• Word of the day
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    Thursday, November 22, 2018

    thanksgiver

    noun [thangks-giv-er]
    a person who gives thanks.
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    What is the origin of thanksgiver?

    Thanksgiver entered English in the early 1600s.

    How is thanksgiver used?

    I am a Thanksgiver. I have a generous and grateful nature. I also have a splendid appetite. "A Confession," Caricature: Wit and Humor of a Nation in Picture, Song and Story, 1908

    Wherefore we find (our never-to-be-forgotten) example, the devout thanksgiver, David, continually declaring the great price he set upon the divine favours ... Isaac Barrow (1630–1677), "Sermon VIII: Of the Duty of Thanksgiving," The Theological Works of Isaac Barrow, 1830

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  • Word of the day
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    Wednesday, November 21, 2018

    cornucopia

    noun [kawr-nuh-koh-pee-uh, -nyuh-]
    an abundant, overflowing supply.
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    What is the origin of cornucopia?

    Cornucopia is a Late Latin formation, a combination of the Latin noun phrase cornū cōpiae “horn of plenty.” Cornūcōpia was coined by the late Imperial historian Ammianus Marcellinus (c 325 a.d.-c398 a.d.), a Greek probably born in Syria or Phoenicia who learned his Latin in the army. Cornū comes from the very complicated Proto-Indo-European root ker-, kor-, krā-, kŗ- (and other variants and their extensions) “head, horn.” English horn is a close relation of Latin cornū. Krāníon “skull, cranium” is one of the many Greek derivatives of the root. Cōpia is a derivative of the rare adjective cōpis (or cops) “well supplied, abundant.” Cornūcōpia entered English in the 16th century.

    How is cornucopia used?

    There were jars everywhere, a cornucopia of jars, and in the jars various dried herbs and potions ... T. Coraghessan Boyle, The Women, 2009

    It is a real cornucopia of joy and merriment. François Rabelais, Gargantua and Pantagruel: The Third Book, 1546

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  • Word of the day
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    Tuesday, November 20, 2018

    sippet

    noun [sip-it]
    a small piece of bread or the like for dipping in liquid food, as in gravy or milk; a small sop.
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    What is the origin of sippet?

    The very uncommon noun sippet is a diminutive of sop “a piece of solid food, as bread, for dipping in liquid food” and the diminutive suffix -et, influenced by sip. Sippet entered English in the 16th century.

    How is sippet used?

    With dinner almost over, the broken meats of the second course not yet removed, Anne pulls a silver dish towards her, and helps herself to a sippet. It is her favourite way to end a meal ... Joanne Limburg, A Want of Kindness, 2015

    ... my sister Theodosia made her appearance ... kissed our father, and sat down at his side, and took a sippet of toast ... and dipped it in his negus. William Makepeace Thackeray, The Virginians, 1859

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  • Word of the day
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    Monday, November 19, 2018

    gallinaceous

    adjective [gal-uh-ney-shuhs]
    belonging or pertaining to the order Galliformes, comprising medium-sized, mainly ground-feeding domestic or game birds, as the chicken, turkey, grouse, pheasant, and partridge.
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    What is the origin of gallinaceous?

    The adjective gallinaceous comes straight from the Latin adjective gallīnāceus, a derivative of gallīna “hen,” itself a derivative of the noun gallus “rooster, cock.” Further etymology is uncertain: gallus may come from the Proto-Indo-European root gal- “to call, cry.” If so, gallus (from unattested galsos) means “shouter, crier” and is related to Lithuanian galsas “echo,” Polish głos “voice,” and English call (via Old Norse kall). Gallinaceous entered English in the 18th century.

    How is gallinaceous used?

    Yea, verily, there is much to inspire gratitude on this holiday centered on a gallinaceous bird with alarmingly hypertrophied breasts. Glen Martin, “The Science of Holiday Happiness: Why Gratitude Really is Good for You,” California Magazine, November 24, 2014

    In the sand I saw tracks of a large, gallinaceous bird -- a sage grouse or chukar. Denise Firestone, "Haven for Antelope and Hikers," New York Times, August 7, 1994

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  • Word of the day
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    Sunday, November 18, 2018

    shunpike

    noun [shuhn-pahyk]
    a side road taken instead of a turnpike or expressway to avoid tolls or to travel at a leisurely pace.
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    What is the origin of shunpike?

    Shunpike is a blend of the verb shun and the noun (turn)pike. The word was originally an Americanism and dates from the mid-19th century.

    How is shunpike used?

    ... she proposed to Mr. Morris that he should take the shunpike for a change. Frank R. Stockton, The Captain's Toll-Gate, 1903

    Shunpiking is real,” he said, using an old term for avoiding toll roads. Phil Patton, "The Virtues of Avoiding Interstates," New York Times, August 5, 2007

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  • Word of the day
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    Saturday, November 17, 2018

    conurbation

    noun [kon-er-bey-shuhn]
    an extensive urban area resulting from the expansion of several cities or towns so that they coalesce but usually retain their separate identities.
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    What is the origin of conurbation?

    Conurbation is a coinage of Sir Patrick Geddes (1854-1932), Scottish sociologist and city planner. The formation of conurbation is simple enough: the Latin prefix con-, a form of the prefix and preposition cum-, cum “with, together with,” urb-, the stem of urbs “city, capital city, large town; the City, i.e., Rome” (unfortunately urbs has no known etymology), and the common noun suffix -ation. Conurbation entered English in 1915.

    How is conurbation used?

    By 1984, there may well be several giant urban conurbations in the world which will make the present Greater Tokyo, New York and London look rather puny. Ruth Glass, "Cities in 1984: Stability and Strife," New Scientist, July 16, 1964

    Then the conurbation spread and Hallowgate became part of the North Tyneside sprawl. Ann Cleeves, Killjoy, 1993

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  • Word of the day
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    Friday, November 16, 2018

    scienter

    noun [sahy-en-ter]
    a mental state in which one has knowledge that one’s action, statement, etc., is wrong, deceptive, or illegal: often used as a standard of guilt: The court found that the company had the requisite scienter for securities fraud.
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    What is the origin of scienter?

    In English scienter is both a noun and an adverb used in the law; in Latin scienter is an adverb only and is not restricted to legal usage. Latin scienter “skillfully, expertly; knowingly, consciously” breaks down to scien(t)-, the inflectional stem of the present participle sciēns from the verb scīre “to know, know how to” (scientia “knowledge, science” is a derivative of scient-), and the Latin adverbial suffix -ter, which is regularly used with adjectives and participles whose inflectional stem ends in -nt- (the t of the -nt- is dropped). Scienter entered English in the 17th century.

    How is scienter used?

    Now, there is absolutely nothing in this case to prove that he had any guilty knowledge to the effect that his account was too low to meet the draft in question. You have proven no scienter whatever. Arthur Cheney Train, The Confessions of Artemas Quibble, 1911

    Lawyers say that Stewart's insider-trading case will come down to a question of scienter. Did she know she was doing something wrong when she sold her ImClone stock? Andrew Feinberg, "Are You Guilty of Insider Trading?" Kiplinger's Personal Finance, January 2004

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