Word of the Day

Monday, May 28, 2018

estimable

[ es-tuh-muh-buhl ]

adjective

deserving respect or admiration; worthy of esteem.

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What is the origin of estimable?

The English adjective estimable comes via French estimable from Latin aestimābilis, a derivative of aestimāre “to value, price, estimate the money value of.” The etymology of aestimāre is unclear, but it may be related to Latin aes (stem aer-) “copper, bronze, brass,” from Proto-Indo-European ayes-, ayos- “metal, copper,” from which Sanskrit derives áyas- “metal, iron,” Gothic aiz “bronze,” German Erz “ore” (the Erzgebirge, “Ore Mountain Range,” lies between Saxony, Germany, and Bohemia, Czech Republic), Old English ār “ore, copper, brass,” and English ore. Estimable entered English in the 15th century.

how is estimable used?

He is the most estimable, the most trustworthy creature in the world, and I will venture to say, there is not a better seaman in all the merchant service.

Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo, translated by Adolphe Cohn, 1922

Nothing is more typical of Armstrong, or more estimable, than his decision not to go into politics; heaven knows what the blandishments, or the invitations, must have been.

Anthony Lane, "The Man and the Moon," The New Yorker, August 26, 2012
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Sunday, May 27, 2018

lateritious

[ lat-uh-rish-uhs ]

adjective

of the color of brick; brick-red.

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What is the origin of lateritious?

The very rare adjective lateritious comes from Latin latericius (also lateritius) “made of brick,” a derivative of the noun later “brick, tile, block, ingot.” In English lateritious is used in medicine, biology, and geology to describe the color of urine, sediment, or stone. Lateritious entered English in the 17th century.

how is lateritious used?

He scanned the sooted pillars and lateritious stone, and her spark began to fade for him.

David Whellams, Walking Into the Ocean, 2012

The powders made from this bark are at first of a light brown, tinged with a dusky yellow; and the longer they are kept, the more they incline to a cinnamon or lateritious colour, which he believed was the case with the Peruvian bark and powders.

Reverend Edward Stone, "On the Success of the Bark of the Willow in the Cure of Agues," April 25, 1763, The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Vol. XII, 1763–1769
Saturday, May 26, 2018

ferly

[ fer-lee ]

noun

something unusual, strange, or causing wonder or terror.

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What is the origin of ferly?

Nowadays ferly is used only in Scottish English as a noun meaning “a wonder, a marvel,” and a verb “to wonder.” The Old English source is the adjective fǣrlīc “sudden,” a derivative of the noun fǣr “fear” (akin to German Gefahr “danger” and gefährlich “dangerous”).

how is ferly used?

As on a May morning, on Malvern hills, / Me befell a ferly of fairy, methought.

William Langland (c1330–c1400), The Vision of Piers Plowman, 1360–99

Many a ferly fares to the fair-eyed …

William Morris, Child Christopher and Goldilind the Fair, 1895

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