Word of the Day

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
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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
Thursday, August 23, 2018

capitulate

[ kuh-pich-uh-leyt ]

verb

to give up resistance: He finally capitulated and agreed to do the job my way.

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What is the origin of capitulate?

The English verb capitulate is from the Late Latin capitulātus “drawn up or arranged in chapters or headings,” from the verb capitulāre “to arrange in chapters, summarize, stipulate (in a contract), agree.” Capitulāre is a derivative of the noun capitulum, one of whose meanings in Late Latin is “section of a law,” in the Corpus Juris Civilis of the emperor Justinian (483-565). Capitulate entered English in the 16th century.

how is capitulate used?

He was just too stubborn and pigheaded unless–and here was the one possible case in which he might capitulate–if it were to save his only son.

Wilbur Smith, Birds of Prey, 1997

She realized that living in midtown would shorten her time on the train each day by half, and decided to capitulate. She would stay with her father weeknights, then return to Brooklyn for the weekends.

Elizabeth Gaffney, When the World Was Young, 2014

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