Word of the Day

Monday, May 04, 2020

Jedi

[ jed-ahy ]

noun

a person who has an unexplainable power over people or things, or who seems to enjoy unusual luck and positive outcomes, as if able to exert the power of the Force to mystically influence the universe: The defense lawyer was a jedi—two minutes into his closing argument the jury forgot all of the incriminating evidence that had been presented.

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What is the origin of Jedi?

If you are from a galaxy far, far away, you will know what a Jedi is (a member of an order of warrior monks). The order and word were formed a long, long time ago in another galaxy, but in this one the word dates only to 1973.

how is Jedi used?

In the Senate, the outspoken Paul and McConnell, the methodical Jedi of the upper chamber, would sometimes disagree on tactics.

Peter Hamby, "How Mitch McConnell crushed the tea party," CNN, May 20, 2014

In December 2010, McGuire made a pilgrimage to Black Sheep Bikes in Fort Collins, Colo., to learn at the hands of an acknowledged Jedi of bike frame fabrication, James Bleakley.

Kyle Munson, "These Iowa bicycles lovingly built by hand travel all around the world," Des Moines Register, March 3, 2017

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Sunday, May 03, 2020

domicile

[ dom-uh-sahyl, -suhl, doh-muh- ]

noun

a place of residence; abode; house or home.

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What is the origin of domicile?

Domicile is a very legal-sounding word. Its general meaning is “place of residence, abode, house or home”; its legal meaning is “permanent legal residence, as for tax obligations or voting rights.” (Thus one may be domiciled in New York, paying state income taxes there and voting there, but also have a weekend residence in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.) Domicile comes from Middle French, from Latin domicilium, formed from the noun domus “house, home” and the suffix –cilium, of uncertain etymology, but probably derived from colere “to live in, inhabit, dwell” (the source of English colony). Latin domicilium has no legal meaning. Domicile entered English in the 15th century.

how is domicile used?

We drove into an older section of the downtown, down a street of brick row houses, and ended up in front of the family’s old domicile

Michael Paterniti, "Mr. Nobody: The Bizarre Story of Sywald Skeid," GQ, June 1, 2007

Choosing the latter alternative, I began by making up my mind to leave the hotel, and take up my quarters in some less pretentious and less expensive domicile. 

Arthur Conan Doyle, "A Study in Scarlet," Beeton's Christmas Annual, 1887

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Saturday, May 02, 2020

sedentary

[ sed-n-ter-ee ]

adjective

accustomed to sit or rest a great deal or to take little exercise.

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What is the origin of sedentary?

There is unfortunately no more apt a word right now than sedentary, “accustomed to sit or rest a great deal or to take little exercise.” Sedentary comes via Middle French sédentaire from Latin sedentārius “sitting, sedentary.” Sedentārius is a derivative of sedēns (stem sedent-), the present participle of sedēre “to sit,” and the very common adjective and noun suffix –ārius, which becomes -aire in French and French borrowings into English (as in doctrinaire, millionaire) and –ary in English (as in complimentary, visionary). Sedentary entered English in the 16th century.

how is sedentary used?

Picture yourself, Jack, a confirmed home-body, a sedentary fellow who finds himself walking in a deep wood.

Don DeLillo, White Noise, 1985

His love of books, his sedentary habits, and quick wit on matters of learning, led those interested in his fate to consider him fitted for the church, and therefore, he took priest’s orders. 

Mary Shelley, The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck, 1830

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