Word of the Day

Thursday, July 26, 2018

isopolity

[ ahy-suh-pol-i-tee ]

noun

equal rights of citizenship, as in different communities; mutual political rights.

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What is the origin of isopolity?

The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 b.c.) was the first author to use isopolīteía “equality of civic rights.” Isopolīteía applied to individuals and communities; it also meant reciprocity of such rights between states (as by treaty). Polīteía “citizenship, daily life of a citizen, body of citizens; government, polity, constitution” is a derivative of the noun pólis “citadel (of a city), city, one’s city or country.” Pólis comes the very complicated Proto-Indo-European root pel-, pelǝ-, plē- “citadel, fortified elevation, city.” The same root yields the Sanskrit noun pū́r “citadel, city” (Singapur “Singapore” means “Lion City”), and Lithuanian pilìs “citadel, castle.” Isopolity entered English in the 19th century.

how is isopolity used?

Isopolity agreements offered states and their citizens a way to share most fully in each other’s judicial systems, political processes, religious and cultural life, without giving up their prized mutual autonomy.

Richard Billows, "International Relations," The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare, Volume I, 2007

In the nineteenth century, the British lawyer and legal theorist A. V. Dicey proposed the creation of a common citizenship, or “isopolity,” between the United States and the United Kingdom.

Linda Kinstler, "A New Way for the Wealthy to Shop for Citizenships," The New Yorker, June 11, 2016
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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

blinkered

[ bling-kerd ]

adjective

narrow-minded and subjective; unwilling to understand another viewpoint.

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What is the origin of blinkered?

The meanings of blinkered “(of a horse) fitted with blinkers to restrict vision” and “(of a person) having a narrow, limited outlook” are all but simultaneous, dating from the end of the 19th century.

how is blinkered used?

These anti-fans see, in new casts and storylines, the agendas of blinkered Social Justice Warriors more interested in diversity quotas and Signaling Virtue than making good movies.

Adam Rogers, "Star Wars and the Battle of the Ever-More-Toxic Fan Culture," Wired, June 6, 2018

I felt my temperature rise at the thought of LaFramboise’s blinkered arrogance.

R. J. Harlick, Death's Golden Whisper, 2004
Tuesday, July 24, 2018

epigone

[ ep-i-gohn ]

noun

an undistinguished imitator, follower, or successor of an important writer, painter, etc.

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What is the origin of epigone?

The English noun epigone ultimately comes from the Greek plural noun epígonoi “offspring, posterity,” literally “(ones) born after or later,” a noun use of the adjective epígonos “born besides.” The original, primary use of epígonoi was for the sons of the seven heroes who fought against “Seven-Gated” Thebes, traditionally a generation before the Trojan War. The secondary use of epígonoi was for the heirs of the diádochoi “successors,” i.e., Alexander the Great’s (356-323 b.c.) generals (e.g., Ptolemy, Seleucus) who divided Alexander’s conquests among themselves. The diádochoi were very competent and their offspring far inferior, which is the modern meaning of epigone. Epigone entered English in the 19th century.

how is epigone used?

… is there anything lower than stealing from an epigone?

John Simon, "Goo on an Island," New York, November 5, 1990

The palace was partly designed by a famous architect of the time, López i Porta, one of Gaudi’s epigones, and partly by Benvingut himself, which explains the labyrinthine, chaotic, indecisive layout of every storey in the building.

Roberto Bolaño, The Skating Rink, translated by Chris Andrews, 2009

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