Word of the Day

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

toyetic

[ taw-yet-ik ]

adjective

(of a character or object from a movie, TV show, etc.) potentially marketable as a toy: a toyetic superhero.

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What is the origin of toyetic?

Toyetic, an obvious composition of toy and the adjective suffix -etic, was supposedly coined by the American toy developer and marketer Bernard Loomis (1923–2006) in a conversation with Steven Spielberg about making figures based on Spielberg’s movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977).

how is toyetic used?

There’s a singular pleasure that comes with holding a Star Wars toy. The film’s vehicles, weapons, heroes, and villains, after all, are uniquely “toyetic” …

Melissa Leon, "How 'Star Wars' Revolutionized the Toy Industry," The Daily Beast, January 1, 2018

It adds another powerhouse toyetic property to their portfolio, with a proven track record of success.

Rob Salkowitz, "Hasbro Powers Up, Acquiring Power Rangers From Saban For $522 Million," Forbes, May 1, 2018
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Monday, September 24, 2018

sibilate

[ sib-uh-leyt ]

verb

to utter or pronounce with a hissing sound.

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What is the origin of sibilate?

Sibilate comes from Latin sībilātus, past participle of the verb sībilāre “to hiss, hiss in disapproval.” From sībilant-, the present participle stem of sībilāre, English has the noun and adjective sibilant, used in phonetics in reference to hissing sounds like s or z. Sibilate entered English in the 17th century.

how is sibilate used?

It may be that there is some mysterious significance in the pitch at which an idea is vocalized; but, as for this writer, we doubt if it makes any difference whether he sibilates his opinions to himself in half-suppressed demi-semiquavers, or roars them to the world through a fog-trumpet–their obliquity may safely be assumed as a constant quantity.

E. L. Youmans, "Herbert Spencer's Sociology," Appletons' Journal, February 21, 1874

“I’ve been in for twenty years,” he sibilates in my ear.

Kevin Dutton, The Wisdom of Psychopaths, 2012
Sunday, September 23, 2018

legerdemain

[ lej-er-duh-meyn ]

noun

trickery; deception.

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What is the origin of legerdemain?

There are about 50 spellings in Middle English for (modern) legerdemain. The English word most likely comes from a Middle French phrase leger de main “light of hand,” which is unfortunately unrecorded. Middle French has two similar idioms meaning “to be dexterous”: estre ligier de sa main, literally “to be light of his hand” and avoir la main legiere, literally “to have the light hand.” In English, legerdemain first meant “skill in conjuring, sleight of hand” and acquired the sense “trickery, artful deception” in the 16th century. Legerdemain entered English in the 15th century.

how is legerdemain used?

… it was precisely that sort of legerdemain—tapping a dicey loan with the magic wand of financialization—which built the mortgage-securitization industry to begin with.

Tad Friend, "Home Economics," The New Yorker, February 4, 2013

The city today stretches out along the flatlands by the Fyris River, then ripples up a glacial ridge, culminating in a massive sixteenth-century castle painted the color of a poached salmon—a bit of legerdemain by pigment that leavens the bulky fortress considerably.

Emily Hiestand, "The Constant Gardener," The Atlantic, March 2007

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