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[ dou-tee ] [ ˈdaʊ ti ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


steadfastly courageous and resolute; valiant.

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More about doughty

Doughty “steadfastly courageous,” despite spelling and pronunciation, is not related to doubt, doughy, or dowdy. Instead, it comes from Old English dohtig “worthy,” which is equivalent to modern English dow “to be able” or “to thrive, prosper” plus two suffixes: -th, which indicates a noun of action (as in birth) or quality (as in warmth), and -y “characterized by, inclined to” (as in dreamy and juicy). In this way, doughty literally translates from Old English as “worthiness-y,” which is an awkward mouthful. Doughty was first recorded in English before 1000 a.d.

how is doughty used?

A doughty branch of the early human family, Neanderthals were big-brained and thick-boned hunters who once ranged from Spain to Siberia.

Dan Vergano, “Neanderthals Died Out 10,000 Years Earlier Than Thought, With Help From Modern Humans,” National Geographic, August 20, 2014

He was a doughty defender of his grandfather’s legacy and even though many of those subjected to the estate’s strictures in relation to permissions and fees actively resented them, Stephen was acting, as he saw it, to uphold his grandfather’s heritage.

Danica Kirka, “Grandson of author James Joyce dies in France,” AP News, February 8, 2020
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[ floh-jis-ton, -tuhn ] [ floʊˈdʒɪs tɒn, -tən ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


a nonexistent chemical that, prior to the discovery of oxygen, was thought to be released during combustion.

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More about phlogiston

Phlogiston “a chemical once thought to be released during combustion” is the neuter form of Ancient Greek phlogistós “inflammable, burnt up,” from the verb phlogízein “to set on fire.” Relatives of phlogízein in English include phlegm (from phlégma “flame”) and phlox (from phlóx “a flame-colored plant”). All these words ultimately come from a Proto-Indo-European root roughly meaning “to burn, flash, shine” that appears today in English words containing bl-, fl-, ful-, or phl-, depending on the language of origin. For more descendants in English from this rather productive root, check out our recent Words of the Day effulgent, Phlegethon, and trailblaze. Phlogiston was first recorded in English circa 1730.

how is phlogiston used?

The theory of phlogiston was not debunked until the 1770s, when Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier showed that combustion is a reaction with a gas—oxygen. More than a century after that, it became possible to transmute one metal into another—but using a nuclear reactor rather than a philosopher’s stone.

Petr Kilian, “Phosphorus: 350 years after its discovery, this vital element is running out,” The Conversation, January 9, 2019
[S]cience is not advanced by polling. If it were, we would still be releasing phlogiston to burn logs and navigating the sky with geocentric maps.

Edward O. Wilson, “Evolution and Our Inner Conflict,” The New York Times, June 24, 2012
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[ fohk-lawr-i-koh, -lohr- ] [ foʊkˈlɔr ɪ koʊ, -ˈloʊr- ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


containing, using, or performing Mexican folk dancing, especially a program or repertoire of such dances.

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More about folklorico

Folklorico “containing Mexican folk dancing” is a borrowing of Spanish folklórico (note the acute accent) “folkloristic,” based on English folklore and the Spanish adjective-forming suffix -ico. Despite the similar pronunciations, English folk is not related to Latin vulgus “the general public” (as in English vulgar); instead, it may be distantly related to hoi polloi “the common people” (from Ancient Greek) and the recent Word of the Day plebeian (from Latin plēbēs “the common people”). Lore, meanwhile, is closely related to English learn, and both come from a Germanic root meaning “to teach.” Folklorico was first recorded in English in the early 1940s.

how is folklorico used?

As director, she trains children and teens in folklorico dance steps and choreography as well as ballet and yoga. The classes and training are designed to provide the dancers with a balance of exercises that maintain both their strength and their flexibility.

Afroxander, “Pacifico Dance Company: Sharing the Love of Traditional Mexican Dance Around the World,” KCET, September 15, 2020
[Annel] Alvarez saw folklórico dance as a way out of a rut …. She’d started learning the folklórico dance style as a small child. Everything about it—the music, the costumes, the movement—felt like home.

Gina Kaufmann, “Folklórico dance helped Kansas City women escape a rut. Now they're aiming for the ‘big leagues,’” KCUR, March 27, 2022
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