Word of the Day

Word of the day

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

moue

[ moo ]

noun

a pouting grimace.

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What is the origin of moue?

The noun moue, “a pout, grimace,” still feels very French in its spelling. Some of its Middle English spellings include moue, mouwe, mowhe “grimace, wry face, grin,” all from Middle French mouwe, moe “lip, pout,” from Old French moe “grimace, pout.” Old French moe is probably from unrecorded Frankish mauwa “pout, protruding lip,” or Middle Dutch mouwe “protruding lip.” Moue entered English in the mid-19th century.

how is moue used?

“What, your stitching wasn’t good enough?” The woman made a sympathetic moue.

Tracy Chevalier, Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1999

Disapproval either goes unexpressed or is exaggerated, with a roll of the eye and a theatrical moue and a “She never takes any notice of me, anyway.”

Julian Barnes, "Complicity," The New Yorker, October 12, 2009

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Word of the day

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

longevous

[ lon-jee-vuhs, lawn- ]

adjective

Archaic.

long-lived; living to a great age.

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What is the origin of longevous?

The adjective longevous is much less common than its derivative noun longevity. Longevous derives from the Latin adjective longaevus “of great age, ancient,” a compound of the adjective longus “long” and the noun aevum “time, the past, the ages.” Longevity comes from Late Latin longaevitās (stem longaevitāt-) “long life, longevity,” formed from longus and the noun aevitās (also aetās) “age, one’s age,” a derivative of aevum. Longevous entered English in the mid-17th century (and longevity in the second half of the 16th century).

how is longevous used?

a vast majority of these extremely longevous folk were of a placid temperament, not given to worry.

Raymond Pearl, "The Search for Longevity," The Scientific Monthly, Vol. 46, May 1938  

It’s hard to remember a longevous rock band that left on such a high note as these women did in 2006.

Chris Riemenschneider, "Sleater-Kinney returns to a city full of love," Star Tribune, February 15, 2015

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Word of the day

Monday, March 23, 2020

schlep

[ shlep ]

verb (used with object)

to carry; lug: to schlep an umbrella on a sunny day.

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What is the origin of schlep?

The slang term schlep “to lug, carry” is used mostly in the United States. Schlep is from the Yiddish verb shlepn “to pull, drag” (German schleppen “to draw, tug, haul”). The derivative noun schlepper, “one who schleps,” appears slightly earlier than the verb. Schlepper entered English toward the end of the 19th century; schlep appeared in the early 20th.

how is schlep used?

She had drawn notice as the doctor who would help mechanics schlep gear, fetch coffee and even massage the overworked massage therapists.

Nancy Lofholm, "Crested Butte surgeon scores top spot at Sochi Olympics," Denver Post, January 11, 2014

After a bit of trial and error, you’ll find car-free travel is a liberating choice that forces you to schlep considerably less.

Lauren Matison, "How to Travel Car-Free With a Family," New York Times, December 4, 2019

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