Word of the Day

Thursday, May 28, 2020

doover

[ doo-ver ]

noun

Australian Slang.

thingamabob; thingamajig.

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What is the origin of doover?

Doover is an Australian slang word for thingamabob, thingamajig “something whose name is unknown.” As with many slang terms, an etymology (literally “true story”) for doover does not exist. The Hebrew noun dābhār “word, thing, matter” has been suggested as a source; an alteration of “do for (now)” is more likely.

how is doover used?

I carefully take little plastic doovers from the handle and top, and plier off the frame’s metal retainers without damaging them.

Cameron Woodhead, "Appetite for destruction: the art of smashing things and putting them back together," The Age, March 12, 2018

Well, not unlike my husband, who haunts hardware stores for ever newer and more complicated devices and doovers, I have become addicted to shops selling sewing bits and bobs.

Susan Kurosawa, "Toko Central: sew happy to be in Bali," The Australian, January 20, 2017

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

scilicet

[ sil-uh-set ]

adverb

to wit; namely.

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What is the origin of scilicet?

The English adverb scilicet “namely, specifically, to wit” comes from Latin scīlicet, a contraction of the phrase scīre licet “it is permitted to know, one may be sure, of course, naturally.” The infinitive of the impersonal verb licet is licēre “to be allowed,” the source of licentia “freedom, freedom to do what one wants, lack of restraint, license” (as in English). The infinitive scīre “to know” was translated into Old English as (hit is tō) witanne “That is to know, to wit,” a gerund phrase from the verb witan “to know,” which became in Middle English it is to wite “it is to be noted,” and survives in current English as to wit. Scilicet entered English in the late 14th century.

how is scilicet used?

this universal world contains other guess sorrows than yours, Viscount,—scilicet than unvarying health, unbroken leisure, and incalculable income.

Charles Reade, Christie Johnstone, 1853

Marqueray like most men kept his work and play, scilicet his political intrigues and his pursuit of Phyllida, in separate compartments.

Anthony Pryde, Marqueray's Duel, 1920

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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

celestial

[ suh-les-chuhl ]

adjective

pertaining to the sky or visible heaven, or to the universe beyond the earth’s atmosphere.

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What is the origin of celestial?

Celestial has always had several meanings, beginning with Latin caelestis, “being in, happening in, or coming from the sky or heavens,” ranging from the physical, astronomical, and navigational to the supernatural and divine, including the pagan Roman reference to emperors posthumously deified. Caelestis is an adjective derived from the noun caelum “heaven, sky,” whose etymology is unclear. The adjective celestial entered English in the late 14th century, the noun in the second half of the 16th.

how is celestial used?

Located deep in the disk of the Milky Way, the dense, dead celestial body had been slinging high-energy radiation into the cosmos for a week or so, as a rare class of objects called soft gamma-ray repeaters are known to do.

Nadia Drake, "'Magnetic Star' Radio Waves Could Solve the Mystery of Fast Radio Bursts," Scientific American, May 5, 2020

Of all the celestial bodies, the moon is closest to the matters of this lower world.

Jokha Alharthi, Celestial Bodies, translated by Marilyn Booth, 2018

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