Word of the Day

Friday, July 27, 2018

punnet

[ puhn-it ]

noun

British, Australian. a small container or basket for strawberries or other fruit.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of punnet?

In the “Cyclops” episode (chapter 12) of Ulysses, there are 33 parodies in exaggerated, sentimental, or pompous styles. The first of these parodies begins “In Inisfail the fair,” a parody of a poem by the Irish poet James Mangin (1803-49), and contains, among other things, an extravagant list of Irish products: “… pearls of the earth, and punnets of mushrooms and custard marrows….” A punnet is a light, shallow container for fruits or other produce. The word is used in Ireland, England, and Australia but not in America. Its origin is uncertain. Punnet entered English in the 19th century.

how is punnet used?

Next time you buy strawberries take a look a good look in the punnet. Do the berries still have the stem attached or has it been plucked off leaving only the green hat of leaves called the calyx?

Lucy Hooker, "The strawberry-picking robots doing a job humans won't," BBC, May 25, 2018

We’ve each got a cardboard tray with twenty-five punnets in, and our job’s to fill each punnet with ripe strawberries, or nearly ripe.

David Mitchell, The Bone Clocks, 2014
quiz icon
WHAT'S YOUR WORD IQ?
Think you're a word wizard? Try our word quiz, and prove it!
TAKE THE QUIZ
arrows pointing up and down
SYNONYM OF THE DAY
Double your word knowledge with the Synonym of the Day!
SEE TODAY'S SYNONYM

Get A Vocabulary Boost In Your Inbox

Get the Word of the Day every day!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Thursday, July 26, 2018

isopolity

[ ahy-suh-pol-i-tee ]

noun

equal rights of citizenship, as in different communities; mutual political rights.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of isopolity?

The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 b.c.) was the first author to use isopolīteía “equality of civic rights.” Isopolīteía applied to individuals and communities; it also meant reciprocity of such rights between states (as by treaty). Polīteía “citizenship, daily life of a citizen, body of citizens; government, polity, constitution” is a derivative of the noun pólis “citadel (of a city), city, one’s city or country.” Pólis comes the very complicated Proto-Indo-European root pel-, pelǝ-, plē- “citadel, fortified elevation, city.” The same root yields the Sanskrit noun pū́r “citadel, city” (Singapur “Singapore” means “Lion City”), and Lithuanian pilìs “citadel, castle.” Isopolity entered English in the 19th century.

how is isopolity used?

Isopolity agreements offered states and their citizens a way to share most fully in each other’s judicial systems, political processes, religious and cultural life, without giving up their prized mutual autonomy.

Richard Billows, "International Relations," The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare, Volume I, 2007

In the nineteenth century, the British lawyer and legal theorist A. V. Dicey proposed the creation of a common citizenship, or “isopolity,” between the United States and the United Kingdom.

Linda Kinstler, "A New Way for the Wealthy to Shop for Citizenships," The New Yorker, June 11, 2016
Wednesday, July 25, 2018

blinkered

[ bling-kerd ]

adjective

narrow-minded and subjective; unwilling to understand another viewpoint.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of blinkered?

The meanings of blinkered “(of a horse) fitted with blinkers to restrict vision” and “(of a person) having a narrow, limited outlook” are all but simultaneous, dating from the end of the 19th century.

how is blinkered used?

These anti-fans see, in new casts and storylines, the agendas of blinkered Social Justice Warriors more interested in diversity quotas and Signaling Virtue than making good movies.

Adam Rogers, "Star Wars and the Battle of the Ever-More-Toxic Fan Culture," Wired, June 6, 2018

I felt my temperature rise at the thought of LaFramboise’s blinkered arrogance.

R. J. Harlick, Death's Golden Whisper, 2004

Get A Vocabulary Boost In Your Inbox

Get the Word of the Day every day!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.