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Author Topic: Word of the Day Challenge  (Read 33244 times)

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Online BritwitchTopic starter

Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #800 on: November 21, 2019, 02:34:06 PM »
Today's Word of the Day is....


fortitude
noun  FOR-tuh-tood


Definition

: strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage


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Urban Legend


Did You Know?

Fortitude comes from the Latin word fortis, meaning "strong," and in English it has always been used primarily to describe strength of mind. For a time, the word was also used to mean "physical strength"; William Shakespeare used that sense in Henry VI, Part 1: "Coward of France! How much he wrongs his fame / Despairing of his own arm's fortitude." But despite use by the Bard, that second sense languished and is now considered obsolete.

Offline Lilias

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Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #801 on: November 22, 2019, 04:58:54 AM »
General Vilani adjusted the collar of his dress uniform and smiled at his reflection in the mirror. Strange as it might seem to many, he enjoyed his rank in peacetime a lot more than he had during the war, where he had earned it, and participating in another year’s Days of Splendour festivities was the highlight of his career. He had helped create them, after all.

The houses of Hammerfell and Storn had been locked in perpetual conflict for so long that no one was sure how it all had started anymore. It had never erupted into full-scale war (well, it came close that one time, when Lord Rascard attempted to have Castle Storn burned down with clingfire; he didn’t last long in power after that), but skirmishes along the shared border were a regular occurrence, and over time, as conflict became the norm, more and more resources were diverted into the effort, and the rest of the people suffered. General Vilani had lived his entire life in this feud, but the older he grew, the less willing he was to end it that way. It was obvious that neither side could or would win by might, so diplomacy would have to take over, and if nobody was giving it a chance, then, by the nine hells, he was going to create one.

So, when spies brought news that Lady Linnea Storn, whom her father was grooming to take over from him, was going to be at the Ford of Kadarin, to inspect the outpost, General Vilani saw the opportunity and grabbed it. He sent word to Lord Conleth at Hammerfell, pretending there was bruit about camp that Storn intended to open negotiations. Predictably, Conleth rode promptly to the border, and when Linnea turned up… well, was that not a propitious coincidence?

It was a risky gambit, but it had paid off. Conleth and Linnea had talked briefly, then called an armistice and talked more. At length. General Vilani, who was present the whole while as Conleth’s chief of guard, would not disclose what exactly had been said, but the next day he had ridden with both nobles back to Storn, where Conleth and Linnea presented Lord Storn with the treaty they had drafted and asked for his permission to wed. Lord Storn had accepted both with a relief that showed he had been as weary of the feud as General Vilani himself.

Thus truce turned into peace, Hammerfell and Storn merged to become the Aldaran Domain, the new Lord and Lady Aldaran had four children to cement their new house, the Days of Splendour were established to commemorate the end of the conflict and the creation of the Domain, and now, twenty years later, there was an entire generation gathering to celebrate that did not remember a time when the Domain was at war, or did not exist. As far as General Vilani was concerned, that was his greatest accomplishment.

Online BritwitchTopic starter

Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #802 on: November 22, 2019, 03:34:33 PM »
Today's Word of the Day is....


heterodox
adjective  HET-uh-ruh-dahks


Definition

1 : contrary to or different from an acknowledged standard, a traditional form, or an established religion : unorthodox, unconventional

2 : holding unorthodox opinions or doctrines


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Urban Legend


Did You Know?

It's true: individuals often see other people's ideas as unconventional while regarding their own as beyond reproach. The antonyms orthodox and heterodox developed from the same root, Greek doxa, which means "opinion." Heterodox derives from doxa plus heter-, a combining form meaning "other" or "different"; orthodox pairs doxa with orth-, meaning "correct" or "straight."

Online Daeva

Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #803 on: November 23, 2019, 04:54:08 PM »
Today's Word of the Day is....


jilt
verb  JILT


Definition

: to cast off or reject (someone, such as a lover) capriciously or unfeelingly


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Urban Legend


Did You Know?

Jilt traces back to the English dialect noun jillet ("a flirtatious girl"), itself from Jill or Gill (used both as a proper name and as a noun meaning "girl") plus the diminutive suffix -et. Jilt itself came into use in the second half of the 17th century as a noun meaning "an unchaste woman" (a sense that is now obsolete) or "a woman who capriciously casts a lover aside," and also as a verb used for the actions of such a woman. These days, the person doing the jilting can be either male or female, and though jilt usually implies the sudden ending of a romantic relationship, it can also be used beyond the context of a romantic relationship with the broader meaning "to sever close relations with."


