Word of the Day

Saturday, May 12, 2018

truthiness

[ troo-thee-nis ]

noun

the quality of seeming to be true according to one's intuition, opinion, or perception without regard to logic, factual evidence, or the like: the growing trend of truthiness as opposed to truth.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of truthiness?

Truthiness in the 19th century meant “truthfulness, veracity”; this sense is rare nowadays. Its current sense, “the quality of seeming to be true according to one’s opinion without regard to fact,” was invented by the comedian Stephen Colbert in 2005.

how is truthiness used?

Truthiness is “truth that comes from the gut, not books,” Colbert said in 2005.

Katy Waldman, "The Science of Truthiness," Slate, September 3, 2014

A Rovian political strategy by definition means all slime, all the time. But the more crucial Rove game plan is to envelop the entire presidential race in a thick fog of truthiness.

Frank Rich, "Truthiness Stages a Comeback," New York Times, September 20, 2008
quiz icon
WHAT'S YOUR WORD IQ?
Think you're a word wizard? Try our word quiz, and prove it!
TAKE THE QUIZ
arrows pointing up and down
SYNONYM OF THE DAY
Double your word knowledge with the Synonym of the Day!
SEE TODAY'S SYNONYM

Get A Vocabulary Boost In Your Inbox

Get the Word of the Day every day!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Friday, May 11, 2018

cordillera

[ kawr-dl-yair-uh, -air-uh, kawr-dil-er-uh ]

noun

a chain of mountains, usually the principal mountain system or mountain axis of a large landmass.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of cordillera?

The English noun cordillera is a borrowing of Spanish cordillera “chain or ridge of mountains.” The Spanish noun is a diminutive of cuerda “rope, string,” from Latin chorda “chord, cord, intestine (as food)” itself a borrowing of Greek chordḗ “guts, sausage, string (of rope or of a lyre).” Cordillera originally applied to the Andes Mountains and later to the same mountain chain in Central America and Mexico. Cordillera entered English in the early 18th century.

how is cordillera used?

In the Western Hemisphere, the term Cordillera was first applied to the Cordillera de los Andes or Andes Mountains, which form a compact and continuous bundle of ranges along the western side of South America.

Philip Burke King, Evolution of North America, 1959

The dawn breaks high behind the towering and serrated wall of the Cordillera, a clear-cut vision of dark peaks rearing their steep slopes on a lofty pedestal of forest rising from the very edge of the shore.

Joseph Conrad, Nostromo, 1904
Thursday, May 10, 2018

hypocorism

[ hahy-pok-uh-riz-uhm, hi- ]

noun

a pet name.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of hypocorism?

The very rare English noun hypocorism comes from the equally rare Latin noun hypocorisma “a diminutive (word),” a direct borrowing of Greek hypokórisma “pet name, endearing name; diminutive (word),” a derivative of the verb hypokorízesthai “to play the child, call by an endearing name.” Hypokorízesthai is a compound formed from the prefix hypo-, here meaning “slightly, somewhat,” and korízesthai “to caress, fondle.” The root of korízesthai is the noun kórē “girl, maiden” or kóros “boy, youth.” The Greek nouns are from the same Proto-Indo-European root ker- “to grow” as the Latin Ceres, the goddess of agriculture, and its derivative adjective cereālis “pertaining to Ceres,” the source of English cereal. Hypocorism entered English in the 19th century.

how is hypocorism used?

Powsoddy, a now obsolete name for a pudding, was also used as a hypocorism in the late sixteenth century, paralleling the affectionate use of the word pudding itself in our own century, though lovers usually alter the pronunciation to puddin.

Mark Morton, The Lover's Tongue, 2003

The addition of diminutive or familiar prefixes and suffixes to the name of a saint to produce a ‘pet name’ or hypocorism, is common in the Celtic areas …

Karen Jankulak, The Medieval Cult of St Petroc, 2000

Get A Vocabulary Boost In Your Inbox

Get the Word of the Day every day!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.