Word of the Day

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

expatiate

[ ik-spey-shee-eyt ]

verb

to move or wander about intellectually, imaginatively, etc., without restraint.

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What is the origin of expatiate?

The English verb expatiate comes from Latin expatiātus, exspatiātus, past participle of expatiārī, exspatiārī “to move, run, or flow away beyond bounds, spread out,” a compound of the prefix ex– “out of, throughout” and the verb spatiārī “to walk about leisurely, stroll” (and the source of German spazieren “to take a walk, stroll”). Spatiārī is a derivative of the noun spatium “expanse of ground, area, space, racetrack, playing field, act (of a play).” Expatiate entered English in the 16th century.

how is expatiate used?

… at every step of this mental process, sufficient time must be allowed for the imagination to expatiate on the objects before it, till the ideas approximate, as near as possible, to the reality.

"Illustrations of the Omnipotence of the Deity," The Calvinistic Magazine, Vol. 5, July 1831

He was troubled too about his love, though when he allowed his mind to expatiate on the success of the great railway he would venture to hope that on that side his life might perhaps be blessed.

Anthony Trollope, The Way We Live Now, 1875
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Monday, May 13, 2019

JOMO

[ joh-moh ]

noun

Slang.

a feeling of contentment with one’s own pursuits and activities, without worrying over the possibility of missing out on what others may be doing.

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What is the origin of JOMO?

JOMO, the acronym for “the joy of missing out,” and its opposite, FOMO “the fear of missing out,” both entered English around the same time, in the early years of the 21st century.

how is JOMO used?

Don’t think of JOMO as a detox, but more like an integral part to a healthy, well-balanced nutrition plan for your brain.

Hayley Phelan, "How to Make This the Summer of Missing Out," New York Times, July 12, 2018

JOMO allows us to live life in the slow lane, to appreciate human connections, to be intentional with our time, to practice saying “no” ….

Kristen Fuller, "JOMO: The Joy of Missing Out," Psychology Today, July 26, 2018
Sunday, May 12, 2019

mother wit

[ muhth-er wit ]

noun

natural or practical intelligence, wit, or sense.

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What is the origin of mother wit?

Mother knows best, as they say. In mother wit, the word mother means “innate, inborn.” Wit comes from a very widespread Proto-Indo-European root weid-, woid-, wid– “to see, know.” This root appears in Latin vidēre “to see,” Sanskrit veda “knowledge,” Greek ideîn (and dialect wideîn) “to know” (literally “to have seen”), Slavic (Czech) vědět “to know” and vidět “to see.” From wid– Germanic (Old English) has the verb witan “to know.” In Old English the first and third person singular form was wāt “I know; he/she/it knows,” which survives today as the obsolete word wot (“God wot”). Mother wit entered English in the 15th century.

how is mother wit used?

… not one of the rest of us had the guts, the gumption, or the mother wit to recognize where all four of us were headed and drag the fool to a stop.

David Weber, How Firm a Foundation, 2011

One’s mother wit was a precious sort of necromancy, which could pierce every mystery at first sight ….

Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Devereux, 1829

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