Word of the Day

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

farouche

[ fa-roosh ]

adjective

French. sullenly unsociable or shy.

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What is the origin of farouche?

The adjective farouche, accented on the second syllable, shows that it is still an unnaturalized borrowing from French. The Old French adjective faroche, forasche derives from the Late Latin forāsticus “belonging outside or out of doors” (i.e., not fit to be inside), a derivative of the adverb and preposition forās (also forīs) “(to the) outside, abroad.” A similar semantic development can be seen in savage, from Middle French salvage, sauvage, from Medieval Latin salvāticus (Latin silvāticus) “pertaining to the woods.” Farouche entered English in the 18th century.

how is farouche used?

He’s a bit farouche, but I like the way he enthuses about what interests him. It’s not put on.

Richard Aldington, Death of a Hero, 1929

Many of the women in these stories are farouche–they’re outsiders, they’re troubled, they lack polish, they dream too much.

Joy Williams, "Introducion" Fantastic Women: 18 tales of the surreal and the sublime from Tin House, 2011
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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

benedict

[ ben-i-dikt ]

noun

a newly married man, especially one who has been long a bachelor.

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What is the origin of benedict?

Benedict is a familiar correction of Benedick (Benedicke), the former confirmed bachelor newly married in Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing (1600). Benedict as a common noun entered English in the 19th century.

how is benedict used?

It had, when I first went to town, just become the fashion for young men of fortune to keep house, and to give their bachelor establishments the importance hitherto reserved for the household of a Benedict.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Devereux, 1829

“Why are you so anxious for all England to be informed that you are a Benedict?” I enquired scornfully.

Alan Dale, A Marriage Below Zero, 1889
Monday, June 25, 2018

scupper

[ skuhp-er ]

verb

British. Informal. to prevent from happening or succeeding; ruin; wreck.

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What is the origin of scupper?

The origin of the verb scupper is uncertain. It originated as military slang (“to surprise and slaughter; utterly defeat”). The verb scupper may be a development from the noun scupper “an opening in a ship’s side even with the deck to allow water to flow away,” but the semantic development is unclear. Scupper entered English in the 19th century.

how is scupper used?

A row between the EEC and the US is threatening to scupper the UN Convention on the Ozone Layer, which was to have been agreed in Vienna next month.

, "Ozone agreement up in the air," New Scientist, February 7, 1985

McMaster has tried to prevent his celebrity from scuppering his career.

Patrick Radden Keefe, "McMaster and Commander," The New Yorker, April 30, 2018

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