Offline Lilias

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Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #804 on: November 23, 2019, 07:55:27 PM »
They met at the gate of the estate; Sarah, Nadia and Maxim driven by Lord Bowers’ chauffeur, Anna and Faith riding Anna’s motorbike - and making a poin of revving it up and surging ahead of the car on the tree-lined drive that seemed to extend forever between the gate and the house.

The house itself was a rambling Victorian pile, of neo-gothic style, judging by the arches of the windows. There was no wall visible; every inch was practically engulfed in ivy, which, to Sarah’s eyes, seemed to literally prop the building up. The roof sagged in several places, and had actually caved in towards the end of the northern wing. The outer wall there didn’t seem entirely vertical, either. The grounds beyond were overgrown, the wilderness garden of yore turned into outright woodland, making the house seem to stand in a literal forest glade.

Brocklehurst Hall had been a white elephant to its owners for a long time. Converted into a children’s home during the war, it had escaped bombing, but its fortunes had never improved since. With less and less money for maintenance, it had gradually grown shabbier, in more and more urgent need of repairs. The northern wing had been closed since 2004. Old Lord Brocklehurst had stubbornly clung to his estate to the end, but now he was gone, and his granddaughter and sole heir had put it on the market immediately. It wouldn’t fetch a lot of money in itself, as it needed a lot of work, but she would be rid of it. It had been bought by some New Age-sounding group that wanted to turn it into a retreat centre, and she was busy getting rid of the furnishings. The contents of the library were the reason the company of mages were there that day.

They were met in the front hall by an officious agent, planted there either by the estate agency or the family lawyer, who led them up the stairs to the library stressing that items were individually priced and bargaining was entirely out of the question, and if there were any disagreements on who would get what, he was the one responsible to arbitrate. Anna looked on the verge of saying something extra snarky by the time he left them alone.

Sunlight poured through the long room’s three arched windows, warming the bookcases, which were made of oak wood left to its natural colour instead of the dark varnish popular in Victorian and Edwardian times. The effect was warm, light and airy, completely incongruous with the gloomy rest of the house. The five found themselves smiling, and got down to browsing the shelves and the piles on the desk with renewed interest.

Disappointment didn’t take long to set in, though. The library was well stocked and apparently well read, but almost exclusively mainstream. Nothing to appeal to a collector, let alone a researcher. Sure, there was a first-edition Beatrix Potter set, but that was about it.

They were almost ready to call it a waste of time and leave, when the corner of Anna’s backpack collided with one of the piles that balanced on the edge of the desk and sent the books all over the floor. She started to stack them up again, rather haphazardly, then paused, holding one that had opened in the fall.

‘Why, look at this,’ she said. ‘I’d say it doesn’t match its cover at all.’

The cover of the book she held up was old, faded blue, with frayed corners and the gilding of the spine faded into illegibility, but the pages inside were white, somewhat discoloured but definitely modern paper, covered in handwriting, pencil sketches and diagrams.

‘It looks like a diary,’ said Faith, flipping through the pages to the beginning. ‘From 1954… Someone took pains to hide their diary under an old book cover… How important could it have been? Hey, is that the sigil of the Life sphere there?’

‘It is. And that’s Entropy, at the bottom. It’s not a diary - it’s a grimoire.’ Anna looked up, eyes gleaming. ‘And there may be more!’

‘I guess we go through every book here again, and look inside this time,’ said Maxim. ‘We’ll be here until evening.’

‘Only the really old and worn ones,’ observed Nadia. ‘The unrecognisable ones - that can’t be mistaken for what their cover says. Good catch there, Anna.’

‘It was literally an accident, but does it mean I get to pick first what to keep?’

‘Everything will go to the Chantry archive vault,’ Sarah stepped in. ‘Then we’ll see. Now let’s move, so we don’t actually end up staying here until evening.’

Online Daeva

Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #805 on: November 24, 2019, 08:31:26 AM »
Today's Word of the Day is....


billingsgate
noun  BIL-ingz-gayt


Definition

: coarsely abusive language


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Western


Did You Know?

