Word of the Day

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

makebate

[ meyk-beyt ]

noun

Archaic. a person who causes contention or discord.

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What is the origin of makebate?

The rare noun makebate comes from the common English verb make and the uncommon, obsolete noun bate “strife, discord,” a derivative of the Middle English verb baten “to argue, contend; (of a bird) to beat the wings” (cf. abate), a borrowing from Old French batre “to beat.” Makebate entered English in the 16th century.

how is makebate used?

… he was no makebate or stirrer up of quarrels; he would rather be a peacemaker.

Sir Walter Scott, A Legend of Montrose, 1819

Trying to set you against me, the spiteful old make-bate, and no one knows how long she will be here …

Charlotte Mary Yonge, Under the Storm, 1887
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Monday, July 09, 2018

ullage

[ uhl-ij ]

noun

the amount by which the contents fall short of filling a container, as a cask or bottle.

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What is the origin of ullage?

If ever there was a Scrabble word, ullage is that word. In Anglo-French the word is spelled ulliage; Old French records many spellings, e.g., ouillage, (h)eullage, œillage; Middle English has ulage, oylage. The French noun ultimately comes from ouil “eye,” also “bunghole,” from Latin oculus “eye.” The very common Romance suffix -age, prolific in English, comes from Late Latin -agium, a suffix for forming nouns, a derivation of Latin -āticum, the neuter of the adjective suffix -āticus. The suffix -āticus is an extension of -ātus, the past participle ending of first conjugation verbs. Ullage entered English in the 15th century.

how is ullage used?

“And what about the ullage?” she said. We both looked at her. … “The ullage. The part of the bottle that’s empty, under the cap.”

Ethan Canin, A Doubter's Almanac, 2016

… inspectors stroll casually from hatch to hatch, measuring ullage (the air space between the top of the oil and the top of the tank) with a long rule.

Richard F. Dempewolff, "A Super-Tanker Feeds Oil-Thirsty America," Popular Mechanics, August 1950
Sunday, July 08, 2018

bravura

[ bruh-vyoor-uh, -voor-uh ]

noun

a display of daring; brilliant performance.

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What is the origin of bravura?

The noun bravura is still unnaturalized in English. The word is obviously Italian, ultimately derived from the adjective bravo, which French borrowed from Italian as brave (English brave comes from French). Further etymology of bravo is unclear: some claim it to be from an assumed Vulgar Latin brabus (Latin barbarus) “barbarian” (Roman authors remarked on the impetuous bravery of Celtic and Germanic warriors). The Italian suffix -ura (-ure in French) comes from the Latin noun suffix -ūra. Bravura entered English in the 18th century.

how is bravura used?

“Nothing wins more loyalty for a leader than an air of bravura,” the Duke said. “I, therefore, cultivate an air of bravura.”

Frank Herbert, Dune, 1965

The acting, though by no means homogeneous, has its share of bravura.

John Simon, "False 'Messiah,' Fake 'Diamonds'," New York, January 7, 1985

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