Word of the Day

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

osmatic

[ oz-mat-ik ]

adjective

of or relating to the sense of smell.

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What is the origin of osmatic?

Osmatic, “relating to the sense of smell or to animals with a keen sense of smell,” is a borrowing from French osmatique, which was coined by the 19th-century French surgeon and anthropologist Paul Broca in 1878. Osmatique derives from the Greek noun osmḗ (also odmḗ) “smell, odor, scent” and the French adjectival suffix -atique, from the same source as the English suffix –atic. Osmḗ is the classical Attic form of earlier and dialectal odmḗ, from a root od- “to smell” and is closely related to Latin odor “a smell, odor, whiff, hint.” Osmatic entered English in 1880.

how is osmatic used?

Each of our senses diminish their acuity at a slightly different rate as we fall off to sleep. Our auditive, osmatic, thermal, and tactile responses become seemingly dormant …

Richard Neutra, Nature Near: The Late Essays of Richard Neutra, 1989

Osmatic messages permit recognition of others as individuals or as members of a social category, or signal a certain emotional state.

Guy Ankerl, Experimental Sociology of Architecture, 1981

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Monday, June 08, 2020

alligate

[ al-i-geyt ]

verb (used with object)

Obsolete.

to attach; bind.

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What is the origin of alligate?

The rare verb alligate comes from Latin alligātus, the past participle of alligāre “to tie, tie up, tie together,” especially in the combination or mixture of elements of different qualities or values. Alligate entered English in the 16th century.

how is alligate used?

light weight of truth, spun out to cob-web tenuity, might be alligated with fancies and spangled with glittering fallacies, the whole bearing the name of homeopathy …

, "Article XII," American Journal of Dental Science, Vol. 4, July 1854

We are not, dear sisters, called to go into the field of battle and expose our lives to the devouring sword; but we are alligated by every principle of religion and virtue to mourn the sins which render these calamities necessary …

Mary Webb, "An Address from the Boston Female Society for Missionary Purposes to Females Professing Godliness," Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Magazine, March 1813

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Sunday, June 07, 2020

Croesus

[ kree-suhs ]

noun

a very rich man.

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What is the origin of Croesus?

Croesus comes from Latin Croesus, from Greek Kroîsos (the name has no further etymology). Croesus, who lived from about 595 b.c. to 546 b.c., was the last king of fabulously wealthy Lydia, an ancient kingdom that occupied much of modern western Turkey. (Croesus issued the first gold coins of standardized quality and weight, and the Greeks adopted coinage from the Lydians). For the ancient Greeks (e.g., for the poet Sappho), Sardis, the capital of Lydia, was the equivalent of the Paris of today, elegant and stylish. Croesus was also remarkable for the Greeks because of his philhellenism: he embellished Greek temples in Ionia and made many offerings to the oracle of Apollo at Delphi. The death of Croesus, possibly burnt alive on a pyre on the orders of Cyrus the Great, was profoundly shocking to the Greeks: how could a man of such piety come to such a brutal end? Croesus entered English at the end of the 14th century.

how is Croesus used?

Apple’s share price fell by 8% yesterday, wiping more than $40bn off its value in a few hours. Is the world falling out of love with the Croesus of Cupertino?

Steve Rose, "A brief guide to everything that's annoying about Apple," The Guardian, April 27, 2016

One of our countrymen, Mr. Cockerell, appears to be considered the manufacturing Croesus of these parts, and his name is that which is generally mentioned by the obsequious valets-de-place ….

Robert Clouston, Letters from Germany and Belgium, 1839

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