Word of the Day

Word of the day

Friday, January 07, 2022

wintle

[ win-tl ]

verb

to tumble over; capsize.

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What is the origin of wintle?

Wintle “to tumble over; capsize” is a Scottish English verb derived from early Dutch/Flemish windtelen “to revolve” (compare modern Dutch wentelen, of the same meaning). The verb windtelen is a frequentative of winden “to wind,” which makes wintle a close relative of the recent Word of the Day selection wynd; both wintle and wynd come from a Germanic source roughly meaning “to twist.” A frequentative is a type of verb that expresses repetition of an action, and while English no longer creates its own frequentatives, we used to add the suffix -le to mark this aspect. Just as winden becomes the frequentative windtelen, English scuff, sniff, and spark become scuffle, sniffle, and sparkle. Wintle was first recorded in English circa 1780.

how is wintle used?

On one occasion Mrs. Griffiths comes to the village shop early …. There is a hoar frost, the twigs are thick with glistening rime, she is well wrapped up, and she walks carefully so as not to wintle on the rimy Bargate stones of the path. She feels fresh and renewed on freezing mornings like this.

Louis de Bernières, Notwithstanding: Stories from an English Village, 2009

He sat up, held out his arms, and said, “Come, till I embrace you.” I took a hap, step and loup into his arms, and wintled ower beyond him in the bed, kissed him, and bade him an affectionate farewell in the meantime. I called him father ever after, and he called me son.

John Kelso Hunter, Retrospective of an Artist's Life, 1868

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Thursday, January 06, 2022

kinesthetic

[ kin-uhs-thet-ik ] [ ˌkɪn əsˈθɛt ɪk ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling

adjective

needing to move.

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What is the origin of kinesthetic?

Kinesthetic “needing to move” is a compound of the Ancient Greek verb kīneîn (stem kīnē-) “to move, set in motion” and esthetic, the adjective form of the English noun esthesia “capacity for sensation or feeling.” The verb kīneîn is also the source of terms such as kinetic, a type of energy, and telekinesis, the superhuman ability to move objects with one’s mind. The noun esthesia ultimately derives from the Ancient Greek verb aisthánesthai (stem aisthë-) “to perceive,” which is the root of terms such as aesthetics, the philosophy of beauty, and synesthesia, the instinctive visualization of colors when hearing sounds. Kinesthetic was first recorded in English in the late 1870s.

how is kinesthetic used?

The idea that individuals have different learning styles, such as auditory or kinesthetic, is a pernicious myth. [Education scholar Ulrich] Boser compares it to the flat-earth myth — highly intuitive, but wrong …. One major recent review of research, among many others, stated that the authors “found virtually no evidence” for the idea.

Anya Kamenetz, “You Probably Believe Some Learning Myths: Take Our Quiz To Find Out,” NPR, March 22, 2017

A couple of years ago, [Kelly Rahmeier] had a child in her class with partial hearing loss. She decided then to start teaching ASL to all of her students. It quickly caught on, and the students loved it …. ASL is not only an official language used within the deaf community, but it is also beneficial for children who are more kinesthetic learners as they can connect some sort of movement with a word or concept.

Katie Garceran, "Topeka educator includes all students by teaching American Sign Language," KSNT.com, September 7, 2021

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Wednesday, January 05, 2022

distelfink

[ dis-tl-fingk ]

noun

a stylized bird motif traditional in Pennsylvania German art.

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What is the origin of distelfink?

Distelfink “a stylized bird motif traditional in Pennsylvania German art” is an adaptation of the Pennsylvania Dutch word dischdelfink “goldfinch,” a compound of dischdel “thistle” and fink “finch.” Although it contains the word Dutch, Pennsylvania Dutch is in fact a dialect of German, which is why it is also known as Pennsylvania German. A common misconception is that Dutch appears in this dialect’s name as an anglicized form of the German word Deutsch “German,” but in fact, the use of Dutch here reflects an archaic definition in English: “continental Germanic.” Distelfink was first recorded in English in the 1930s.

how is distelfink used?

[T]he distelfink design is said to have evolved from the goldfinch. The Pennsylvania Dutch farmer saw the goldfinch birds on the thistle weeds in his field, pulling the down or fuzz from the thistle to line its nest and eating the seed. Notably, goldfinches usually wait to nest until the thistles are in bloom …. The bird became a recognized symbol of good fortune by eliminating the thistle as a weed in the fields, thus bringing the farmer better luck with his crops and more profit to his pocket.

Ivan E. Hoyt, Hex Signs: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Learning the Craft, 2008

Inside the house a few hornets bumped along the walls and went wobbling across the room. The house was clean and tidy, with a few well-used pieces of furniture, the best of which was a schrank, or wardrobe, made of figured walnut. On one wall hung a framed piece of fraktur art. This fraktur had no brightly colored distelfink, the thistle finch that foretold happiness and good fortune—a common motif, and the one that decorated a painting in the parlor of the house where Gideon had grown up.

Charles Fergus, Nighthawk's Wing: A Gideon Stoltz Mystery, 2021

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