Word of the Day

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

ghosting

[ goh-sting ]

noun

Informal. a. the practice of suddenly ending all contact with a person without explanation, especially in a romantic relationship: He was a victim of ghosting. b. Also called French goodbye, Irish goodbye. the act of leaving a social event or engagement suddenly without saying goodbye: Ghosting might be the best option if we want to get home before midnight.

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What is the origin of ghosting?

The dating sense of ghosting is first recorded in 2005–10. It’s possibly linked to the expression get ghost “to leave immediately,” which gained popularity in 1990s hip-hop.

how is ghosting used?

In the case of ghosting, a lack of accountability has brought out the worst in humanity, but applying behavioral science to UX design could be the key to unlocking the solution and with it the next billion dollar idea, paving the way for a new era of ghost-free online dating.

Jack Rogers, "Ghosting -- Dating's Billion Dollar Problem?" Forbes, August 28, 2018

Among younger generations, ghosting has “almost become a new vocabulary” in which “no response is a response,” says Amanda Bradford, CEO and founder of The League, a dating app. Now, “that same behavior is happening in the job market,” says Bradford, who’s experienced it with engineering candidates who ghosted her company.

Chip Cutter, "People are 'ghosting' at work, and it's driving companies crazy," LinkedIn, June 23, 2018
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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

hocus-pocus

[ hoh-kuhs-poh-kuhs ]

noun

unnecessarily mysterious or elaborate activity or talk to cover up a deception, magnify a simple purpose, etc.

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What is the origin of hocus-pocus?

Hocus-pocus is a pseudo-Latin rhyming formula used by jugglers and magicians. It was first recorded in 1615–25.

how is hocus-pocus used?

Maybe the English are right: [writer’s] block is just a hocus-pocus covering life’s regular, humbling facts.

, "Blocked," The New Yorker, June 14, 2004

How, exactly, does the president’s budget propose to use the surplus to “save” Social Security? With accounting hocus-pocus.

Allan Sloan, "Reading Between the Budget Lines," Washington Post, February 10, 1998
Monday, October 29, 2018

diablerie

[ dee-ah-bluh-ree ]

noun

diabolic magic or art; sorcery; witchcraft.

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What is the origin of diablerie?

English diablerie is a borrowing from French diablerie “mischief,” from Old French diablerie, deablerie “an act inspired by the devil, sorcery.” French diable comes from Late Latin diabolus “the devil” (in the Vulgate and church fathers), from Greek diábolos “slanderer; enemy, Satan” (in the Septuagint), “the Devil” (in the Gospels). Diablerie entered English in the 17th century.

how is diablerie used?

This tragedy, which, considering the wild times wherein it was placed, might have some foundation in truth, was larded with many legends of superstition and diablerie, so that most of the peasants of the neighbourhood, if benighted, would rather have chosen to make a considerable circuit, than pass these haunted walls.

Sir Walter Scott, Guy Mannering, 1815

He was, to one friend, “cometlike from some other world of diablerie, burning himself out upon our skies.”

David Bourdon, "Beardsley back in bloom again," Life, February 24, 1967

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