Word of the Day

Word of the day


[ kot-ij-kawr ] [ ˈkɒt ɪdʒˌkɔr ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


an aesthetic or imagery inspired by an old-fashioned, rural lifestyle, characterized by rustic décor and fashion, a revival of traditional handicrafts, etc.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of cottagecore?

Cottagecore “an aesthetic inspired by a rural lifestyle” is a compound of cottage and the element -core. Cottage comes by way of Medieval Latin from Old English cot “small house, hut” and Old French -age, a noun-forming suffix that sometimes indicates a place of residence (compare parsonage). The element -core here is taken from hard-core, which refers to a harsh, intense style of punk rock. In the 1980s, -core came to appear in reference to subgenres of punk (such as grindcore), then broadened to describe subgenres of any non-mainstream music (such as sadcore), and ultimately began to feature in terms for subcultures and aesthetics (such as normcore). Cottagecore was first recorded in English very recently in the late 2010s. Learn more about other –core words here.

how is cottagecore used?

Visually, cottagecore looks like this: sourdough bread starters, foraged mushrooms, open meadows, freshly picked flowers, homegrown produce, knitting, baking pies, and, yes, rustic cottages …. At a time when many feel trapped and overwhelmed, cottagecore offers a wholesome, back-to-basics escape.

Emma Bowman, “The Escapist Land Of 'Cottagecore,' From Marie Antoinette To Taylor Swift,” NPR, August 9, 2020

Summer 2022 has officially arrived and with it, new trends that include boho and cottagecore, a lifestyle trend inspired by the tranquility of country life. Strongly influenced by nostalgia, cottagecore style is a celebration of crafts, vintage pieces and a slower pace of living.

Linda White, “Cottage core among summer's hottest trends,” National Post, June 24, 2022
quiz icon
Think you're a word wizard? Try our word quiz, and prove it!
arrows pointing up and down
Double your word knowledge with the Synonym of the Day!
Word of the Day Calendar

Word of the day


[ floh-kah-tee ] [ floʊˈkɑ ti ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


a thick, woolen rug with a shaggy pile, originally handwoven in Greece.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of flokati?

Flokati “a thick, woolen rug with a shaggy pile” is a loanword from modern Greek and is also transliterated more traditionally as phlokátē. The differences in transliteration reflect two sound changes between Ancient Greek and modern Greek: ancient ph (“puh” with a puff of air) became modern f, and ancient ē (long “eh”) became modern i (“ee”). Flokati comes—by way of Balkan Romani, dialectal Italian, or Vulgar Latin—from Latin floccus “tuft of wool.” English inherits flock in the sense “a lock or tuft of wool, hair, or cotton” from Latin floccus, while flock in the sense “a number of animals herded together” is of Old English origin. Flokati was first recorded in English in the late 1960s.

how is flokati used?

And the mustard seed and poppies sprouted as soft and thick as a flokati. This bounty didn’t surprise Dr. Silvertown. “You will get poppy plants coming up in fields that haven’t been propagated for decades,” he said.

Michael Tortorello, “Seeds Straight From Your Fridge," New York Times, February 23, 2011

When it comes to decorating, the very best way to make a white space homey and comfortable is with texture and natural tones. Pile up a sofa with linen or velvet cushions, place a fluffy flokati or Moroccan rug on the floor and toss a nubbly, wooly throw atop a bed or armchair.

Beth Hitchcock, “Ask a design expert: I love white rooms but am afraid they’ll feel cold or bland, any tips?” Globe and Mail, February 5, 2020
Word of the Day Calendar

Word of the day


[ og-uhm, aw-guhm ] [ ˈɒg əm, ˈɔ gəm ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


an alphabetic script used originally for inscriptions in an archaic form of Irish, from about the 5th to the 10th centuries.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of ogham?

Ogham “an alphabetic script used for inscriptions in archaic Irish” is a loanword from Irish Gaelic, but the history of this word becomes murkier and murkier the farther back in time we go. A popular hypothesis is that ogham comes from Ogma, the name of a Celtic god who created the alphabet—that is, according to some legends. An alternative is that ogham derives from an ancient Irish word meaning “point,” as in the tip of a weapon, in reference to how ogham letters were inscribed on stone. The Irish Gaelic language today, as it has since the demise of ogham 1000 years ago, uses the Roman alphabet. Ogham was first recorded in English in the 1620s.

how is ogham used?

The script used in recording this early Irish is the unusual alphabetic system called Ogham .… [M]ost of its characters consist of slashing lines, longer and shorter (notches being used at times for vowel characters), giving the impression that it was originally designed to be “written” by means of an ax or some similar sharp instrument, with wood serving as a medium.

Roger D. Woodward, “Introduction,” The Ancient Languages of Europe, 2008

Ogham is an ancient lettering system that uses patterns of parallel and crossed lines. “It is specifically Irish with some late use in Scotland, but even in Wales the ogham inscriptions are all in Irish,” Prof [Werner] Nahm says. “They started in the late fourth century. You find them in various places, on building materials and in subterranean structures.”

Dick Ahlstrom, “Old Irish colonies marked in stone,” Irish Times, June 26, 2008
Word of the Day Calendar

Get A Vocabulary Boost In Your Inbox

Get the Word of the Day in your inbox every day!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Word of the Day Calendar