Start each day with the Word of the Day in your inbox!

Word of the Day

Word of the day


[ ye-ye ] [ ˈyɛˈyɛ ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


of, relating to, or characteristic of the rock-'n'-roll music, fashions, entertainment, etc., of the 1960s, especially in France.

learn about the english language

More about yé-yé

Yé-yé “of the French rock-’n’-roll culture of the 1960s” is a borrowing from French that, in turn, is adapted from English yeah-yeah. Yeah is a variant of either yea or yes; yea (pronounced as “yey”) comes from Old English gēa “so,” while yes is a compound of gēa and Old English “be it.” A similar shift in meaning happened in some Romance languages, with Latin sīc “so” becoming Portuguese sim and Spanish “yes.” The process of a borrowed word getting borrowed back into its language of origin is called reborrowing, and another well-known example is how English animation was adapted in Japanese as anime, which was itself borrowed back into English as anime. Yé-yé was first recorded in English in the early 1960s.

how is yé-yé used?

While other French singers from Hardy’s Yé-yé generation were a flash in the pan, she has endured because she was different, Jean-Pierre Pasqualini says.

Eleanor Beardsley, “Françoise Hardy Remains France's National Treasure,” NPR, September 12, 2018

“I was really inspired by ’60s girl groups,” [Charli XCX] says. “Especially yé-yé pop from France, like Brigitte Bardot and Sylvie Vartan.”

Daniel Dumas, “Charli XCX Might Be the Next Big Thing in Pop,” Wall Street Journal, December 4, 2014
quiz icon
Think you're a word wizard? Try our word quiz, and prove it!
arrows pointing up and down
Double your word knowledge with the Synonym of the Day!
Word of the Day Calendar

Word of the day


[ vuh-rey-shuhs ] [ vəˈreɪ ʃəs ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


characterized by truthfulness; true, accurate, or honest in content.

learn about the english language

More about veracious

Veracious “characterized by truthfulness” is based on the noun veracity “truthfulness,” combined with the adjective-forming suffix -ous. Veracity comes from Latin vērāx “truthful,” a derivative of vērus, of the same meaning. As we learned from the recent Word of the Day aver, Latin vērus is a distant relative of Old English wǣr “faith, covenant,” the source of warlock, which meant “oathbreaker” once upon a time. Another derivative of vērus is Old French voir (modern French vrai) “true,” as in voir dire (literally “to say truly”), a type of oath in which the voir element is often mistakenly believed to come from modern French voir “to see.” Be careful not to confuse veracious with voracious “craving large amounts of food,” from Latin vorāx “gluttonous.” Veracious was first recorded in the 1670s.

how is veracious used?

In the summer of 1854, Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins created the world’s first sculptures of dinosaurs for an exhibition at London’s Crystal Palace Park …. One newspaperman described the megalosaurus, the greatest of the “antediluvian monsters,” as a scaly dragon with the “head of a gryphon” and an “eye as big as a cheese-cake.” “These are the creatures,” he wrote, “that prove fairy tales to be more veracious than ancient history.”

Rachel Poser, “Creating a Lost World, From the Fossils Out,” New York Times, December 1, 2017

Accuracy activists have more ways than ever to shine a veracious light on the scourge of misinformation. At the same time, digital platforms provide more efficient vectors than ever for falsehoods to spread. It’s the fact-checkers’ paradox: even as they gain new powers to hold politicians accountable, lies are more persistent than ever.

Marcus Wohlsen, “2016 Could Be Fact-Checking’s Finest Year—If Anyone Listens,” Wired, September 13, 2016
Word of the Day Calendar

Word of the day

gens du monde

[ zhahndy-mawnd ] [ ʒɑ̃ dü ˈmɔ̃d ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling

plural noun

people of the world; leaders in society; fashionable people.

learn about the english language

More about gens du monde

Gens du monde “people of the world” is a borrowing from French comprising gens “people,” du “of the,” and monde “world.” Gens is a plural noun that comes from Latin gēns (stem gent-) “clan, nation, race,” which is also the source of gendarme, genteel, gentile, and gentle. The singular form of gens is gent, but only the plural gens is used in modern French; for perpetual plurals in modern English, compare binoculars, clothes, contents, jeans, outskirts, scissors, thanks, and trousers. French monde comes from Latin mundus, which originally meant “clean” before expanding to mean “elegant, decorated,” then “ornament, implement,” and finally “the heavens, world.” Gens du monde was first recorded in English at the turn of the 19th century.

how is gens du monde used?

Her unconstrained shabbiness in Rome consisted in living in a very picturesque palazzo with two maids brought with her from Russia, a male factotum, and a number of Italian assistants; … in the evening, receiving an amusing assembly of gens du monde and celebrities…

Ossip Schubin (1854–1934), Asbeïn, from the Life of a Virtuoso, translated by Élise L. Lathrop, 1890

These literary gens du monde have the tact to observe, but not the patience, perhaps not the time, to investigate. They make the maxim, but they never explain to you the train of reasoning which led to it. Hence they are more brilliant than true.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Pelham: or The Adventures of a Gentleman, 1828
Word of the Day Calendar
Word of the Day Calendar