Word of the day

The special word for today is…

handsel (noun) – 1. A gift to express good wishes at the beginning of a new year or enterprise.
2. The first money or barter taken in, as by a new business or on the opening day of business, especially when considered a token of good luck.
3. (a) A first payment.
(b) A specimen or foretaste of what is to come.

(verb) – 1. To give a handsel to.
2. To launch with a ceremonial gesture or gift.
3. To do or use for the first time.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : According to an old custom in the British Isles, the first Monday of the New Year is Handsel Monday, a day to give a small gift or good luck charm to children or to those who have served you well. As long ago as the 13th century, English speakers were using the ancestor of handsel in the context of omens and luck, eventually leading to the meaning of a good luck charm given to one at the start of some new situation or condition. By the 18th century, traders were using handsel for the first cash they earned in the morning—to them, an omen of good things to follow. Nowadays, it can also be used for something that gives a taste of things to come.


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