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Word of the day


[ lee-doh ] [ ˈli doʊ ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


a fashionable beach resort.

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What is the origin of lido?

Lido “a fashionable beach resort” is the namesake of the Lido di Venezia, a chain of sandy islands in northeastern Italy that separate the Venetian Lagoon from the Adriatic Sea. Lido in Italian means “shore, beach, strand” and comes from Latin lītus “shore.” The stem of lītus is lītor-, which is the source of English littoral “of or relating to a shore” (not to be confused with literal “involving the strict meaning of a word”). Lītus becomes lītor- through a process called rhotacism, which is the change of the sound s or z to r. Though this may seem like an odd sound shift, it’s rather common in English; compare was and were, is and are (possibly), and most and more. Lido was first recorded in English in the late 1920s.

how is lido used?

On a recent summer morning, one lido on the beach at Focene, west of Rome, was bustling. Italians of all ages and sizes sizzled on sun-bleached chairs. Children splashed happily among the waves, and a group of senior citizens exercised (gently) to a mambo beat.

Elisabetta Povoledo, “For Italians With Disabilities, a Place in the Sun,” New York Times, September 3, 2017

As a rule, a lido is a private section of beach where loungers, sun umbrellas and cabins can be rented. It usually boasts a small restaurant, or at least a snack bar, and, of course, toilets and showers. Usually inexpensive, these amenities certainly make for more comfort than lying on a towel on the sand.

Mario Giordano, Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions, 2015
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[ kot-ij-kawr ] [ ˈkɒt ɪdʒˌkɔr ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


an aesthetic or imagery inspired by an old-fashioned, rural lifestyle, characterized by rustic décor and fashion, a revival of traditional handicrafts, etc.

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What is the origin of cottagecore?

Cottagecore “an aesthetic inspired by a rural lifestyle” is a compound of cottage and the element -core. Cottage comes by way of Medieval Latin from Old English cot “small house, hut” and Old French -age, a noun-forming suffix that sometimes indicates a place of residence (compare parsonage). The element -core here is taken from hard-core, which refers to a harsh, intense style of punk rock. In the 1980s, -core came to appear in reference to subgenres of punk (such as grindcore), then broadened to describe subgenres of any non-mainstream music (such as sadcore), and ultimately began to feature in terms for subcultures and aesthetics (such as normcore). Cottagecore was first recorded in English very recently in the late 2010s. Learn more about other –core words here.

how is cottagecore used?

Visually, cottagecore looks like this: sourdough bread starters, foraged mushrooms, open meadows, freshly picked flowers, homegrown produce, knitting, baking pies, and, yes, rustic cottages …. At a time when many feel trapped and overwhelmed, cottagecore offers a wholesome, back-to-basics escape.

Emma Bowman, “The Escapist Land Of 'Cottagecore,' From Marie Antoinette To Taylor Swift,” NPR, August 9, 2020

Summer 2022 has officially arrived and with it, new trends that include boho and cottagecore, a lifestyle trend inspired by the tranquility of country life. Strongly influenced by nostalgia, cottagecore style is a celebration of crafts, vintage pieces and a slower pace of living.

Linda White, “Cottage core among summer's hottest trends,” National Post, June 24, 2022
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Word of the day


[ floh-kah-tee ] [ floʊˈkɑ ti ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


a thick, woolen rug with a shaggy pile, originally handwoven in Greece.

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What is the origin of flokati?

Flokati “a thick, woolen rug with a shaggy pile” is a loanword from modern Greek and is also transliterated more traditionally as phlokátē. The differences in transliteration reflect two sound changes between Ancient Greek and modern Greek: ancient ph (“puh” with a puff of air) became modern f, and ancient ē (long “eh”) became modern i (“ee”). Flokati comes—by way of Balkan Romani, dialectal Italian, or Vulgar Latin—from Latin floccus “tuft of wool.” English inherits flock in the sense “a lock or tuft of wool, hair, or cotton” from Latin floccus, while flock in the sense “a number of animals herded together” is of Old English origin. Flokati was first recorded in English in the late 1960s.

how is flokati used?

And the mustard seed and poppies sprouted as soft and thick as a flokati. This bounty didn’t surprise Dr. Silvertown. “You will get poppy plants coming up in fields that haven’t been propagated for decades,” he said.

Michael Tortorello, “Seeds Straight From Your Fridge," New York Times, February 23, 2011

When it comes to decorating, the very best way to make a white space homey and comfortable is with texture and natural tones. Pile up a sofa with linen or velvet cushions, place a fluffy flokati or Moroccan rug on the floor and toss a nubbly, wooly throw atop a bed or armchair.

Beth Hitchcock, “Ask a design expert: I love white rooms but am afraid they’ll feel cold or bland, any tips?” Globe and Mail, February 5, 2020
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