Word of the Day

Friday, May 04, 2018

sith

[ sith ]

adverb, conjunction, preposition

since.

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What is the origin of sith?

In English sith is an archaic or dialect word whose functions as an adverb, preposition, and conjunction have been taken over by since. The Old English siththa is a variant of siththan (originally sīth thām “after that, subsequent to”), an adverbial and prepositional phrase formed from the comparative adverb sīth “subsequently, later” (akin to German seit “since”) and thām, the dative of the demonstrative pronoun, the phrase meaning “subsequent to that, after that.”

how is sith used?

… for ever sith the lord Clisson turned French, he never loved him.

Jean Froissart (1333?– c.1400), The Chronicles of Froissart, translated by John Bourchier, 1523–25

“Of course you see now, Sir Thomas, how ill a match Master John Feversham should have been for Blanche.” “Wherefore?” was the short answer. “Sith he is no longer the heir.”

Emily Sarah Holt, Clare Avery, 1876
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Thursday, May 03, 2018

forgetive

[ fawr-ji-tiv, fohr- ]

adjective

Archaic. inventive; creative.

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What is the origin of forgetive?

At first glance forgetive looks like a derivative of forget, to be pronounced with a hard g, accented on the second syllable, and meaning something like “forgetful.” It is, however, a coinage by Shakespeare, and appears in Henry IV, Part 2 (1596-99). Forgetive, obscure in its etymology and meaning, is usually interpreted as a derivation of the verb forge “to beat into shape, form by hammering” and meaning “creative, inventive.”

how is forgetive used?

O quick and forgetive power!

Dante Alighieri (written c. 1308–21), The Vision: or, Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, of Dante Alighieri, translated by Henry Francis Cary, 1814

A good sherris-sack hath a two-fold operation in it. It … makes it apprehensive quick, forgetive, full of nimble fiery and delectable shapes …

William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2, 1623
Wednesday, May 02, 2018

pococurante

[ poh-koh-koo-ran-tee, -rahn-, -kyoo- ]

noun

a careless or indifferent person.

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What is the origin of pococurante?

The English noun and adjective pococurante is a straightforward borrowing from Italian, even retaining its Italian pronunciation. Pococurante in both languages means “caring little, indifferent.” The first element poco in Italian is an indefinite adjective and adverb meaning “little, a little,” descended from the Latin adjective paucus “few” (the Latin adjective is related to Gothic fawai, Old English fēawe, and Middle English fewe, all plural adjectives of indefinite quantity meaning “few”). The Italian adjective curante is the present participle of the verb curare (the Latin forms are cūrant- and cūrāre) “to watch over, look after, cure.” The Latin verb is a derivative of the noun cūra “worry, concern, object of care,” of unknown etymology. Pococurante entered English in the 18th century.

how is pococurante used?

“I believe you are misinformed, sir,” said Jekyl dryly, and then resumed as deftly as he could, his proper character of a pococurante.

Sir Walter Scott, St. Ronan's Well, 1823

Calling a careless person a “pococurante” or other fancy name will not, by the precision of the term, suddenly make the careless careful.

Jeff VanderMeer, The Third Bear, 2010

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