Word of the Day

Monday, May 25, 2020

salute

[ suh-loot ]

verb (used with object)

to express respect or praise for; honor; commend.

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What is the origin of salute?

Of the verb and the noun salute, the verb is earlier, appearing in the late 14th century, the noun appearing between 1400 and 1450. The Middle English verb was saluten “to greet courteously or respectfully,” from the Latin verb salūtāre “to greet, hail, salute.” (In older English usage I salute you means “I send you respectful greetings.”) Salūtāre is a derivative of the noun salūs (inflectional stem salūt-) “health, safety, personal safety.” Salūs in its turn is derived from the adjective salvus “safe, safe and sound” (Salvus sum in colloquial Latin means “I’m all right”).

how is salute used?

Arlington, Va.’s Boy Scout Troop 164 helped to salute the fallen from that famous Army unit, whose history spans from World War I to the war in Iraq.

Michael E. Ruane and Antonio Olivo, "On Memorial Day, honoring the fallen and those who contributed," Washington Post, May 27, 2019

DiMaggio attended the post-game ceremony not only to remember Gehrig, his former teammate, but to salute the game’s new Iron Horse.

Claire Smith, "The Game Gets Together To Salute Favorite Son," New York Times, September 7, 1995

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Sunday, May 24, 2020

whelked

[ hwelkt, welkt ]

adjective

ridged like the shell of a snail: a whelked horn.

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What is the origin of whelked?

Whelked, “having ridges like the shell of a snail,” is an adjective derived from the noun whelk “a large, spiral-shelled, marine gastropod.” Whelk comes from Middle English welk, welke, wilk, wilke, from Old English weoloc, weluc, wiolc, wulloc. The modern spelling whelk, with initial wh-, first appears about 1425 in a cookbook.

how is whelked used?

As I stood here below, methought his eyes Were two full moons; he had a thousand noses, Horns whelked and waved like the enridged sea.

William Shakespeare, King Lear, 1608

Alice puckered her old whelked face into a thousand deeper wrinkles ….

George Soane, The Frolics of Puck, 1834

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Saturday, May 23, 2020

syncopate

[ sing-kuh-peyt, sin- ]

verb (used with object)

to place (the accents) on beats that are normally unaccented.

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What is the origin of syncopate?

Syncopate comes from Late Latin syncopātus, the past participle of the verb syncopāre, a derivative of the noun syncopa or syncopē, which has two senses: a grammatical sense “the contraction of a word by omitting one or more sounds from the middle, as never becoming ne’er,” and a medical sense “swooning, fainting away.” Syncopa and syncopē come from the Greek noun synkopḗ, which has the same meanings as the Latin, developments of its basic meaning “a cutting up into small pieces.” Syncopate entered English in the early 17th century.

how is syncopate used?

I juxtapose the rhythms, and I syncopate them to make the piece create the jazz feeling that I’d like to get.

"All Things Considered," NPR, December 1996

Finding syncopation in jazz is about as difficult as finding water in the ocean. It is the cornerstone of one of the principal sources of jazz rhythm, ragtime melody, so much so that to “rag a melody” and (a decade or so later) to “jazz up a melody” meant, in part, to syncopate it.

Barry Kernfeld, What to Listen for in Jazz, 1995

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