Word of the Day

Saturday, February 13, 2021

camaraderie

[ kah-muh-rah-duh-ree, -rad-uh-, kam-uh- ]

noun

a spirit of trust and goodwill among people closely associated in an activity or endeavor.

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What is the origin of camaraderie?

Camaraderie, “a spirit of trust and goodwill among people closely associated in an activity or endeavor,” is a French word, a derivative of French camerade, camarade “roommate.” The French noun comes from Spanish camarada “chamberful,” later “chambermate.” Spanish camarada is a derivative of cámara “chamber, room,” from Latin camara, camera “arched roof, vaulted roof or ceiling,” a borrowing of Greek kamára (with the same meanings). Camaraderie entered English in the first half of the 19th century.

how is camaraderie used?

The Fair Fight teams are composed of an exemplary cohort of women and men who do not wait for a better day. Instead, they create it with ingenuity, a spirit of camaraderie, and a love of humanity that never fail to humble me.

Stacy Abrams, "Acknowledgements," Our Time Is Now, 2020

If there were clashes behind the scenes of “Parks and Recreation,” they never became public. It was easy to believe in the affection and camaraderie shared by the main characters.

Alessandra Stanley, "'Parks and Recreation' Finale Ends Show's Run, Sunny as Ever," New York Times, February 24, 2015

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Friday, February 12, 2021

lunisolar

[ loo-ni-soh-ler ]

adjective

pertaining to or based upon the relations or joint action of the moon and the sun.

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What is the origin of lunisolar?

Lunisolar, meaning “pertaining to or based upon the relations or joint action of the moon and the sun,” is used exclusively in astronomy, as in lunisolar calendar or lunisolar precession. The word comes straight from the Latin nouns lūna “moon” and sōl “sun” (the –i– is a Latin connecting vowel). It is no accident that lūna looks so much like Russian luná: They both come from the same Proto-Indo-European noun louksnā, from the root leuk-, louk-, luk– “to shine, be bright.” Louksnā becomes raokhshnā “shining, brilliant, radiant” in Avestan (the Old Iranian language of the Zoroastrian scriptures); as a proper name, Raokhshnā is transliterated in Greek as Rhōxánē Roxanne (the English spelling was affected by the name Anne). Raokhshnā was an Iranian princess who become Alexander the Great’s wife (she bore Alexander a posthumous son). Latin sōl comes from Proto-Indo-European sāwel (from sāwel to sāwol to sāol to sōl). The derivative noun sāwelios “sun” becomes hḗlios in (Classical Attic) Greek. Greek dialects have the forms ēélios (Homeric), hā́lios and āélios (Doric), and awelios (Cretan). Lunisolar entered English in the second half of the 17th century.

how is lunisolar used?

To correct for seasonal drift, the Chinese, Hindu, Jewish and many other calendars are lunisolar. In these calendars, a month is still defined by the moon, but an extra month is added periodically to stay close to the solar year.

Steph Yin, "What Lunar New Year Reveals About the World's Calendars," New York Times, February 5, 2019

The day of or the day after the New Moon marks the start of the new month for most lunisolar calendars. The first month of the Chinese calendar starts on Friday, February 12, 2021 (at midnight in China’s time zone, which is 13 hours ahead of EST), making this Chinese New Year, the start of the year of the Ox!

Gordon Johnston, "The Next Full Moon is Another Wolf Moon," NASA, January 26, 2021

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Thursday, February 11, 2021

galimatias

[ gal-uh-mey-shee-uhs, -mat-ee-uhs ]

noun

confused or unintelligible talk.

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What is the origin of galimatias?

Galimatias, “confused or unintelligible talk,” is a masculine singular noun in French. It first appears in 1580 in an essay of Montaigne’s; it first appears in English in 1653 in a translation of Rabelais. Galimatias has no reliable etymology: scholars suggest a connection with gallimaufry “a hodgepodge, a jumble,” but these are just guesses.

how is galimatias used?

“I have seen this letter in which you tell me there is so much galimatias, and I assure you that I have not found any at all. On the contrary, I find everything very plainly expressed …”

George Eliot, "Woman in France: Madame de Sablé," Westminster Review, October 1854

Such productions are called books, because there is no other name for them. As a matter of fact, idle talk and galimatias of the sort are in no wise literature.

George Brandes, Recollections of My Childhood and Youth, 1906

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