Word of the Day

Monday, June 18, 2018

day-tripper

[ dey-trip-er ]

noun

a person who goes on a trip, especially an excursion, lasting all or part of a day but not overnight.

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What is the origin of day-tripper?

Day-tripper has been used in English since the mid-1800s.

how is day-tripper used?

… he seized on the word as if it might somehow help to plug him into German culture, rather like a day-tripper to Boulogne trying to convince himself that he has explored France.

William McIlvanney, The Kiln, 1996

Deepest mind in the galaxy, apparently, and you still express yourself like a day-tripper with a dog-eared phrase book.

Anthony Lane, "Space Case," The New Yorker, May 23, 2005
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Sunday, June 17, 2018

paragon

[ par-uh-gon, -guhn ]

noun

a model or pattern of excellence or of a particular excellence: a paragon of virtue.

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What is the origin of paragon?

The English noun paragon comes from Middle French, from Old Italian paragone “touch stone,” a derivative of the verb paragonare “to test on a touchstone or whetstone.” The Italian words perhaps derive from Greek parakonân “to sharpen, whet,” formed from the prefix and preposition para-“beside, alongside” and akonân “to sharpen, whet,” a derivative of akónē “whetstone, bone.” Paragon entered English in the mid-16th century.

how is paragon used?

As that paragon of fatherhood Homer Simpson once told his brood, “Remember, as far as anyone knows, we’re a nice, normal family.”

Andy Simmons, "People Shared Their Funniest Family Stories and It Got Heartwarming Real Fast," Reader's Digest, April 2018

He has variously been considered a military icon who won a total victory; a presidential model for overcoming his own considerable flaws and a tragic weakness for scoundrels to achieve fame and glory; a literary phenomenon who crafted the most famous deathbed writing in American letters; and a celebrity who was a paragon of humility and modesty.

David W. Blight, "The Silent Type," New York Review of Books, May 24, 2018
Saturday, June 16, 2018

stanchless

[ stawnch-lis, stahnch-, stanch- ]

adjective

incessant: a stanchless torrent of words.

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What is the origin of stanchless?

English stanchless is an awkward, uncommon word. Its meaning is obvious: “unable to be stanched.” Stanch comes from the Old French verb estanchier “to close, stop” and is probably from an unattested Vulgar Latin verb stanticāre, equivalent to Latin stant- (stem of stāns, the present participle of stāre “to stand”) and the causative suffix -icāre; stanticare means “to make stand or stop.” Stanchless entered English in the 17th century.

how is stanchless used?

The flow of his language was slow, but steady and apparently stanchless.

Aldous Huxley, After Many a Summer Dies the Swan, 1939

The machine can only repeat, and if we repeated we should be machines and untrue to the stanchless creative mystery of the life within us.

H. F. Heard, "Wingless Victories," The Great Fog and Other Weird Tales, 1944

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