Word of the Day

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

forby

[ fawr-bahy ]

preposition, adverb

Chiefly Scot.

besides.

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What is the origin of forby?

All the senses of the adverb forby are archaic, obsolete, or Scottish. Middle English forbi, meaning “past in space, past in time,” is formed from the adverbs and prepositions for—better, fore—“before” and by “nearby, close at hand.” German has the closely related adverb vorbei “past, gone, over (with).” Forby entered English in the 13th century.

how is forby used?

Forby, he had a bashfu’ spirit / That sham’d to tell / His worth or wants ….

Robert Tannahill, "Will MacNeil's Elegy," The Poetical Works of Robert Tannahill, 1825

Ither laddies a’ oot playin’ at something, an’ forby it’s no healthy to sit too lang aye readin’.

James C. Welsh, The Underworld, 1920
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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

concinnate

[ kon-suh-neyt ]

verb (used with object)

to arrange or blend together skillfully, as parts or elements; put together in a harmonious, precisely appropriate, or elegant manner.

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What is the origin of concinnate?

The very rare verb concinnate,” to put together harmoniously, appropriately, or elegantly,” comes straight from the Latin past participle concinnātus “made ready, prepared, repaired, touched up,” from the verb concinnāre “to repair, set in order,” which has no known etymology. Concinnate entered English in the early 17th century.

how is concinnate used?

But first an explanation to concinnate my narrative.

Eugene Field, "Lute Baker and His Wife 'Em," The Holy Cross and Other Tales, 1893

I am glad you are trying to concinnate your nomenclature.

William Whewell to C. Lyell, January 31, 1831, William Whewell: An Account of His Writings, Vol. 2, 1876
Monday, December 09, 2019

tinselry

[ tin-suhl-ree ]

noun

cheap and pretentious display.

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What is the origin of tinselry?

Tinselry, “cheap and pretentious display,” is an obvious combination of the noun tinsel and the noun suffix –ry (a form of –ery). Tinsel, though, is an interesting word. It is a shortening of Middle French estincelle “spangle, spark” (source of the English noun stencil), from Old French estencele, estincele “a spark, flash,” from an unrecorded Vulgar Latin stincilla, a transposed variant of Latin scintilla. By the 14th and 15th centuries, French had lost the pronunciation of the s in es-, and estincelle developed into modern French étincelle. In Anglo-French the initial e– also disappeared, giving tencel, tincel. The earliest Middle English examples show tinsel, tinselle used as an adjective in tinselle satin, satin made to sparkle or glitter by brocading with or interweaving gold or silver thread, or by overlaying the satin with a thin coating of gold or silver. Tinselry entered English in the 19th century.

how is tinselry used?

Hence neither romance nor whim should be allowed to remove one useful feature, and substitute for it the gaudy and useless tinselry of false taste.

W. H. Barnes, "A Homily on Homes," The Ladies' Repository, Vol. 16, January 1856

But if it be true that the Emperor William, having the substance of power, could afford to dispense with some of its tinselry, and was personally of simple tastes, it is still true only in a sense which it is important to remember.

Herbert Tuttle, "The Emperor William," The Atlantic Monthly, May 1888

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