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[ gam-bohj, -boozh ] [ gæmˈboʊdʒ, -ˈbuʒ ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


yellow or yellow-orange.

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More about gamboge

Gamboge, “yellow-orange,” comes from New Latin gambogium, a gum resin from trees of the genus Garcinia that is made into a yellow pigment or dye, also called gamboge. Gambogium is a variant of Cambogia “Cambodia,” which comes from the Khmer name Kâmpŭchéa. The name Kâmpŭchéa allegedly derives from Kambu, the name of the legendary founder of Kamboja, which is a kingdom that flourished in what is now India about 2500 years ago. Gamboge was first recorded in English circa 1630.

how is gamboge used?

I’m thinking gamboge: ‘My husband is very confident about my color sense. It is powerful, if I say so myself’ …. [Theresa] Rebeck was in charge of what went into the spaces and what went on the walls.

Joanne Kaufman, “For One Playwright, It Wouldn’t Be Home Without a Little Melodrama,” The New York Times, September 17, 2019

“That’s a lovely shade of nail varnish …. What color would you say it is?” …. “Tropical topaz? …. I wouldn’t have thought topaz so much as amber” … “I’d say more gamboge than amber.”

Kevin Myers, “An Irishman's Diary”, The Irish Times, August 15, 2002
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[ suh-pon-uh-fahy ] [ səˈpɒn əˌfaɪ ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling

verb (used without object)

to become converted into soap.

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More about saponify

Saponify, “to become converted into soap,” is based on Latin sāpō (stem sāpōn-) “soap” and the combining form -ify, from Latin facere (stems fac-, fact-, -fect, and -fic-) “to do, make.” Sāpō is the source of the word for “soap” in many Romance languages, from French savon and Italian sapone to Portuguese sabão and Spanish jabón. Latin sāpō is an early borrowing from Frankish, a Germanic language once spoken in what is now France, which makes sāpō a close relative of English soap and a distant relative of Latin sēbum “tallow, grease” (as in sebaceous). Saponify was first recorded in English circa 1820.

how is saponify used?

They can sometimes saponify, where the body fats literally turn into a soaplike substance, but that takes quite a while–months–so I doubt it has happened here.

Vanda Symon, Containment, 2009

Soap was rarely used, apart from washing one’s clothes, and they were made from wood ash lye to saponify animal fat. The resultant odor was not much better than body odor before bath. Thankfully, they added rose petals to the bathwater.

Amelia Danver, A Savior in Time, 2021
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[ rey-dee-uhnt ] [ ˈreɪ di ənt ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


bright with joy, hope, etc.

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More about radiant

Radiant, “bright with joy and hope,” is based on Latin radiāns “shining,” the present participle of the verb radiāre “to radiate light, shine,” which is based on the noun radius “beam, ray.” Radius is also the source of radian, radio, radium, and ray. While English uses -ing to mark its present participles (seeing, going), as we learned from the recent Word of the Day gallantly, Latin uses -āns, -ēns, or -iēns—depending on the type of verb—for the same purpose. For phonetic reasons, the stems of these three Latin endings swap the s for t, which is how Latin radiāns becomes English radiant, pungēns “piercing” becomes pungent, and conveniēns “coming together” becomes convenient. Radiant was first recorded in English in the late 15th century.

how is radiant used?

To align with a California beauty company committed to natural ingredients through sustainable means feels spot-on for a wellness-minded, preternaturally radiant person like [Logan] Browning.

Laura Regensdorf, “Logan Browning on Life After Dear White People and Her New Clean-Beauty Role,” Vanity Fair, December 30, 2021

In her later years, [Queen Elizabeth II] seemed to soften, her smile more radiant, surrounded by adoring grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but rewind over 70 years and she was a force to be reckoned with.

Monique Jessen, “What Queen Elizabeth Meant to Me—and My Daughter, Who Heard from the Queen on the Day the Monarch Died,” People, September 15, 2022
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