From its beginnings during the time of the Roman occupation, the Billingsgate fish market in London, England, has been notorious for the crude language that has resounded through its stalls. In fact, the fish merchants of Billingsgate were so famous for their swearing centuries ago that their feats of vulgar language were recorded in British chronicler Raphael Holinshed's 1577 account of King Leir (which was probably William Shakespeare's source for King Lear). In Holinshed's volume, a messenger's language is said to be "as bad a tongue … as any oyster-wife at Billingsgate hath." By the middle of the 17th century, billingsgate had become a byword for foul language.


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Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #806 on: November 24, 2019, 05:58:25 PM »
It took only a couple of hours of focused search to locate all the grimoire volumes, seven of them, inconspicuous under their faded cloth covers, blue and green and maroon, like so many library clearance items. They had paid a measly twenty-eight pounds for them and they had rushed them to the Chantry archive vault like critical patients to the emergency room. So much recondite knowledge, hiding in plain sight, so well that even a pack of mages had very nearly missed it, thought Sarah.

‘I wonder if he bound the books himself, or if there was some trusted associate who did the work,’ she said to no one in particular.

Nadia looked up from where she was feeding the pages into the scanner that transcribed the scrawly cursive into neat typeface, the latest gadget she had been able to secure, goodness knew from where, but as long as it expedited their work so smoothly, no one was about to ask awkward questions. ‘She. Our author is female. So far she only refers to herself as Damaris, which is obviously her Circle name, but there are four more volumes to go, and I still hope her real name will appear somewhere.’

‘Any clues on her affiliation yet?’ asked Faith.

Nadia glanced at the keyword aggregate that kept growing longer on her laptop screen. ‘She seems competent enough in Life, Mind, Prime and Entropy, with the odd Spirit rote thrown in. We’ll have to actually read the text to get an idea of her paradigm.’

‘That will take more than a little while,’ sighed Maxim, watching the document, still halfway into its decoding, creeping towards the 500 page mark. ‘It’s past five on a Friday. We should be out at the pub, celebrating a major discovery for the mage community in proper carousing fashion.’

The others chuckled, but none of them, Maxim included, would really want to be anywhere else while their discovery was still giving up its secrets. ‘The carousing can wait until we know exactly how major the discovery is,’ said Nadia, starting on the fourth volume. ‘We may be treated to a party - or we may be ordered to burn everything and forbidden to speak of it ever again. In the meantime, calling in takeaway is certainly a good idea. We’ll be lucky to be done before midnight.’
« Last Edit: November 24, 2019, 06:03:52 PM by Lilias »

Online Daeva

Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #807 on: November 25, 2019, 09:17:51 AM »
Today's Word of the Day is....


sempiternal
adjective  sem-pih-TER-nul


Definition

: of never-ending duration : eternal


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Western


Did You Know?

Despite their similarities, sempiternal and eternal come from different roots. Sempiternal is derived from the Late Latin sempiternalis and ultimately from semper, Latin for "always." (You may recognize semper as a key element in the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps: semper fidelis, meaning "always faithful.") Eternal, on the other hand, is derived, by way of Middle French and Middle English, from the Late Latin aeternalis and ultimately from aevum, Latin for "age" or "eternity." Sempiternal is much less common than eternal, but some writers have found it useful. 19th-century American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, for example, wrote, "The one thing which we seek with insatiable desire is to forget ourselves, … to lose our sempiternal memory, and to do something without knowing how or why…."


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Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #808 on: November 25, 2019, 06:13:42 PM »
Nadia’s estimation was roughly correct. The scanning was done shortly before midnight, and it was obvious there was still plenty of research to do. The mysterious Damaris was called Naomi in the world, but there was no indication as to what her connection with the Brocklehurst estate could have been. Her notes, a jumble of meditations, divinations, rituals and recipes for potions and talismans, stretched between 1947 and 1971, ending abruptly about three-quarters into the last volume; the printable that the scanner had prepared would be a massive 960 pages. The faithfulness of the transcription was impressive; it had even replicated the strikethroughs, insertions and marginal additions that littered the text throughout.

‘I can’t decide if she didn’t give a monkey’s about the mot juste or she was so obsessed with it that she would keep crossing stuff out until she got it down just so,’ observed Maxim. Sarah nodded. She was grateful for the transcription; just the thought of having to wade through the entire manuscript and its labyrinthine edits was giving her a headache.

