Word of the Day

Word of the day

Monday, March 19, 2018

dornick

[ dawr-nik ]

noun

a small stone that is easy to throw.

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What is the origin of dornick?

Dornick is an Americanism dating back to 1830–40 from Irish dornóg “small stone, handful,” from dorn “fist.”

how is dornick used?

Indulging a few moments’ contemplation of its freckled rind, I broke it open with a stone, a rock, a dornick, in boy’s language.

Mark Twain, "Mighty Mark Twain Overawes Marines," New York Times, May 12, 1907

The rock throwers must have been cads or they wouldn’t have flung a dornick at that small bundle of pink-and-white loveliness …

Pete Martin, Have Tux, Will Travel, 1954
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Word of the day

Sunday, March 18, 2018

polemology

[ poh-luh-mol-uh-jee ]

noun

the analysis of human conflict and war, particularly international war.

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What is the origin of polemology?

Polemology was first recorded in 1935–40. It comes from Greek pólemos “war” and -logy, a combining form used in the names of bodies of knowledge.

how is polemology used?

Closely related to the surge of interest in aggressive human behavior is the rise of a new science: polemology.

Walter Sullivan, "An Attack on Man the Aggressor," New York Times, August 26, 1968

For the study of Greek warfare, or the polemology of ancient Greece, cannot be separated from the project of a general, very broadly political history of ancient Greek civic mentality, social structure and economic organization.

Paul Cartledge, Spartan Reflections, 2001

Word of the day

Saturday, March 17, 2018

craic

[ krak ]

noun

fun and entertainment, especially good conversation and company (often preceded by the): Come for the beer, lads, and stay for the craic!

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What is the origin of craic?

Craic is an Irish Gaelic spelling that represents the English pronunciation of English crack and was then taken back into English. English crack was apparently introduced from Scots into Irish English via Northern Ireland (Ulster) in the mid-20th century and was thereafter adopted into Irish Gaelic and Irish English. In Scottish English and in northern English dialect, crack has the sense “chat, gossip,” which may be the source of craic. Alternatively, craic may be a shortening of crack “witty remark, wisecrack.” Craic entered English in the 20th century.

how is craic used?

The public bar’s men only so I haven’t been in since we got back. … I’ve been missing the craic there.

Patrick Taylor, Fingal O'Reilly, Irish Doctor, 2013

The craic now was two doors down, where a bunch of lads were drinking Harp lager, eating fish and chips, and playing what sounded like Dinah Washington from a portable record player on a long lead outside Bobby Cameron’s house.

Adrian McKinty, Gun Street Girl, 2015

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