Word of the Day

Saturday, October 05, 2019

realia

[ ree-ey-lee-uh, -al-ee-uh, rey-ah-lee-uh ]

plural noun

objects, as coins, tools, etc., used by a teacher to illustrate everyday living.

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What is the origin of realia?

Realia comes from the Late Latin adjective reālia “real things, facts,” the neuter plural of reālis used as a noun. Reālis is a derivative of the noun rēs “thing, matter, affair” (three of the word’s many, many meanings). The earliest English usage of realia referred to German culture and educational systems, specifically the Realschule, a secondary school specializing in practical subjects rather than the liberal arts. In the United States since the late 1890s, realia have meant ordinary, everyday objects used as teaching aids for children. This is nothing new: in the first century a.d., the Roman rhetorician Quintilian recommended using large letters carved of wood, easy for children to handle, to help them learn the alphabet. Realia entered English in the first half of the 19th century.

how is realia used?

For students to learn a new language in meaningful contexts, teachers must use every instructional strategy available to them, including the use of actual objects (realia), pictures, videos, and gestures to express meaning.

Anthony Jackson, "Immersion Teaching: Successful Approaches," Education Week, October 17, 2013

Many libraries contain realia, or real artifacts. School libraries may include various kinds of rock for the study of geology; cultural libraries may possess objects such as the toki ….

Ian H. Witten and David Bainbridge, How to Build a Digital Library, 2003
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Friday, October 04, 2019

slumberland

[ sluhm-ber-land ]

noun

an imaginary land described to children as the place they enter during sleep.

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What is the origin of slumberland?

Slumberland is a humorous, poetic, or childish word. It first appears in the Decadent poet Algernon Swinburne’s Tristram of Lyonesse and other Poems (1882): “The great good wizard … Takes his strange rest at heart of slumberland.” Slumber, “to sleep, doze,” comes from Middle English slumeren, frequentative of slumen “to doze,” itself a derivative of Old English slūma “sleep.”

how is slumberland used?

… Drew Ackerman created a podcast to lead listeners into slumberland.

Pagan Kennedy, "The Insomnia Machine," New York Times, September 17, 2016

Every time the boy thinks he has ushered them into slumberland, with the goal of getting some shut-eye himself, a new obstacle pops up (“Is something wrong?” “I need my coil!”/ “My sensor aches!” “I want more oil!”).

, "Beep! Beep! Go to Sleep!" Publishers Weekly, July 6, 2015
Thursday, October 03, 2019

foliaceous

[ foh-lee-ey-shuhs ]

adjective

bearing leaves or leaflike parts.

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What is the origin of foliaceous?

Foliaceous “leaflike, leafy,” is a technical adjective used in botany and other branches of biology. Foliaceous comes straight from Latin foliāceus (with the same meanings), a derivative of the noun folium “leaf.” Folium comes from the Proto-Indo-European root bhel-, bhol-, bhlē-, bhlō– “to bloom, thrive.” The root is the source of Latin flōs (inflectional stem flōr-) “flower,” which through French yields English flower and flour, and Old Irish blāth “blossom, flower.” The Germanic form blō– yields the Old English noun blōstma, blōsma “blossom,” and the verb blōwan “to blow, blossom, flourish.” The Greek noun phýllon “leaf” could be from the same root, except that the y (instead of o) is hard to explain. Foliaceous entered English in the 17th century.

how is foliaceous used?

This Oak presents about the longest trunk of all California foliaceous trees.

Titus Fey Cronise, The Natural Wealth of California, 1868

The autumn dress of the foliaceous forest is much more varied and rich in colour than even that of the Atlantic forests of North America ….

J. J. Rein, The Industries of Japan, 1889

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