Word of the Day

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

stellate

[ stel-it, -eyt ]

adjective

like the form of a conventionalized figure of a star; star-shaped.

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What is the origin of stellate?

Stellate comes straight from the Latin adjective stellātus, formed from the noun stella “star” and –ātus, a suffix that forms adjectives from nouns. The noun stella comes from an unrecorded stēr or stēro. Stēr– comes from a very widespread Proto-Indo-European root ster-, stēr– “star,” appearing in Sanskrit star-, Germanic (English) star. Greek preserves the most ancient form, astḗr, the a– being the remainder of a Proto-Indo-European laryngeal consonant. Stellate entered English at the end of the 15th century.

how is stellate used?

The cut edges of the glasses were projecting stellate tessellations across the mahogany.

Ethan Canin, A Doubter's Almanac, 2016

In their experiments, the researchers placed the amoeba in the center of a stellate chip, which is a round plate with 64 narrow channels projecting outwards, and then placed the chip on top of an agar plate.

Lisa Zyga, "Amoeba finds approximate solutions to NP-hard problem in linear time," Phys.org, December 20, 2018
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Monday, May 20, 2019

scaturient

[ skuh-toor-ee-uhnt, -tyoor- ]

adjective

gushing; overflowing.

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What is the origin of scaturient?

Scaturient is a very rare adjective meaning “bubbling up, gushing forth.” It comes from Latin scaturrient-, scāturient-, the participle stem of scaturriēns, scāturiēns, from the verb scaturrīre, scatūrīre. The Latin verbs are derivatives of scatēre, scatere “to gush violently”; the suffix –urīre is of obscure origin and usually forms desiderative verbs (verbs that express the desire to perform the action denoted by the underlying verb). The Latin root scat– is a derivative of the Proto-Indo-European root skēt– “to jump, spring, hop,” source of Old Lithuanian skasti “to jump, spring,” and perhaps of English shad (the fish), from Old English sceadd. Scaturient entered English in the latter half of the 17th century.

how is scaturient used?

The trees, and the flowers, and the butterflies, the green and fragrant earth, all teeming and scaturient with new species.

Hartley Coleridge, "Captain James Cook," Biographia Borealis, 1833

… we well remember on one fine summer holyday … sallying forth at rise of sun … to trace the current of the New River—Middletonian stream!—to its scaturient source ….

Charles Lamb, "Newspapers Thirty-Five Years Ago," The Last Essays of Elia, 1833
Sunday, May 19, 2019

buckram

[ buhk-ruhm ]

noun

stiffness of manner; extreme preciseness or formality.

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What is the origin of buckram?

The noun buckram has gone through many meanings. In the 13th century it referred to a kind of fine linen or cotton cloth, as for ecclesiastic vestments. In the 15th century buckram referred to a thick, coarse linen or cotton cloth sized with glue or paste, as for stiffening clothing or binding books. By the second half of the 17th century, buckram extended the 15th-century meaning to “stiffness of manner, extreme formality.” The etymology of buckram is obscure: some authorities suggest that the word ultimately comes from Bukhara, Uzbekistan, which manufactured and exported the fine cloth. Buckram entered English in the 13th century.

how is buckram used?

You think you are doing mighty well with them; that you are laying aside the buckram of pedantry and pretence, and getting the character of a plain, unassuming, good sort of fellow.

William Hazlitt, "On the Disadvantages of Intellectual Superiority," Table-Talk, Vol. 2, 1822

I had moments when I thought of him as of a man of pasteboard—as though, if one should strike smartly through the buckram of his countenance, there would be found a mere vacuity within.

Robert Louis Stevenson, The Master of Ballantrae, 1889

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