‘Well, this is a working book, nothing that anyone else would see, so she was probably not interested in beautifying it. It’s not a bullet journal or anything,’ commented Anna, with a sly glance towards Faith, who glared back.

‘And with good reason, probably,’ added Nadia. ‘I’ll have to read through, but it seems some of her views and methods were more than a little heterodox, by Council standards at least. I wouldn’t be surprised if she never joined a formal tradition, opting for some independent group or craft instead.’

‘In short, both mundanely and magickally, tracing her is a needle in a haystack job,’ grumbled Maxim.

‘Don’t the Wheel scholars have a faction that traces Avatars through their incarnations?’ asked Faith. Everyone stared at her. ‘Well, that list shows she was a dab hand at Entropy,’ Faith continued, a bit defensively. ‘And that’s their wheelhouse.’ Maxim groaned at the pun and Nadia rolled her eyes at him. ‘If she learned from them, she may be somewhere in their logs.’

‘A slim chance, but still a chance,’ Sarah nodded slowly. Finding one of those people, though, would be another thing altogether. ‘Let’s call it a night.’

Online Daeva

Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #809 on: November 26, 2019, 07:54:39 AM »
Today's Word of the Day is....


retinue
noun  RET-uh-noo


Definition

: a group of retainers or attendants


Weekly Theme
 
Western


Did You Know?

Retinue derives via Middle English from the Anglo-French verb retenir, meaning "to retain." Another word deriving from retenir is retainer, which means, among other things, "one who serves a person of high position or rank." In the 14th century, that high person of rank was usually a noble or a royal of some kind, and retinue referred to that person's collection of servants and companions. Nowadays, the word is often used with a bit of exaggeration to refer to the assistants, guards, publicists, and other people who accompany an actor or other high-profile individual in public. You might also hear such a collection called a suite or entourage, two other words derived from French.


Online Daeva

Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #810 on: November 27, 2019, 07:44:27 AM »
Today's Word of the Day is....


fawn
verb FAWN


Definition

1 : to court favor by a cringing or flattering manner
2 : to show affection — used especially of a dog


Weekly Theme
 
Western


Did You Know?

Some people will be glad to learn the origins of fawn—and there's a hint about the word's etymology in that declaration. Middle English speakers adapted an Old English word meaning "to rejoice" to create the verb faunen, which shifted in spelling over time to become fawn. That Old English word, in turn, derives from fagan, meaning "glad." Fagan is also an ancestor of the English adjective fain, whose earliest (now obsolete) meaning is "happy" or "pleased." This fawn is not, however, related to the noun fawn, referring to a young deer. For that we can thank the Latin noun fetus, meaning "offspring."


Online Daeva

Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #811 on: November 29, 2019, 09:40:01 AM »
Today's Word of the Day is....


comestible
adjective kuh-MESS-tuh-bul


Definition

: edible


Weekly Theme
 
Western


Did You Know?

Did you expect comestible to be a noun meaning "food"? You're probably not alone. As it happens, comestible is used both as an adjective and a noun. The adjective is by far the older of the two; it has been part of English since at least the 1400s. In fact, one of its earliest known uses was in a text printed in 1483 by William Caxton, the man who established England's first printing press. The noun (which is most often used in the plural form comestibles) dates to the late 1700s.


Online Daeva

Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #812 on: November 29, 2019, 09:40:58 AM »
Today's Word of the Day is....


mutt
noun MUT


Definition

1 : a stupid or insignificant person : fool
2 : a mongrel dog : cur


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Western


Did You Know?

Mutt can now be used with either affection or disdain to refer to a dog that is not purebred, but in the word's early history, in the U.S. around the turn of the 20th century, it could also be used to describe a person—and not kindly: mutt was another word for "fool." The word's history lies in another insult. It comes from muttonhead, another Americanism that also means essentially "fool." Muttonhead had been around since the early 19th century but it was not unlike an older insult with the same meaning: people had been calling one another "sheep's heads" since the mid-16th century.


Offline Lilias

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Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #813 on: November 29, 2019, 08:03:27 PM »
Somewhat anticlimactically, the mundane identification turned out to be the easiest part of the entire venture. Sarah, reasoning that the location of their discovery was as good a place to start looking as anywhere else, pulled the Brocklehurst family tree, and from there everything unfolded in ten minutes flat.

