Word of the Day

Word of the day

Friday, September 07, 2018

locavore

[ loh-kuh-vawr, -vohr ]

noun

a person who makes an effort to eat food that is grown, raised, or produced locally, usually within 100 miles of home.

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What is the origin of locavore?

Locavore was coined in 2005 by Jessica Prentice (born 1968), an American chef and author, and a co-founder of Three Stone Hearth, a community-supported kitchen in Berkeley, California. Locavore is a compound of English local, from Latin locālis “pertaining to a place” (from locus “place”) and Latin vorāre “to swallow ravenously,” which also appears in devour “to swallow down, gulp down,” carnivore “meat eater,” and herbivore “grass eater.”

how is locavore used?

The pomegranates, Boston lettuce, and tomatoes came from out of state–it was hard to be a complete locavore in New England during the winter.

Steven Raichlen, Island Apart, 2012

The locavore movement aims to capture that flavor difference and promote sustainable, community-based agriculture by favoring “low-mileage” foods over ones that have traveled long distances to arrive at your plate.

Christie Aschwanden, "The Locavore," Runner's World, October 2008
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Word of the day

Thursday, September 06, 2018

cyclopean

[ sahy-kluh-pee-uhn, sahy-klop-ee-uhn ]

adjective

gigantic; vast.

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What is the origin of cyclopean?

English cyclopean comes from the Latin adjective Cyclōpēus, a borrowing of Greek Kyklṓpeios, a derivative of the common noun, proper noun, and name Kýklōps, which the Greeks interpreted to mean “round eye” (a compound of kýklos “wheel” and ōps “eye, face”). The most famous Cyclops is Polyphemus, a crude, solitary shepherd living on an island whom Odysseus blinded in Homer’s Odyssey. Hesiod (ca. 8th century b.c.) in his Theogony names three Cyclopes; they are craftsmen who make Zeus’s thunderbolts, and whom the Greeks often credited with building the walls of ancient Mycenae, Tiryns, Argos, and the acropolis of Athens, all constructed with massive limestone blocks roughly fitted together without mortar. Cyclopean entered English in the 17th century.

how is cyclopean used?

… large ships’ vents hang from the two-story-high ceiling, like Cyclopean worms poking their heads in to check out the space.

Colin Stokes, "The Ship," The New Yorker, May 16, 2016

And ahead, the great cyclopean edifice reared like a giant’s curse against the darkness: too dense a black, too severe.

Storm Constantine, The Way of Light, 2002

Word of the day

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

claddagh

[ klah-duh ]

noun

a ring in the form of two hands clasping a crowned heart, given in friendship or love.

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What is the origin of claddagh?

The claddagh ring is Irish in name and origin. Claddagh in Irish means “shore” and is also the name of a fishing village on the western edge of Galway City, on the west coast of Ireland. The rings, with the design of two hands (friendship) clasping a heart (love), surmounted by a crown (loyalty), symbolized betrothal or marriage and were used at least as early as 1700. Claddagh entered English in the 19th century.

how is claddagh used?

One of the rings was becoming visible thanks to the bright light. “Are those hands?” “It’s a claddagh.”

C. J. Lyons, Devil Smoke, 2016

Taking note of the thick band of sterling silver, I saw alternating squares of intricately engraved pictures: one was a Scottish thistle, one a Celtic knot, one a raven and the last I recognized because of my studies: a Claddagh: two hands clasping a heart together.

Sharon Ricklin Jones, Ravenswynd Legends, 2013

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