Category Archives: Word of the Day

Obscure Collective Nouns for a Worship of Writers

Back in the 15th Century, collective nouns were all the rage. The system, which assigns a different word for “group” depending on the animal being referred to, was the brainchild of English hunters who wanted to distinguish each of their … Continue reading

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The Whole 9 Yards – Etymology of English Idioms + Puns

When word sleuths go digging for the origin of our favorite puns, idioms and catchphrases, literature is usually a good starting point. (Joseph Heller coined Catch-22 in a novel of the same name; “absence makes the heart grow fonder” was … Continue reading

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There’s A Foreign Word For That – Useful Words That Don’t Exist In English

Even the greatest wordsmiths have moments when they just can’t find the right word. Sometimes it’s because of a brain lapse, and other times, it’s because we’re just not sure what we’re trying to say. But sometimes, the word may … Continue reading

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It’s Time To Retire (The Word Beautiful From Your Vocabulary)

Look at this picture of legendary film starlet, Jean Harlow. I came across it today doing some work for a client and it literally stopped me dead in my tracks. She looks absolutely, well, I’m not sure what the word … Continue reading

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Word Of The Day: Paparazzi [La Dolce Vita]

    Have you ever wondered why we call paparazzi, paparazzi? Contrary to what you may think, paparazzi isn’t Italian for intrusive, celebrity photographer. It actually means buzzing insect. While filming La Dolce Vita in Italy, Federico Fellini was inspired … Continue reading

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Mark Twain On Tautologies (He Doesn’t Like Them – Neither Should You)

Noun [from Greek , ‘tauto’: the same, and ‘logos’: word/idea] The use of words that merely repeat elements of the meaning already conveyed, as in the sentence Will these supplies be adequate enough? in place of Will these supplies be … Continue reading

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Word of the Day: Frisson

frisson \free-SOHN\, noun: A  moment  of  intense  excitement;  a  shudder;  an emotional thrill. When’s the last time you experienced frisson? Interestingly enough, frisson doesn’t always come from an exceptional experience. It can be born of the mundane, from the paperback … Continue reading

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Word of the Day: Arsenic

ar·se·nic /n. ˈɑrsənɪk, ˈɑrsnɪk; adj. ɑrˈsɛnɪk/ Show Spelled[n. ahr-suh-nik, ahrs-nik; adj. ahr-sen-ik] Show IPA –noun  1. a grayish-white element having a metallic luster, vaporizing when heated, and forming poisonous compounds. Symbol:  As; atomic weight:  74.92; atomic number:  33. 2. a … Continue reading

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Word of the Day: Operation Gratitude

grat·i·tude /ˈgrætɪˌtud, -ˌtyud/ Show Spelled[grat-i-tood, -tyood] Show IPA –noun  the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful: He expressed his gratitude to everyone on the staff. o·per·a·tion grat·i·tude a non-profit organization that sends care packages addressed to individual Soldiers, … Continue reading

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Word of the Day: Cornucopia

cor·nu·co·pi·a –noun 1. Classical Mythology . a horn containing food, drink, etc., in endless supply, said to have been a horn of the goat Amalthaea. 2. A representation of this horn, used as a symbol of abundance. 3. An abundant, … Continue reading

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