‘Our author is Naomi Brocklehurst, née Reed, old Lord Brocklehurst’s sister-in-law,’ she explained to the others, when they gathered in the vault the next day. ‘Born somewhere in the East End in 1929 - no, there’s no exact date to be found. She was evacuated to Brocklehurst Hall between 1941-1945, and by all accounts she grew into a young lady of no particular beauty but significant intelligence and fortitude of character. Her parents were killed during the war and she was essentially homeless by the time the evacuees started returning home, but she had distinguished herself enough during her stay that the Brocklehurst family kept her with them, as a companion to the aging Lady Brocklehurst and her daughter, the future Dame Valerie Barrett-Jones.’

Sarah paused for a drink of water, then went on: ‘Apparently she got along well with the family, despite her status. She dated a family friend, with their approval; he considered a formal engagement, then jilted her in favour of someone more socially acceptable. Lord Brocklehurst’s younger brother was reportedly livid at such treatment, so he stepped in and married her himself, in 1948.’

Anna gave a soft whistle. ‘The drama! If I knew, I would have made popcorn.’ Maxim glared at her, but Faith and Nadia chuckled.

‘I’m sure it will get better once we read her notes,’ said Sarah. ‘The marriage was rather indifferent, and childless, but it held. They spent their time mostly at home, with little social interaction or advancement, on account of the husband’s frail health. It probably suited her fine, not having her magickal studies exposed.’

‘Was her husband practising as well?’ asked Faith.

‘No idea. Her notes might shed some light there. Anyway, she disappears from the family history around the time of his death, in 1971. Her name, maiden or married, never appears again on any official document. There are no photographs anywhere, not even as a child, not even from the wedding, and no portrait of hers in the Brocklehurst gallery, although there is one of her husband in his mature years. There is no mention of her death anywhere either, let alone a grave. Either she created the most watertight new identity ever, or she was spirited away from this plane of existence - which, as we well know, is a perfectly plausible option.’

‘I’d put down money she embraced magick fully and reinvented herself from the ground up,’ said Anna. ‘She may be partying down at the Ministry as we speak, and no one around would know she’s 90 years old.’

‘The next step now is going through the notes,’ concluded Nadia. ‘You’re welcome to them, but you’ll have to stay and read down here - no way I’m letting that document out beyond the wards.’

‘Definitely bringing in snacks for that,’ sighed Maxim. ‘And beer.’

Online Daeva

Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #814 on: November 30, 2019, 07:12:10 AM »
Today's Word of the Day is....


incognito
adjective or adverb in-kahg-NEE-toh


Definition

: with one's identity concealed


Weekly Theme
 
Western


Did You Know?

The ancient Greeks and Romans knew that there were times when you didn't want to be recognized. For example, a myth tells how Zeus and Hermes visited a village incognito and asked for lodging. The apparently penniless travelers were turned away from every household except that of a poor elderly couple named Baucis and Philemon, who provided a room and a feast despite their own poverty. The Romans had a word that described someone or something unknown (like the gods in the tale): incognitus, a term that is the ancestor of our modern incognito. Cognitius is the past participle of the Latin verb cognoscere, which means "to know" and which also gives us recognize, among other words.


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Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #815 on: November 30, 2019, 05:57:52 PM »
The presidential suite at the Mount Royal was occupied by Princess Emerentiana and her retinue - her personal secretary, who faced down anyone attempting to get to the Princess in much the same way Gandalf had stood against the Balrog; her stylist, whose tongue was as nimble as her fingers, if much less efficient, regrettably; and her two bodyguards, who had practically melded with the decor, as was their wont.

‘Just imagine if the president were to turn up, only to be told that he couldn’t have the suite because it was already occupied, and by an aristocrat, to boot!’ giggled the stylist.

‘That would be quite unlikely to happen,’ replied the secretary stolidly. ‘It would mean that either the president’s office had neglected to make a reservation sufficiently in advance, or the hotel’s reception desk had failed to register the reservation. Both signs of incompetence worthy of immediate termination of employment.’

The stylist rolled her eyes. ‘You don’t have to take everything I say so seriously…’ she started.

‘Enough with the nonsense,’ the Princess snapped from the desk, without raising her eyes from the scroll she was perusing. ‘Whoever cares what a transient mortal might think on finding their plans thwarted? Tomorrow they will be gone, day after tomorrow the earth will not remember their name. Are the tokens of our arrival forwarded, Meredith?’

