Word of the day strikes back

Discussion about miscellaneous topics not covered by other forums
Richard Frost
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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Sat May 01 2021 10:18am

Word of the Day : May 1, 2021 - https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day

fustian
noun FUSS-chun

Definition
1 a : a strong cotton and linen fabric

b : a class of cotton fabrics usually having a pile face and twill weave

2 : high-flown or affected writing or speech; broadly : anything high-flown or affected in style

Did You Know?
Fustian first entered English in the 13th century, by way of Anglo-French, as a term for a kind of fabric. (Its ultimate Latin source is probably the word fustis, meaning "tree trunk.") Several centuries into use as a noun and an attributive noun, fustian spread beyond textiles to describe pretentious writing or speech. Christopher Marlowe was a pioneer in the word's semantic expansion: in his 16th-century play Doctor Faustus, he employs the word in this new way when the student Wagner says, "Let thy left eye be diametarily [sic] fixed upon my right heel, with quasi vestigiis nostris insistere," and the clown replies, "God forgive me, he speaks Dutch fustian." And later, the titular doctor himself is called "Dr. Fustian" repeatedly by a horse dealer—an apt misnomer considering the Doctor's speech habits.

Examples
"In 1798, William Wordsworth arrived from Bristol at the cottage of his friend, Samuel Taylor Coleridge…. Twenty-five years later, William Hazlitt, who was also in residence at the time, still remembered his first sight of the future poet laureate, a tall 'Don Quixote-like' figure, quaintly dressed in a brown fustian jacket and striped pantaloons." — Rachel Cook, The Guardian, 14 Apr. 2020

"The last couple of Lyric 'Rigoletto' productions have ranged from muddled to disastrous, but this one, using handsome sets that originated at the San Francisco Opera in 1997 and deftly staged by revival director E. Loren Meeker, works to tell the story directly, without fuss or fustian." — John von Rhein, The Chicago Tribune, 9 Oct. 2017

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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Sun May 02 2021 8:41am

2nd May 21

conservationist
noun [ C ]
kɒn.səˈveɪ.ʃən.ɪst/

someone who works to protect the environment from the damaging effects of human activity:
Conservationists are fighting to save the tiger.
Conservationists are concerned about the threat to the Arctic's unique ecosystems.

Some conservationists fear that 10% of the world's plant species may have disappeared by the end of the century.

One of South America's most important archaeological sites is under "great threat", a leading conservationist has warned.

the protests of wildlife conservationists against a proposed motorway extension

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-northe ... d-56929674

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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Mon May 03 2021 9:22am

Word of the Day : May 3, 2021 - https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day

conciliatory
adjective kun-SILL-yuh-tor-ee

Definition
: tending to win over from a state of hostility or distrust : intended to gain the goodwill or favor of someone

Did You Know?
If you are conciliatory towards someone, you're trying to win that person over to your side. The verb conciliate was borrowed into English in the mid-16th century and descends from the Latin verb conciliare, meaning "to assemble, unite, or win over." Conciliare, in turn, comes from Latin concilium, meaning "assembly" or "council." Conciliatory, which appeared in English a bit later in the 16th century, also traces back to conciliare. Another word that has conciliare as a root is reconcile, the earliest meaning of which is "to restore to friendship or harmony."

Examples
As the irate customer yelled, the manager adopted a soothing, conciliatory tone and promised that the situation would be remedied.

"Then you have the situations in Green Bay and Seattle where veterans with Super Bowl wins and Hall of Fame resumes have expressed their feelings about their teams' direction. Green Bay management has been conciliatory towards Aaron Rodgers while Seattle has been rather truculent towards Russell Wilson." — Jeff Harvey, The Princeton (West Virginia) Times, 19 Feb. 2021

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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Tue May 04 2021 9:41am

Word of the Day : May 4, 2021 - https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day

succumb
verb suh-KUM

Definition
1 : to yield to superior strength or force or overpowering appeal or desire

2 : to be brought to an end (such as death) by the effect of destructive or disruptive forces

Did You Know?
If the idea of someone succumbing brings to mind the image of a person lying down before more powerful forces, you have an excellent grasp of the Latin that gave English succumb. Succumb derives from the French word succomber, which is itself from the Latin word succumbere, meaning "to fall down" or "to yield." Succumbere was formed by combining sub-, meaning "under," with -cumbere, meaning "to lie down." The earliest application of succumb in the late 15th century was as a transitive verb meaning "to bring down" or "to overwhelm," but this sense is now obsolete. The current sense of "to yield" first appeared in print in the early 17th century; the more specific use—yielding to a disease or other destructive force—followed decades later.

Examples
"Of all the food experiences I have missed in the last year, one stands out: my regular trip to a falafel stall on the edge of London's Shepherd's Bush Market. It sold the greatest falafels I've ever tasted: crisp and crunchy on the outside, succumbing to a fluffy interior, bright green with parsley and coriander." — Keith Kendrick, Good Food, March 2021

"Georgia is in possession of the only unfinished manuscript that her deceased relative left behind, and her own mom wants her to sell the rights so they can get some cash. Georgia succumbs to the pressure and enters a deal in which another author will finish the book's second half." — Kirkus Reviews, 1 Mar. 2021

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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Wed May 05 2021 9:25am

WEDNESDAY, MAY 05, 2021 - https://www.dictionary.com/e/word-of-the-day/

hardscrabble
[ hahrd-skrab-uhl ]
adjective

providing or yielding meagerly in return for much effort; demanding or unrewarding.

WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF HARDSCRABBLE?
Hardscrabble, “yielding a meager return for much effort,” is an Americanism that originally began as two separate words: the adjective hard “difficult, arduous” and the noun scrabble “scratching, clawing, scramble”; the phrase meant “painful effort under hard conditions,” later applied particularly to farmland that required much work for little reward. By the first half of the 19th century, Hard-Scrabble (variously spelled) was used as a placename for a remote town or region where life was difficult. The current sense “yielding meager results” dates from the second half of the 19th century. Hardscrabble entered English in the second half of the 18th century.

HOW IS HARDSCRABBLE USED?
The oil and gas business is full of guys like T. Boone Pickens, self-made men who rose from a hardscrabble life on the prairie to become titans of the industry. JEFF GOODELL, "THE BIG FRACKING BUBBLE: THE SCAM BEHIND AUBREY MCCLENDON’S GAS BOOM," ROLLING STONE, MARCH 1, 2012

Maybe you caught tinges of her vivid, hardscrabble love letter crackling through tinny speakers at a CVS, and paid attention because it’s one of the few songs in the commercially programmed soundtrack of our mundane errands that no one should have objections to. HAU CHU, "TRACY CHAPMAN'S 'FAST CAR' IS A BEAUTIFUL BALLAD. THIS 33-MINUTE COVER VERSION TAKES IT TO A WHOLE NEW PLACE." WASHINGTON POST, APRIL 3, 2021

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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Thu May 06 2021 9:43am

Word of the Day : May 6, 2021 - https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day

deep-six
verb DEEP-SIKS

Definition
1 : to get rid of : discard, eliminate

2 slang : to throw overboard

Did You Know?
Before the introduction of shipboard sonar, water depth was measured by hand with a sounding line. This was generally a rope weighted at one end, with bits of leather called marks tied on at intervals to measure the fathoms. Between the marks, fathoms were estimated by deeps. The leadsman (pronounced LEDZ-mun) lowered the line into the water and called out the depth as the rope passed through his hands: "By the mark twain!" at two fathoms; "By the deep six!" at six fathoms. Perhaps due to an association with "six feet under" (dead and buried), to give something the deep six (or to deep-six it) was to throw it overboard, or, by extension, to discard it. In the mid-20th century, deep-six made landfall; since then it has been used as much by landlubbers as by old salts.

Examples
Citing budget concerns, the city council announced that it has deep-sixed plans to repave the city's bike trails.

"The movement impressed the Clinton White House, which began drafting an executive order mandating plain language in government—until an administration attorney deep-sixed the idea because he did not find the mission suitably 'magisterial.'" — Evan Halper, The Los Angeles Times, 13 Mar. 2021

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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Fri May 07 2021 9:50am

7th May 21 - https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/democratic

democratic
adjective

dem·​o·​crat·​ic | \ ˌde-mə-ˈkra-tik

Definition of democratic

1: of, relating to, or favoring democracy (see DEMOCRACY sense 1)
democratic elections
a democratic government
2: often capitalized : of or relating to one of the two major political parties in the U.S. evolving in the early 19th century from the anti-federalists and the Democratic-Republican party and associated in modern times with policies of broad social reform and internationalism
the Democratic candidate for governor
3: relating to, appealing to, or available to the broad masses of the people
democratic art
democratic education
4: favoring social equality : not snobbish
disagrees with her very democratic husband

Examples of democratic in a Sentence

Democratic elections were held there today for the first time.

the country's new democratic constitution

There was something so beautifully democratic about his vision — these were songs that could turn anyone into a rock star.
— Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone, "A Toast to Jim Steinman: The Songwriting Powder Keg Who Kept Giving Off Sparks," 21 Apr. 2021

The specific language is the DOD language about partners that are in other democratic countries.
— CBS News, "Tech giant Eric Schmidt warns China is catching up to U.S. in A.I.," 21 Apr. 2021

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Re: Word of the day strikes back

Post by Sarah » Fri May 07 2021 1:13pm

Word of the day from Susie Dent today:
Word of the day is 'puckfist' (17th century): a blustering boaster or braggart.
https://twitter.com/susie_dent/status/1 ... 29030?s=20
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Re: Word of the day strikes back

Post by macliam » Fri May 07 2021 11:45pm

"Democratic puckfist" sounds a fanboy's description of anyone who disagrees with the erstwhile 45th POTUS. ;)
Just because I'm paranoid, it doesn't mean they're not out to get me

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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Sat May 08 2021 10:36am

Word of the Day : May 8, 2021 - https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day

frugal
adjective FROO-gul

Definition
: characterized by or reflecting economy in the use of resources

Did You Know?
Those who are frugal are unwilling to (lavishly) enjoy the fruits of their labours, so it may surprise you to learn that frugal ultimately derives from the Latin frux, meaning "fruit" or "value," and is even a distant cousin of the Latin word for "enjoy" (frui). The connection between fruit or value and restraint was first made in Latin; the Middle French word that English speakers eventually adopted as frugal came from the Latin adjective frugalis, a frux descendant meaning "virtuous" or "frugal." Although English speakers adopted frugal by the 16th century, they were already lavishly supplied with earlier coinages to denote the idea, including sparing and thrifty.

Examples
"Frugal diners might prefer hitting Ulrich's on Monday nights, when all burgers are $3 off. It's one of the best deals Downtown, or anywhere in town." — Nick Vlahos, The Peoria (Illinois) Journal Star, 1 Mar. 2021

"But a frugal lifestyle doesn't have to mean a deprived lifestyle. In fact, I've managed to whittle down my spending and boost my savings by making a few simple but meaningful choices." — Maurie Backman, The Motley Fool, 19 Jan. 2021

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