Word of the Day

Saturday, November 24, 2018

waggish

[ wag-ish ]

adjective

roguish in merriment and good humor; jocular; like a wag: Fielding and Sterne are waggish writers.

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What is the origin of waggish?

The origin of waggish is uncertain. It was first recorded in 1580–90.

how is waggish used?

He was always ready for either a fight or a frolic; but had more mischief than ill will in his composition, and, with all his overbearing roughness, there was a strong dash of waggish good humor at the bottom.

Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, 1820

They had recognized the goodness of his heart, the charm of his glance, his waggish temperament.

Fred Chappell, Look Back All the Green Valley, 1999
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Friday, November 23, 2018

doorbuster

[ dawr-buhs-ter, dohr- ]

noun

Informal. a retail item that is heavily discounted for a very limited time in order to draw customers to the store. b. the price of such an item.

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What is the origin of doorbuster?

Doorbuster originally (in the 1890s) meant “one who breaks into or forces his way into a room or building.” By the first part of the 20th century, doorbuster also meant “a retail item heavily discounted for a short time to attract customers,” and towards the end of the 20th century, a doorbuster meant “a tool or device to force doors open.” The words bust and buster arose in the mid-17th century as regional or colloquial pronunciations of burst and burster, as also happened with curse and cuss, arse and ass, and parcel and passel.

how is doorbuster used?

At night, they slept in sleeping bags and hammocks as they prepared for the year’s biggest competition: beating their neighbors to discounted doorbusters.

Abha Bhattarai, "The Black Friday frenzy officially begins today. But many say the thrill is gone." Washington Post, November 23, 2017

Stores run “doorbuster” sales on the day after Thanksgiving, offering huge markdowns for a few hours, or “one-day sales” every day, because fostering a sense of time pressure, however artificial, makes shoppers more willing to buy.

James Surowiecki, "A Buyer's Christmas," The New Yorker, December 24, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2018

thanksgiver

[ thangks-giv-er ]

noun

a person who gives thanks.

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What is the origin of thanksgiver?

Thanksgiver entered English in the early 1600s.

how is thanksgiver used?

I am a Thanksgiver. I have a generous and grateful nature. I also have a splendid appetite.

, "A Confession," Caricature: Wit and Humor of a Nation in Picture, Song and Story, 1908

Wherefore we find (our never-to-be-forgotten) example, the devout thanksgiver, David, continually declaring the great price he set upon the divine favours …

Isaac Barrow (1630–1677), "Sermon VIII: Of the Duty of Thanksgiving," The Theological Works of Isaac Barrow, 1830

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