‘Yes, Highness,’ the secretary replied promptly. ‘The Court herald arrived as we were checking in, and I handed them over. They will be sending transportation when it is time. Which would be… in roughly 40 minutes.’

‘Then we had better make haste, Anat.’ The stylist was on her feet before the Princess was out of her chair.

‘I have three fabulous outfits for you to choose from, Highness,’ she said enthusiastically. ‘You will shine, no matter what.’

‘If only your commentaries were as finely tuned as your fashion sense,’ the Princess chuckled softly as she followed the girl to her bedroom.

Online BritwitchTopic starter

Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #816 on: December 01, 2019, 12:48:26 PM »
Today's Word of the Day is....


pointillistic
adjective poyn-tuh-LISS-tik


Definition

1 : composed of many discrete details or parts

2 : of, relating to, or characteristic of pointillism or pointillists


Weekly Theme
 
Mythical Creatures


Did You Know?

In the late 19th century, Neo-Impressionists discovered that contrasting dots of color applied side by side would blend together and be perceived as a luminous whole when seen from a distance. With this knowledge, they developed the technique of pointillism, also known as divisionism. By the 1920s, the adjective pointillistic was being used as a word describing something having many details or parts, such as an argument or musical composition; it was then applied to the art of pointillism and its artists, the pointillists.

Online Daeva

Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #817 on: December 02, 2019, 06:32:46 PM »
Today's Word of the Day is....


bon vivant
noun bahn-vee-VAHNT


Definition

: a sociable person who has cultivated and refined tastes especially with respect to food and drink

Weekly Theme
 
Mythical Creatures


Did You Know?

Fans of fine French wine and cuisine won't be surprised to hear that the French language gave us a number of words for those who enjoy good living and good eating. Gourmet, gourmand, and gastronome come from French, as does bon vivant. In the late 17th century, English-speakers borrowed this French phrase, which literally means "good liver." No, we don't mean liver, as in the organ. We mean liver, as in "one who lives (in a specified way)"—in this case, "one who lives well."


Online BritwitchTopic starter

Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #818 on: December 03, 2019, 11:53:27 PM »
Today's Word of the Day is....


ersatz
adjective AIR-sahts


Definition

: being a usually artificial and inferior substitute or imitation

Weekly Theme
 
Mythical Creatures


Did You Know?

Ersatz can be traced back in English to the 1870s, but it really came into prominence during World War I. Borrowed from German, where Ersatz is a noun meaning "substitute," the word was frequently applied as an adjective in English to modify terms like coffee (made from acorns) and flour (made from potatoes)—ersatz products resulting from the privations of war. By the time World War II came around, bringing with it a resurgence of the word along with more substitute products, ersatz was wholly entrenched in the language. Today, ersatz can be applied to almost anything that seems like an artificial imitation.

Online BritwitchTopic starter

Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #819 on: December 05, 2019, 09:13:18 AM »
Today's Word of the Day is....


coup de grâce
noun koo-duh-GRAHSS


Definition

1 : a deathblow or death shot administered to end the suffering of one mortally wounded

2 : a decisive finishing blow, act, or event


Weekly Theme
 
Mythical Creatures


Did You Know?

Borrowed directly from French and first appearing in English at the end of the 17th century, coup de grâce (also sometimes styled without the circumflex as coup de grace) translates literally as "stroke of grace" or "blow of mercy," and originally referred to a mercy killing, or to the act of putting to death a person or animal who was severely injured and unlikely to recover. (In some contexts the term is used to refer to the final act of executing a convicted criminal.) Later, coup de grâce had come to mean "an act or event that puts a definite end to something." Other coup terms that have made the jump from French to English include coup de main, for a sudden, forceful attack, and coup d’état for a violent overthrow of a government usually by a small group.

