home.

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What is the origin of locavore?

Locavore was coined in 2005 by Jessica Prentice (born 1968), an American chef and author, and a co-founder of Three Stone Hearth, a community-supported kitchen in Berkeley, California. Locavore is a compound of English local, from Latin locālis “pertaining to a place” (from locus “place”) and Latin vorāre “to swallow ravenously,” which also appears in devour “to swallow down, gulp down,” carnivore “meat eater,” and herbivore “grass eater.”

how is locavore used?

The pomegranates, Boston lettuce, and tomatoes came from out of state–it was hard to be a complete locavore in New England during the winter.

Steven Raichlen, Island Apart, 2012

The locavore movement aims to capture that flavor difference and promote sustainable, community-based agriculture by favoring “low-mileage” foods over ones that have traveled long distances to arrive at your plate.

Christie Aschwanden, "The Locavore," Runner's World, October 2008
Thursday, September 06, 2018

cyclopean

[ sahy-kluh-pee-uhn, sahy-klop-ee-uhn ]

adjective

gigantic; vast.

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What is the origin of cyclopean?

English cyclopean comes from the Latin adjective Cyclōpēus, a borrowing of Greek Kyklṓpeios, a derivative of the common noun, proper noun, and name Kýklōps, which the Greeks interpreted to mean “round eye” (a compound of kýklos “wheel” and ōps “eye, face”). The most famous Cyclops is Polyphemus, a crude, solitary shepherd living on an island whom Odysseus blinded in Homer’s Odyssey. Hesiod (ca. 8th century b.c.) in his Theogony names three Cyclopes; they are craftsmen who make Zeus’s thunderbolts, and whom the Greeks often credited with building the walls of ancient Mycenae, Tiryns, Argos, and the acropolis of Athens, all constructed with massive limestone blocks roughly fitted together without mortar. Cyclopean entered English in the 17th century.

how is cyclopean used?

… large ships’ vents hang from the two-story-high ceiling, like Cyclopean worms poking their heads in to check out the space.

Colin Stokes, "The Ship," The New Yorker, May 16, 2016

And ahead, the great cyclopean edifice reared like a giant’s curse against the darkness: too dense a black, too severe.

Storm Constantine, The Way of Light, 2002

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