Word of the Day

Monday, April 08, 2019

funemployed

[ fuhn-em-ploid ]

adjective

without a paid job but enjoying the free time: Ask one of your funemployed friends to come along with you.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of funemployed?

Funemployed, an informal combination of fun and (un)employed, is a neologism dating to 1995.

how is funemployed used?

So far, at least, he seems like an excellent match for this slightly wilder, funemployed new version of Jess.

Izzy Grinspan, "New Girl Recap: Off the Grid," Vulture, September 26, 2012

Buoyed by severance, savings, unemployment checks or their parents, the funemployed do not spend their days poring over job listings.

Kimi Yoshino, "For the 'funemployed,' unemployment is welcome," Los Angeles Times, June 4, 2009
quiz icon
WHAT'S YOUR WORD IQ?
Think you're a word wizard? Try our word quiz, and prove it!
TAKE THE QUIZ
arrows pointing up and down
SYNONYM OF THE DAY
Double your word knowledge with the Synonym of the Day!
SEE TODAY'S SYNONYM

Get A Vocabulary Boost In Your Inbox

Get the Word of the Day every day!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Sunday, April 07, 2019

vade mecum

[ vey-dee mee-kuhm, vah- ]

noun

something a person carries about for frequent or regular use.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of vade mecum?

A vade mecum in English is something, especially a book or manual, that a person carries about for consulting. The English phrase comes from the Latin phrase vāde mēcum “go with me.” The first word, vāde, is the second person singular imperative of vādere “to go, advance, proceed,” from the same Proto-Indo-European root wadh– “to go” as the Germanic (English) wade. Mēcum ”with me,” and its kindred forms tēcum “with thee,” nōbiscum “with us,” and vōbiscum “with you,” are relics or fossils in Latin of an earlier stage in the language when “prepositions” (elements that precede the words governed) were “postpositions” (the elements followed the words governed). During imperial times, the anomalous mēcum and tēcum were strengthened, reinforced by the “regular” preposition cum, yielding cum mēcum and cum tēcum, which persist in modern Spanish as conmigo and contigo. Vade mecum entered English in the 17th century.

how is vade mecum used?

… the complete poem, though subjected to repeated prosecutions, made its way in pirated editions and became a vade mecum among the radicals.

Samuel C. Chew and Richard D. Altick, A Literary History of England, 2nd ed., Vol. 4, The Nineteenth Century and After, 1967

The travel guides we consult to find a trattoria near Piazza Navova may one day seem as foreign—and as revealing of an era marked by overwhelming plenty—as these fictional vade mecums.

Richard B. Woodward, "Armchair Traveler," New York Times, September 24, 2008
Saturday, April 06, 2019

plasticity

[ pla-stis-i-tee ]

noun

the capability of being molded, receiving shape, or being made to assume a desired form: the plasticity of social institutions.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of plasticity?

Plasticity is made up of plastic and the noun suffix –ity. Plastic comes via Latin plasticus “for molding or modeling,” from Greek plastikós with the same meanings. Plastikós is a derivative of the verb plássein, pláttein “to mold, form.” Other derivatives from the Greek include plaster, from Medieval Latin plastrum “plaster (both medical and building senses),” ultimately an alteration of Greek émplaston “molded on, daubed”; plastid “an organelle of plant cells”; plastique (as in the explosive); and plastron “a piece of armor; part of a turtle’s shell.” Plasticity entered English in the 18th century.

how is plasticity used?

Studies reveal adolescence to be a period of heightened “plasticity” during which the brain is highly influenced by experience.

Laurence Steinberg, "The Case for Delayed Adulthood," New York Times, September 19, 2014

Comic actors, like dramatic ones, have their comfortable niches, from Bill Murray’s sardonic schlubbism to Jim Carrey’s manic plasticity.

Christopher Orr, "The Movie Review: 'Along Came Polly'," The Atlantic, June 8, 2004

Get A Vocabulary Boost In Your Inbox

Get the Word of the Day every day!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.