Word of the Day

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

joyance

[ joi-uhns ]

noun

Archaic. joyous feeling; gladness.

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What is the origin of joyance?

Joyance “gladness, rejoicing,” a compound of the verb joy “to feel glad, rejoice” and the suffix -ance, used to form nouns from verbs, was coined by Edmund Spenser (c1552-99) in his Faerie Queene (1590). Ben Jonson (c1573-1637) and Samuel Johnson (1709-84) were not great fans of Edmund Spenser’s contrived, artificial diction, and joyance may be one of the reasons why. The word was rare until two of the Lake Poets, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) and Robert Southey (1774-1843), resuscitated it in the late 18th century.

how is joyance used?

The rooms rang with silvery voices of women and delightful laughter, while the fiddles went merrily, their melodies chiming sweetly with the joyance of his mood.

Booth Tarkington, Monsieur Beaucaire, 1900

… overhead the soaring skylark sang, as it were, to express the joyance of the day.

Gilbert Parker, A Ladder of Swords, 1904
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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

kaleidoscopic

[ kuh-lahy-duh-skop-ik ]

adjective

continually shifting from one set of relations to another; rapidly changing: the kaleidoscopic events of the past year.

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What is the origin of kaleidoscopic?

Kaleidoscopic comes from Greek kalós “beautiful,” eîdos “shape,” and -scope, a combining form meaning “instrument for viewing.” The suffix -ic is used to form adjective from other parts of speech in Greek and Latin loanwords in English. Kaleidoscopic entered English in the 1840s.

how is kaleidoscopic used?

The natural progress of her life, however, is fragmented in Hong’s kaleidoscopic fusion of reality and fantasy.

Richard Brody, "Idiosyncratic Romance at the New York Film Festival," The New Yorker, October 2, 2017

Things had happened, in the last few hours, with a kaleidoscopic rapidity–the whirl of events had left her mind in a dazed condition.

Margaret E. Sangster, The Island of Faith, 1921
Monday, December 17, 2018

grinch

[ grinch ]

noun

a person or thing that spoils or dampens the pleasure of others.

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What is the origin of grinch?

The Grinch was the misanthropic central character in the children’s book How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1957) by “Dr. Seuss” (Theodor Seuss Geisel). The book was made into a TV special in 1966 and a feature film in 2000.

how is grinch used?

I’d prefer not to be a grinch, but it’s always been beyond me why people like to argue about literary prizes.

Willing Davidson, "Pullet Surprise," The New Yorker, April 20, 2009

Every family has a grinch: the person who wants to sleep in instead of opening presents, refuses to sing Christmas carols, or eats a Twix instead of plum pudding.

Sally Holmes, "Anna Wintour Is the Grinch Who Stole the Christmas Tree," The Cut, December 26, 2013

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