Word of the Day

Word of the day

Friday, September 27, 2019

viridity

[ vuh-rid-i-tee ]

noun

youth; innocence; inexperience.

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What is the origin of viridity?

English viridity “greenness (as of vegetation); youth and inexperience,” comes via Old French viridité “greenness,” from Latin viriditās (stem viriditāt-) “greenness (as of vegetation); youth and inexperience” (a sense lacking in the French), a derivative of the adjective viridis “green, abounding in vegetation, unripe (vegetables and cereals), clear, fresh (of the air after rain).” Viridity entered English in the 15th century.

how is viridity used?

What intellectual viridity that exemplary creature possesses!

Theodore Edward Hook, "Passion and Principle," Sayings and Doings, Vol. 2, 1825

I preface the incident thus abruptly, from a desire to extenuate in some measure at the outset my dear parent’s viridity and trustfulness in the matter ….

, "Watching the Clock," Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Arts, February 13, 1858
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Word of the day

Thursday, September 26, 2019

simper

[ sim-per ]

verb (used without object)

to smile in a silly, self-conscious way.

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What is the origin of simper?

The verb simper has an uncertain etymology. It may be related to the Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, and Swiss dialect adjective semper “affected, coy,” German zimpfer “dainty, affected,” and to Middle Dutch zimperlijk “affected, coy.” Further etymology is unknown. Simper entered English in the 16th century.

how is simper used?

But still she kept on singing, with twisted lips that strove to simper ….

Ottilie A. Liljencrantz, The Ward of King Canute, 1903

I attended private parties in sumptuous evening dress, simpered and aired my graces like a born beau, and polked and schottisched with a step peculiar to myself—and the kangaroo.

Mark Twain, Roughing It, 1872
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Word of the day

Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Stephanie Abrams, meteorologist at The Weather Channel

isobar

[ ahy-suh-bahr ]

noun

a line drawn on a weather map or chart that connects points at which the barometric pressure is the same.

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Why Stephanie Abrams chose isobar

"Isobars are lines of constant pressure, and believe it or not, when you look at a bunch of them together, they can tell you a lot about the weather." —Stephanie Abrams

What is the origin of isobar?

You may see an isobar on your TV screen or hear the word on your local weather channel and already know or deduce that an isobar is “a line drawn on a weather map connecting points where the barometric pressure is the same.” The prefix iso– is from the Greek combining form iso– “equal,” from the adjective ísos “equal (in number, size, weight, stature, etc.).” It is used mostly in technical terms, as in another meteorological term isotherm “a line on a weather map connecting points having equal temperature,” or in the geometric term isosceles, “(of a triangle) having two sides equal.” The suffix –bar is interesting: it is a derivative of the Greek noun báros, “weight, heavy weight, heaviness, oppressiveness.” Báros is related to the adjective barýs “heavy (in weight), low (in tone),” as in English baritone. Isobar entered English in the 19th century.

how is isobar used?

These are lines of equal pressure known as isobars, which reveal wind speed and direction and allow forecasters to spot features such as highs, lows, troughs and ridges that are associated with particular types of weather.

Kirsty McCabe, "Weather charts, fronts and isobars," Weather.com, June 5, 2014

The isobars (lines of equal pressure) of a weather chart are much like the contour lines of a topo map.

Bill Biewenga, "An Onboard Forecaster's Bag of Tricks," Cruising World, November 1995
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