Word of the Day

Monday, May 14, 2018

lollapalooza

[ lol-uh-puh-loo-zuh ]

noun

Slang. an extraordinary or unusual thing, person, or event; an exceptional example or instance.

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What is the origin of lollapalooza?

Lollapalooza is an American word of unknown but fanciful origin, used by comic writers and humorists such as S.J. Perelman (1904-79) and P.G. Wodehouse (1881-1975). Lollapalooza entered English in the early 20th century.

how is lollapalooza used?

Miss Jeynes, that dance was a real lollapalooza.

Suzanne North, Flying Time, 2014

There will be a storm this evening, bet on it. It will be a lollapalooza.

Roger Rosenblatt, Lapham Rising, 2006
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Sunday, May 13, 2018

minnie

[ min-ee ]

noun

Scot. and North England Informal. mother; mom.

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What is the origin of minnie?

The noun minnie is probably baby talk for northern English and Scottish mither “mother” or for mummy (mommy). Minnie is used in northern England and Scotland to mean “(one’s) mother.” Minnie entered English in the 17th century.

how is minnie used?

Whare are you gaun, my bonnie lass, Whare are you gaun, my hinnie? She answered me right saucilie, “An errand for my minnie.”

Robert Burns, "A Waukrife Minnie," 1789

… come and wake my minnie to me, for I canna …

S. R. Crockett, Deep Moat Grange, 1908
Saturday, May 12, 2018

truthiness

[ troo-thee-nis ]

noun

the quality of seeming to be true according to one's intuition, opinion, or perception without regard to logic, factual evidence, or the like: the growing trend of truthiness as opposed to truth.

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What is the origin of truthiness?

Truthiness in the 19th century meant “truthfulness, veracity”; this sense is rare nowadays. Its current sense, “the quality of seeming to be true according to one’s opinion without regard to fact,” was invented by the comedian Stephen Colbert in 2005.

how is truthiness used?

Truthiness is “truth that comes from the gut, not books,” Colbert said in 2005.

Katy Waldman, "The Science of Truthiness," Slate, September 3, 2014

A Rovian political strategy by definition means all slime, all the time. But the more crucial Rove game plan is to envelop the entire presidential race in a thick fog of truthiness.

Frank Rich, "Truthiness Stages a Comeback," New York Times, September 20, 2008

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