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[ trahy-nuh-ree ] [ ˈtraɪ nə ri ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


consisting of three parts, or proceeding by three; ternary.

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What is the origin of trinary?

Trinary “consisting of three parts” is equivalent to Latin trīnī “by threes” plus the suffix -ārius “-ary,” on the pattern of binary. Trīnī is an example of a distributive number; while cardinal numbers such as three express amounts and ordinal numbers such as third express place in a series (and, in English, often fractions), distributive numbers such as triply express a quantity at one time. Other types of numbers include adverbial numbers such as thrice, which express a number of times, and multipliers such as triple, which express how many times something is multiplied. Trinary was first recorded in English in the mid-15th century.

how is trinary used?

New data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope in northern Chile has probed the gas and dust in a young stellar system, GG Tauri-A some 460 light years away. Here a single star is orbiting some 35 astronomical units (AU) from a pair of stars that also orbit around each other at only 3 to 4 AU separation–it’s a hierarchical trinary star system.

Caleb A. Scharf, “Astrobiology Roundup: Planets, Moons, and Stinky Comets,” Scientific American, October 30, 2014

Because widening the avenues would have required a lengthy and costly expropriation process, the planners came up with a “trinary” system that embraced three parallel thoroughfares: a large central avenue dedicated to two-way rapid-bus traffic (flanked by slow lanes for cars making short local trips) and, a block over on each side, an avenue for fast one-way automobile traffic.

Arthur Lubow, “The Road to Curitiba,” New York Times, May 20, 2007
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[ hob-uhl-dee-hoi ] [ ˈhɒb əl diˌhɔɪ ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


an awkward, ungainly youth.

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What is the origin of hobbledehoy?

Hobbledehoy “an awkward, ungainly youth,” a variant of hoberdyboy (among other spellings), is of unclear origin, and theories abound. The first part of hobbledehoy may stem from hob or hoberd, which are forms of Robert. The change from Robert to hob or hoberd is typical of rhyming in English name formation; just as Robert has the nickname Bob and is the source of surnames such as Dobbs and Hopkins, William has the nickname Bill and is the source of the surname Gilliam. Similar to the term hobgoblin, the hob element in hobbledehoy is a dialectal English term for “elf” that may be a variant of Robin (a diminutive of Robert), as in Robin Goodfellow, a folkloric fairy also known as Puck. Hobbledehoy was first recorded in English in the 1530s.

how is hobbledehoy used?

The jocose hobbledehoy whom Royce had noted on the occasion of his previous excursion sat upon a step of the long flight leading from the veranda to the lawn, surrounded by half a dozen little maidens, and, armed with a needle and a long thread, sewed industriously, rewarded by their shrieking exclamations of delight in his funniness every time he grotesquely drew out the needle with a great curve of his long arm, or facetiously but futilely undertook to bite the thread.

Charles Egbert Craddock, “The Juggler,” The Atlantic, July 1897

The true hobbledehoy is much alone, not being greatly given to social intercourse even with other hobbledehoys—a trait in his character which I think has hardly been sufficiently observed by the world at large. He has probably become a hobbledehoy instead of an Apollo, because circumstances have not afforded him much social intercourse; and, therefore, he wanders about in solitude.

Anthony Trollope, "The Small House at Allington," Cornhill Magazine, September 1862–April 1864
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[ in-spir-it ] [ ɪnˈspɪr ɪt ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling

verb (used with object)

to infuse spirit or life into; enliven.

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What is the origin of inspirit?

Inspirit “to infuse life into” is a compound of the prefix in- and the noun spirit, the latter of which comes from Latin spīritus, which originally meant “a breathing.” Spīritus is based on the Latin verb spīrāre “to breathe,” much like how Ancient Greek psȳ́chein “to breathe, blow” is the source of psȳchḗ “a breath” and, from there, English psyche “the human soul, spirit, or mind.” Spīrāre (stem spīr-) gives rise to the English terms perspire, respiration, and even expire, and the verb can be found in the motto of the state of South Carolina: dum spīrō, spērō “while I breathe, I hope.” Inspirit was first recorded in English circa 1605.

how is inspirit used?

And there was the best reason for hastening into the house at once, since the snow was beginning to fall again, threatening an unpleasant journey for such guests as were still on the road. These were a small minority; for already the afternoon was beginning to decline, and there would not be too much time for the ladies who came from a distance to attire themselves in readiness for the early tea which was to inspirit them for the dance.

George Eliot, Silas Marner, 1861

The US women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe is calling for change. The OL Reign standout has fought for activism, equality and LGBTQIA+ rights her entire career …. Now, Rapinoe is looking to help people see politics in an engaging way …. While voter turnout is discouraging among young people, Rapinoe believes those who watch Seeing America could be inspirited to get involved in the civic process. “When we all vote, it’s amazing,” Rapinoe said.

“US Women’s Soccer Star Megan Rapinoe Is On a Mission to Make Politics Cool”, NBC Sports, July 30, 2020
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