Online BritwitchTopic starter

Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #820 on: December 05, 2019, 09:14:32 AM »
Today's Word of the Day is....


acquiesce
verb ak-wee-ESS


Definition

: to accept, comply, or submit tacitly or passively —often used with in or to


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Mythical Creatures


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Acquiesce means essentially "to comply quietly," so it should not surprise you to learn that it is ultimately derived from the Latin verb quiēscere, meaning "to be quiet." It arrived in English in the early 1600s, via the French acquiescer, with the senses "to agree or comply" and "to rest satisfied" (this latter sense is now obsolete). An early example of the word acquiesce in the sense of "to agree or comply" can be found in the writings of the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes who, in his 1651 masterpiece, Leviathan, argued that people must subject themselves completely to a sovereign and should obey the teachings of the church. Encouraging his readers to adopt his position he wrote, "Our Beleefe … is in the Church; whose word we take, and acquiesce therein."

Online BritwitchTopic starter

Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #821 on: December 06, 2019, 02:21:58 PM »
Today's Word of the Day is....


gingerly
adjective JIN-jer-lee


Definition

: very cautious or careful


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Mythical Creatures


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Etymologists take a gingerly approach to assigning any particular origins to this word. While it might have come from the name of the spice, there's nothing concrete to back up that idea. Another conjecture is that it's related to an Old French word, gensor, which meant "delicate." That's because in 16th century English an earlier sense of gingerly often referred to dancing or walking with dainty steps. Not till the 17th century did it change to apply to movements that were cautious in order to avoid being noisy or causing injury, and to a wary manner in handling or presenting ideas. Not too surprisingly, given its -ly ending, gingerly is also quite often correctly used as an adverb, as in "they moved gingerly on the icy pond."

Online BritwitchTopic starter

Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #822 on: December 08, 2019, 12:30:26 AM »
Today's Word of the Day is....


vexillology
noun vek-suh-LAH-luh-jee


Definition

: the study of flags


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Mythical Creatures


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"The flag is the embodiment, not of sentiment, but of history." Woodrow Wilson was speaking of the U.S. flag when he made that statement in an address in June of 1915, but those who engage in vexillology—that is, vexillologists—would likely find the comment applicable to any national banner. Vexillologists undertake scholarly investigations of flags, producing papers with titles such as "A Review of the Changing Proportions of Rectangular Flags since Medieval Times, and Some Suggestions for the Future." In the late 1950s, they coined vexillology as a name for their field of research, basing it on vexillum, the Latin term for a square flag or banner of the ancient Roman cavalry. The adjectives vexillologic and vexillological and the noun vexillologist followed soon thereafter.

Online Daeva

Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #823 on: December 08, 2019, 10:50:38 AM »
Today's Word of the Day is....


circumscribe
verb SER-kum-skrybe


Definition

1 a : to constrict the range or activity of definitely and clearly
b : to define or mark off carefully
2 a : to draw a line around
b : to surround by or as if by a boundary
3 : to construct or be constructed around (a geometrical figure) so as to touch as many points as possible


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Folk Tales


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Circumscribe has a lot of relatives in English. Its Latin predecessor circumscribere (which roughly translates as "to draw a circle around") derives from circum-, meaning "circle," and scribere, meaning "to write or draw." Among the many descendants of circum- are circuit, circumference, circumnavigate, circumspect, circumstance, and circumvent. Scribere gave us such words as scribe and scribble, as well as ascribe, describe, and transcribe, among others. Circumscribe was first recorded in the 15th century; it was originally spelled circumscrive, but by the end of the century the circumscribe spelling had also appeared.


Online Daeva

Re: Word of the Day Challenge
« Reply #824 on: December 09, 2019, 08:48:30 AM »
Today's Word of the Day is....


oxymoron
noun ahk-sih-MOR-ahn

Definition

: a combination of contradictory or incongruous words (such as cruel kindness); broadly : something (such as a concept) that is made up of contradictory or incongruous elements


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Folk Tales


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The Greeks exhaustively classified the elements of rhetoric, or effective speech and writing, and gave the name oxymoron—literally "pointed foolishness"—to the deliberate juxtaposing of seemingly contradictory words. The roots of oxymoron, oxys meaning "sharp" or "keen," and mōros meaning "foolish," are nearly antonyms themselves, making oxymoron nicely self-descriptive. Oxymoron originally applied to a meaningful paradox condensed into a couple of words, as in "precious bane," "lonely crowd," or "sweet sorrow." Today, however, what is commonly cited as an oxymoron is often simply a curiosity of language, where one or both elements have multiple meanings (shrimp in "jumbo shrimp" doesn't mean "small"; it refers to a sea creature), or a phrase whose elements seem antithetical in spirit, such as "classic rock."