Word of the Day

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
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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
Wednesday, October 02, 2019

coalesce

[ koh-uh-les ]

verb (used without object)

to unite so as to form one mass, community, etc.: The various groups coalesced into a crowd.

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What is the origin of coalesce?

The English verb coalesce ultimately comes from the Latin compound verb coalescere “to grow together, combine,” formed from co-, a variant of the prefix com– “together, with,” and the verb alescere “to grow up, be nourished.” Alescere is composed of the simple verb alere “to nourish, suckle, feed,” with the inchoative suffix –esc-, which indicates the beginning of an action (sometimes the suffix has lost its original meaning). Alere comes from the Latin root al– “to nourish,” from which Latin also derives alimentum “nourishment” (English aliment and alimentary), alumnus “foster child, nursling” (English alumnus), alimōnium “food, support, cost of support” (English alimony), and alma māter “nourishing mother, kindly mother,” which by the late 14th century came to refer specifically to universities. Coalesce entered English in the 16th century.

how is coalesce used?

Will the new generation of activists rising across the United States coalesce into a movement capable of uniting a deeply polarized country?

Srdja Popovic and Slobodan Djinovic, "Gene Sharp has passed away—but his ideas will go on inspiring activists around the world," Washington Post, February 1, 2018

Most friend groups, however, seemed to coalesce around the segment of L.A. they were from, bonds formed through carpools and neighborhood functions rather than schoolyard commingling.

Samuel Harwood, "L.A. Affairs: A love derailed by staying on track," Los Angeles Times, August 1, 2015

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