Word of the Day

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

turophile

[ toor-uh-fahyl, tyoor-, tur- ]

noun

a connoisseur or lover of cheese.

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What is the origin of turophile?

Turophile a rare word not only in meaning but also in its spelling. The combining form -phile is very common in English, but the combining form turo- is unique: it comes from the Greek noun tȳrós, which is nearly always Romanized as tyro-, as in the technical term tyrosine (an amino acid). Tȳrós comes from a complicated Proto-Indo-European root tēu, tewe, teu, “to swell, coagulate, be or become thick”: for the Greeks cheese was “thickened milk.” The Latin word būtȳrum “butter” is a borrowing from Greek boútyron “butter,” literally “cow cheese.” Būtȳrum “butter” was adopted by the West Germanic languages, e.g., Old English butere, English butter, Dutch boter, Old High German butera, and German Butter. Turophile entered English in the 20th century.

how is turophile used?

For any New York turophile … there is irritation, frustration and dismay when visiting most of the town’s restaurants whether grand luxe or bistro. The cheeses, if available at all, are more often than not overripe or underaged, too cold or too few …

Craig Claiborne, "Cheese Lover Dismayed by Restaurant Selection," New York Times, October 12, 1965

… as any turophile knows, microbes are the source of cheese’s vast diversity of flavors, textures, and smells.

Casey Quackenbush, "The FDA Is Coming Around to the Idea That Cheese, Microbes, and Mold Can Work Just Fine," Time, September 22, 2017
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Monday, June 18, 2018

day-tripper

[ dey-trip-er ]

noun

a person who goes on a trip, especially an excursion, lasting all or part of a day but not overnight.

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What is the origin of day-tripper?

Day-tripper has been used in English since the mid-1800s.

how is day-tripper used?

… he seized on the word as if it might somehow help to plug him into German culture, rather like a day-tripper to Boulogne trying to convince himself that he has explored France.

William McIlvanney, The Kiln, 1996

Deepest mind in the galaxy, apparently, and you still express yourself like a day-tripper with a dog-eared phrase book.

Anthony Lane, "Space Case," The New Yorker, May 23, 2005
Sunday, June 17, 2018

paragon

[ par-uh-gon, -guhn ]

noun

a model or pattern of excellence or of a particular excellence: a paragon of virtue.

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What is the origin of paragon?

The English noun paragon comes from Middle French, from Old Italian paragone “touch stone,” a derivative of the verb paragonare “to test on a touchstone or whetstone.” The Italian words perhaps derive from Greek parakonân “to sharpen, whet,” formed from the prefix and preposition para-“beside, alongside” and akonân “to sharpen, whet,” a derivative of akónē “whetstone, bone.” Paragon entered English in the mid-16th century.

how is paragon used?

As that paragon of fatherhood Homer Simpson once told his brood, “Remember, as far as anyone knows, we’re a nice, normal family.”

Andy Simmons, "People Shared Their Funniest Family Stories and It Got Heartwarming Real Fast," Reader's Digest, April 2018

He has variously been considered a military icon who won a total victory; a presidential model for overcoming his own considerable flaws and a tragic weakness for scoundrels to achieve fame and glory; a literary phenomenon who crafted the most famous deathbed writing in American letters; and a celebrity who was a paragon of humility and modesty.

David W. Blight, "The Silent Type," New York Review of Books, May 24, 2018

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