Word of the Day

Word of the day

Friday, March 30, 2018

sepulcher

[ sep-uh l-ker ]

noun

a tomb, grave, or burial place.

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What is the origin of sepulcher?

Sepulcher comes via French from Latin sepulcrum “grave, tomb,” a derivative of the verb sepelīre “to perform the funeral rites, bury, inter.” The Latin verb comes from the Proto-Indo-European root sep- “to honor,” extended to sep-el- “sorrow, care, awe.” The same root appears in Sanskrit sapati “(he) worships, tends.” The Greek derivative of sep- is the root hep-, which usually occurs in compound verbs, e.g., amphiépein “to look after, tend to,” as in the last line of the Iliad, “Thus they tended to (amphíepon) the funeral of horse-taming Hector.” Sepulcher entered English in the 13th century.

how is sepulcher used?

The stale suffocating room felt like a sepulcher

Sue Monk Kidd, The Invention of Wings, 2014

A clattering-rattling sound. A bony sound. Like the skeletons of long-dead men clawing their way out of a sepulcher.

Dean Koontz, Phantoms, 1983
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Thursday, March 29, 2018

gadzookery

[ gad-zoo-kuh-ree ]

noun

British. the use or overuse of period-specific or archaic expressions, as in a historical novel.

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What is the origin of gadzookery?

Gadzookery was first recorded in 1950–1955.

how is gadzookery used?

The language is convincing, and free of the gadzookery of Elizabethan pastiche.

Charles Nicholl, "Exiting the Stage," New York Times, January 25, 2013

Several other stories and verses that they jointly contributed to magazines are historical and melodramatic in tone, larded with archaic oaths and exclamations and general gadzookery.

Julia Briggs, A Woman of Passion: The Life of E. Nesbit, 1987
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Word of the day

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

timeserver

[ tahym-sur-ver ]

noun

a person who shapes his or her conduct to conform to the opinions of the time or of persons in power, especially for selfish ends.

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What is the origin of timeserver?

Timeserver was first recorded in 1565–75.

how is timeserver used?

He was labeled unreliable. He could even be thought a double-dealer or timeserver.

Eitaro Ishizawa, "Too Much About Too Many," Ellery Queen's Japanese Golden Dozen, 1978

“I couldn’t marry Belinda to a time-server or a palace-worshipper,” said the King decidedly.

Edith Nesbit, The Magic World, 1912
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