Word of the Day

Thursday, September 27, 2018

gnathonic

[ na-thon-ik ]

adjective

sycophantic; fawning.

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What is the origin of gnathonic?

The English adjective gnathonic comes from Latin gnathōnicus, an adjective derivative of Gnathō (inflectional stem Gnathōn-), the name of a sycophant and parasite in Eunuchus, a comedy by the Latin playwright Terence (Publius Terentius Afer, c190–c159 b.c.). Terence also coined the derivative plural noun Gnathōnicī “disciples of Gnatho” as a comic general term for sycophants and parasites. Gnathonic entered English in the 17th century.

how is gnathonic used?

That Jack’s is somewhat of a gnathonic and parasitic soul, or stomach, all Bideford apple-women know …

Charles Kingsley, Westward Ho!, 1855

… Pandarus is not unlike familiar gnathonic persons who attach themselves to their betters, as he does both in his defense of Paris ad in his eagerness to satisfy the appetities [sic] of his prince.

D. W. Robertson Jr., "The Probable Date and Purpose of Chaucer's Troilus," Medievalia et Humanistica, No. 13, 1985
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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

blellum

[ blel-uhm ]

noun

Scot. Obsolete. an idle, indiscreet talker.

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What is the origin of blellum?

Not only does blellum not have an etymology, it has very few citations. One of which is in the poem Tam o’Shanter (1790) by Robert Burns (1759–96); so it’s a keeper.

how is blellum used?

A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum

Robert Burns, "Tam o' Shanter," The Edinburgh Herald, March 18, 1791

How was ye to foresee that Mr. Manners was a blellum?

Winston Churchill, Richard Carvel, 1899
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

toyetic

[ taw-yet-ik ]

adjective

(of a character or object from a movie, TV show, etc.) potentially marketable as a toy: a toyetic superhero.

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What is the origin of toyetic?

Toyetic, an obvious composition of toy and the adjective suffix -etic, was supposedly coined by the American toy developer and marketer Bernard Loomis (1923–2006) in a conversation with Steven Spielberg about making figures based on Spielberg’s movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977).

how is toyetic used?

There’s a singular pleasure that comes with holding a Star Wars toy. The film’s vehicles, weapons, heroes, and villains, after all, are uniquely “toyetic” …

Melissa Leon, "How 'Star Wars' Revolutionized the Toy Industry," The Daily Beast, January 1, 2018

It adds another powerhouse toyetic property to their portfolio, with a proven track record of success.

Rob Salkowitz, "Hasbro Powers Up, Acquiring Power Rangers From Saban For $522 Million," Forbes, May 1, 2018

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