Word of the Day

Sunday, March 10, 2019

temporize

[ tem-puh-rahyz ]

verb

to be indecisive or evasive to gain time or delay acting.

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What is the origin of temporize?

The current, somewhat negative, meaning of temporize, “to be indecisive or evasive to gain time or delay acting,” is a relatively modern development of Middle French temporiser “to pass the time, await one’s time,” from Medieval Latin temporizāre “to delay,” equivalent to Medieval Latin temporāre “to delay, put off the time.” All of the medieval words are derivatives of Latin tempor-, the inflectional stem of tempus “time,” which has no certain etymology. Temporize entered English in the 16th century.

how is temporize used?

I’ll temporise till we are all dead and buried.

Charles Reade, A Perilous Secret, 1884

He is as likely as any man I know to temporize—to calculate what will be likely to promote his own reputation and advantage …

Alexander Hamilton to James A. Bayard, January 16, 1801, in Letters of Alexander Hamilton, Volume 25, 1977
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Saturday, March 09, 2019

eyewinker

[ ahy-wing-ker ]

noun

an eyelash.

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What is the origin of eyewinker?

Eyewinker is a very rare noun, originally Scottish and now mostly an American regionalism. Eye needs no explanation; winker has several meanings: “eyelash, eyelid, eye, something that gets in the eye and makes one blink.” Eyewinker entered English in the early 19th century.

how is eyewinker used?

“Last nightat dinner”Mrs. Appel eyed him accusingly“I foundan eyewinkerin the hard sauce.”

Caroline Lockhart,  The Dude Wrangler, 1921

Not even an eyewinker was left to her.

Stewart Edward White, Gold, 1913
Friday, March 08, 2019

regina

[ ri-jahy-nuh, -jee- ]

noun

queen.

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What is the origin of regina?

The Latin noun rēgīna “queen” is obviously related to the Latin noun rēx (inflectional stem rēg-) “king,” but how rēgīna is derived from rēx is tricky. There is also a deceptive resemblance between rēx and rēgīna and Sanskrit rā́jan– “rajah, king” and rā́jñī– “queen, ranee” (rēgīna and rā́jñī– are not directly related). There is a definite connection, however, between Latin rēx (rēg-), rēgīna and the Celtic words for king, e.g., Old Irish (from rīks), and its stem ríg (from rīgos). Rígain, the Old Irish word for queen, is cognate with rēgīna. Regina dates from Old English times.

how is regina used?

He represented the rule of law, and in Miromara the law bowed to no one, not even the regina herself.

Jennifer Donnelly,  Sea Spell, 2016

“Mother of heaven, regina of the clouds … .”

Wallace Stevens, "Le Monocle de Mon Oncle,"  Others, 1918

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