Word of the Day

Sunday, August 26, 2018

dreamboat

[ dreem-boht ]

noun

Slang. a highly attractive or desirable person.

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What is the origin of dreamboat?

If you associate dreamboat, a.k.a. heartthrob, with the movies that Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney made in the late ‘30s and early ‘40s, you are correct on the date of origin and datedness of the word. Guy Lombardo, the Canadian-American bandleader (1902-1977), popularized dreamboat in his song When My Dream Boat Comes Home (1936).

how is dreamboat used?

Hunter was a studio player at Warner Brothers: a blond, blue-eyed dreamboat, whom the studio was selling—quite successfully—as the quintessential boy next door.

Michael Schulman, "Tab Hunter's Secrets," The New Yorker, October 16, 2015

A tall dreamboat of a pilot in a grey uniform was chatting with a group of four people.

Raymond Chandler, The Long Good-bye, 1953
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Saturday, August 25, 2018

embosk

[ em-bosk ]

verb

to hide or conceal (something, oneself, etc.) with or as if with foliage, greenery, or the like: to embosk oneself within a grape arbor.

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What is the origin of embosk?

The verb embosk “to hide in bushes” doesn’t look quite as bogus as embiggen, but it’s not far off. The prefix em-, a form of en- used before labial consonants (p, b, m) as in embalm, embankment, and embark, is familiar enough. Bosk is the funny word. It first appears as a singular noun boske (and plural boskes) in the late 13th century, meaning bush, bushes, and is last recorded about 1400 in Cleanness (or Purity), a poem by an unknown author known as the Gawain Poet. Bosk survives in British dialect but reentered standard English in the 19th century through the poetry of Sir Walter Scott and Alfred, Lord Tennyson. As rare as bosk is, its derivative embosk is even rarer. Embosk entered English in the late 20th century.

how is embosk used?

[Sancho] said as much to his lord, requesting him to depart presently from thence, and embosk himself in the mountain, which was very near.

Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote of the Mancha, translated by Thomas Shelton, 1612

… they seek the dark, the bushy, the tangled forest; they would embosk.

John Milton, "Of Reformation Touching Church-Discipline in England," 1641
Friday, August 24, 2018

glanceable

[ glan-suh-buhl, glahn- ]

adjective

Digital Technology. noting or relating to information on an electronic screen that can be understood quickly or at a glance: glanceable data; a glanceable scoreboard.

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What is the origin of glanceable?

The adjective glanceable is awkward in formation: it means not “able to glance” but “able to be comprehended at a glance,” which is desirable when one sees a large red octagonal sign with STOP in the middle of it, less so in other situations.

how is glanceable used?

I still use my Apple Watch every day. It tracks my health, makes my notifications glanceable, and actually looks nice.

Brandt Ranj, "5 stands to keep your Apple Watch charged all the time," Business Insider, December 27, 2017

He called it the Ambient Orb, and it’s a nice example of what he describes as glanceable technology, a device that presents information in a way that you can read simply and quickly, with just a glance, without taking too much of your attention.

Penelope Green, "Putting Magic in the Mundane," New York Times, July 16, 2014

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