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[ zee-nee-uhl, zeen-yuhl ] [ ˈzi ni əl, ˈzin yəl ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


warm, welcoming, and hospitable.

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More about xenial

Xenial “welcoming and hospitable” comes from the Ancient Greek noun xenía “hospitality.” Xenía, the element xenon, the name of the warrior princess Xena, and the recent Word of the Day euxinia all come from Ancient Greek xénos “stranger, guest.” Xénos may be a distant relative of English guest (from Old Norse gestr), hospitable and hostel (from Latin hospes “guest, visitor, host”), and hostile (from Latin hostis “stranger, enemy”). Note that xenial is not to be confused with the unrelated term xennial, which denotes people born in the late 1970s and early 1980s, on the cusp of Generations X and Y. Xenial was first recorded in English in the 1790s.

how is xenial used?

“‘Xenial’ is a word which refers to the giving of gifts to a stranger …. I know that having a good vocabulary doesn’t guarantee that I’m a good person,” the boy said. “But it does mean I’ve read a great deal. And in my experience, well-read people are less likely to be evil” …. [T]hey had to admit that they preferred to take their chances with a stranger who knew what the word “xenial” meant, rather than exiting the cave and trying to find the headquarters all by themselves.

Daniel Handler, The Slippery Slope (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 10), 2003

Xenial (pronounced ZEE-nial) relations, friendly communicating relations, transpire among many neurons throughout many parts of the brain …. Red-perceiving neurons and ribbon-perceiving neurons are getting together, communing, enjoying xenial relations, rather like people at a cocktail party going yackety-yak.

Priscilla Long, “My Brain on My Mind,” The American Scholar, 2009
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[ kroom-kah-kuh, kruhm-keyk ] [ ˈkrʊmˌkɑ kə, ˈkrʌmˌkeɪk ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


a very large, thin traditional Scandinavian cookie prepared by pouring batter into an appliance much like a waffle iron and then rolling the warm cookie around a cone form.

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More about krumkake

Krumkake “a Scandinavian cookie” is a borrowing from Norwegian, in which it is a compound of krum “curved, crooked” and kake “cake.” Krum is a close relative of Old English crumb (also crump), of the same meaning, which appears in modern English names such as Cromwell “crooked spring” but is not related to modern English crumb “a small particle broken off bread.” Kake and English cake together derive from Old Norse kaka, of the same meaning, which may also be the source of English cookie (by way of Dutch). Krumkake was first recorded in English in the early 1920s.

how is krumkake used?

Samantha had a teapot on a tray with some of the delicate rolled cookies that Emily knew were krumkake, the same that her mother had made for the holidays .… A warm smile came over Samantha’s face. “The krumkake. Have one, please. My great-grandmother’s family was from Oslo, and these cookies are about the only Norwegian tradition that I have.”

Gregg Olsen, Heart of Ice, 2009

I feel the spirit of my adopted grandma with me as I happily line up at the popular Pastry Shoppe booth from Starbuck, Minn. The almond cake and flatbread look tempting, but I choose the powder-sugared rosettes and buttery crunch of sandbakkels and krumkake, which my grandma would make for the holidays.

Lisa Meyers McClintick, “Midwest Traveler: Scandinavian celebration Norsk Hostfest returns to Minot, N.D.,” StarTribune, September 12, 2019
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[ muh-kad-uh-mahyz ] [ məˈkæd əˌmaɪz ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling

verb (used with object)

to pave by laying and compacting successive layers of broken stone, often with asphalt or hot tar.

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More about macadamize

Macadamize “to pave by compacting successive layers of broken stone” is a verb based on the noun macadam, the word for a road paved in this way. Macadam is the namesake of John Loudon McAdam, the inventor of this technique, and the surname McAdam “son of Adam” is a compound of the Scottish patronymic element Mc- (also Mac-) and the Hebrew-origin name Adam. Mc- is anglicized from Scottish Gaelic mac “son,” while Adam comes from Hebrew ādhām “man,” which may be related to any or all of the Hebrew words ādhom “red,” adhāmāh “earth,” or dam “blood”; for a similar pattern, compare Latin hūmānus “human” and humus “earth.” Macadamize was first recorded in English circa 1820.

how is macadamize used?

I noticed little matters, as usual. The road was filled in between the rails with cracked stones, such as are used for macadamizing streets. They keep the dust down, I suppose, for I could not think of any other use for them.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, “My Hunt After the Captain,” The Atlantic, December 1862

Broadway Alley is …. 265 feet long, 13 feet wide and one of the last unpaved streets on the macadamized island of Manhattan. As such, it is one of those forgotten parts of the city with a power to recall to New Yorkers that sometimes it really is the Earth beneath their feet.

Alan Feuer, “On a Manhattan Byway, Feeling Dirt Beneath Feet,” The New York Times, November 27, 2005
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