Word of the Day

Monday, November 19, 2018

gallinaceous

[ gal-uh-ney-shuhs ]

adjective

belonging or pertaining to the order Galliformes, comprising medium-sized, mainly ground-feeding domestic or game birds, as the chicken, turkey, grouse, pheasant, and partridge.

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What is the origin of gallinaceous?

The adjective gallinaceous comes straight from the Latin adjective gallīnāceus, a derivative of gallīna “hen,” itself a derivative of the noun gallus “rooster, cock.” Further etymology is uncertain: gallus may come from the Proto-Indo-European root gal- “to call, cry.” If so, gallus (from unattested galsos) means “shouter, crier” and is related to Lithuanian galsas “echo,” Polish głos “voice,” and English call (via Old Norse kall). Gallinaceous entered English in the 18th century.

how is gallinaceous used?

Yea, verily, there is much to inspire gratitude on this holiday centered on a gallinaceous bird with alarmingly hypertrophied breasts.

Glen Martin, “The Science of Holiday Happiness: Why Gratitude Really is Good for You,” California Magazine, November 24, 2014

In the sand I saw tracks of a large, gallinaceous bird — a sage grouse or chukar.

Denise Firestone, "Haven for Antelope and Hikers," New York Times, August 7, 1994
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Sunday, November 18, 2018

shunpike

[ shuhn-pahyk ]

noun

a side road taken instead of a turnpike or expressway to avoid tolls or to travel at a leisurely pace.

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What is the origin of shunpike?

Shunpike is a blend of the verb shun and the noun (turn)pike. The word was originally an Americanism and dates from the mid-19th century.

how is shunpike used?

… she proposed to Mr. Morris that he should take the shunpike for a change.

Frank R. Stockton, The Captain's Toll-Gate, 1903

Shunpiking is real,” he said, using an old term for avoiding toll roads.

Phil Patton, "The Virtues of Avoiding Interstates," New York Times, August 5, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2018

conurbation

[ kon-er-bey-shuhn ]

noun

an extensive urban area resulting from the expansion of several cities or towns so that they coalesce but usually retain their separate identities.

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What is the origin of conurbation?

Conurbation is a coinage of Sir Patrick Geddes (1854-1932), Scottish sociologist and city planner. The formation of conurbation is simple enough: the Latin prefix con-, a form of the prefix and preposition cum-, cum “with, together with,” urb-, the stem of urbs “city, capital city, large town; the City, i.e., Rome” (unfortunately urbs has no known etymology), and the common noun suffix -ation. Conurbation entered English in 1915.

how is conurbation used?

By 1984, there may well be several giant urban conurbations in the world which will make the present Greater Tokyo, New York and London look rather puny.

Ruth Glass, "Cities in 1984: Stability and Strife," New Scientist, July 16, 1964

Then the conurbation spread and Hallowgate became part of the North Tyneside sprawl.

Ann Cleeves, Killjoy, 1993

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