Word of the Day

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

cozen

[ kuhz-uhn ]

verb

to cheat, deceive, or trick.

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What is the origin of cozen?

The verb cozen has a doubtful ancestry. One plausible etymology has cozen associated with the noun cousin (i.e., the relative), modeled on the French usage of the verb cousiner “to call ‘cousin,’” i.e., to claim fraudulent kindred to gain some profit or advantage. A second etymology derives cozen from Italian cozzonare “to engage in horse trading, cheat,” from cozzone, from Latin coctiōn-, the inflectional stem of coctiō “a dealer, broker.” Cozen entered English in the 16th century.

how is cozen used?

He had come to cozen me into letting him use me in return for a mockery of an honor.

David Graham Phillips, The Plum Tree, 1905

Let us cozen it with a golden shrewdness.

Iris Murdoch, An Accidental Man, 1971
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Monday, February 25, 2019

evenfall

[ ee-vuhn-fawl ]

noun

twilight; dusk; the beginning of evening.

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What is the origin of evenfall?

Evenfall, “the beginning of evening, dusk,” from its very look is a poetic word. It is reasonable to assume, but impossible to prove, that evenfall was modeled on the earlier nightfall (1700). Evenfall entered English in the 19th century.

how is evenfall used?

And now ’tis evenfall in the brave and beautiful Borderland, and long shadows fall across the smooth lawns and fragrant garden …

George MacDonald Fraser, The Reavers, 2007

James Turner had his own conception of what happiness was … Mine is to smoke a pipe at evenfall and watch a badger, a rattlesnake, and an owl go into their common prairie home one by one.

O. Henry, "What You Want," Strictly Business, 1910
Sunday, February 24, 2019

halidom

[ hal-i-duhm ]

noun

a holy place, as a church or sanctuary.

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What is the origin of halidom?

Halidom is a rare word meaning “holy place, sanctuary.” Its Old English form, hāligdōm, is a compound formed of the adjective hālig “holy” and the abstract noun suffix -dōm (English -dom). Hāligdōm originally meant “holiness, sanctity” in Old English, but this sense was obsolete by the 17th century. The concrete senses of hāligdōm, “chapel, sanctuary” and “relic,” are as old as the abstract sense. Halidom entered English before 1000.

how is halidom used?

Most nations would reckon it a village, but it had its halidom, assembly hall, market, and busy little industries.

Poul and Karen Anderson, "Faith," After the King: Stories in Honor of J. R. R. Tolkien, 1992

There are few more interesting spots in Great Britain than “Dewisland,” or the “halidom” of St. David.

W. A. B. Coolidge, "St. David's," The Cathedral Churches of England and Wales, 1884

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