Word of the Day

Word of the day

The word for today is…

noisome (adj) – 1. Offensive to the point of arousing disgust; foul.

  1. Harmful or dangerous.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : Noisome sounds like it might be a synonym of noisy, but it’s not. Something noisome is disgusting, offensive, or harmful, often in its smell. Noisome does not come from noise, but from the Middle English word noysome, which has the same meaning as noisome. Noysome was formed by combining the noun noy, which means “annoyance,” with the adjectival suffix -some (“characterized by a (specified) thing, quality, state, or action”). Noy comes from Anglo-French anui, which also means “annoyance.” As you may have already guessed, the English words annoy and annoyance are also related to noisome.

Word of the day

The word for today is…

ignis fatuus (noun) – 1. A phosphorescent light that hovers or flits over swampy ground at night, possibly caused by spontaneous combustion of gases emitted by rotting organic matter. Also called friar’s lantern, jack-o’-lantern, will-o’-the-wisp, wisp.

  1. Something that misleads or deludes; an illusion.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : “Will o’ the wisp, jack-o-lantern,” 1560s, Medieval Latin, literally “foolish fire;” see igneous + fatuous. “It seems to have been formerly a common phenomenon; but is now exceedingly rare”.

Word of the day

The word for today is…

dysphoria (noun) – An emotional state characterised by anxiety, depression, or unease.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : “Impatience under affliction,” 1842, from Greek dysphoria “pain hard to be borne, anguish,” etymologically “hard to bear,” from dys- “bad, hard” + pherein “to carry,” from PIE root *bher- “to carry.”

Word of the day

The word for today is…

doorbuster (noun) – (1)(a) (Informal) A retail item that is heavily discounted for a very limited time in order to draw customers to the store.
(b) the price of such an item.

2, A device used to forcibly open a door.

Source : Dictionary.com

Etymology : Doorbuster originally (in the 1890s) meant “one who breaks into or forces his way into a room or building.” By the first part of the 20th century, doorbuster also meant “a retail item heavily discounted for a short time to attract customers,” and towards the end of the 20th century, a doorbuster meant “a tool or device to force doors open.” The words bust and buster arose in the mid-17th century as regional or colloquial pronunciations of burst and burster, as also happened with curse and cuss, arse and ass, and parcel and passel.

Word of the day

The word for today is…

cornucopia (noun) – 1. (Greek Mythology) The horn of the goat that suckled Zeus, which broke off and became filled with fruit. In folklore, it became full of whatever its owner desired.

  1. A representation of a goat’s horn overflowing with fruit, flowers, and grain, signifying prosperity. Also called horn of plenty.
  2. A cone-shaped ornament or receptacle.
  3. An overflowing store; an abundance.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : Cornucopia is a Late Latin formation, a combination of the Latin noun phrase cornū cōpiae “horn of plenty.” Cornūcōpia was coined by the late Imperial historian Ammianus Marcellinus (c 325 a.d.-c398 a.d.), a Greek probably born in Syria or Phoenicia who learned his Latin in the army. Cornū comes from the very complicated Proto-Indo-European root ker-, kor-, krā-, kŗ- (and other variants and their extensions) “head, horn.” English horn is a close relation of Latin cornū. Krāníon “skull, cranium” is one of the many Greek derivatives of the root. Cōpia is a derivative of the rare adjective cōpis (or cops) “well supplied, abundant.” Cornūcōpia entered English in the 16th century.

Word of the day

The word for today is…

audacious (adj) – 1. Fearlessly, often recklessly daring; bold.

  1. Unrestrained by convention or propriety; brazen or insolent.
  2. Spirited and original.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : Audacious first appeared in English in the mid-1500s. It was borrowed from the Middle French adjective audacieux, which was derived from the noun audace (“boldness, audacity”). Audace came from the Latin audacia, a derivative of the Latin root audac- (“bold”). Audac- is also the source of audacity, which appeared in Middle English (as audacite) in the 1400s. Audac- can be traced, by way of the Latin verb audēre (“to dare”), to the Latin adjective avidus (“eager” or “greedy”), which was also borrowed by English, either directly from Latin or via the French avide, to give us our adjective avid. Among the early adopters of audacious was William Shakespeare, who used the word seven times in his plays, as in Henry VI, Part 2, where Somerset addresses York with the lines, “I arrest thee, York, / Of capital treason ‘gainst the King and crown. / Obey, audacious traitor, kneel for grace.”

Word of the day

The word for today is…

utilitarianism (noun) – 1. The belief that the value of a thing or an action is determined by its utility.
2. The ethical theory proposed by Jeremy Bentham and James Mill that all action should be directed toward achieving the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.
3. The quality of being utilitarian.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : 1827, from utilitarian + -ism. The doctrine that the end of all action should be the greatest happiness of the greatest number.

Word of the day

The word for today is…

Terracotta, terra cotta or terra-cotta (noun) – 1. (a) A hard semifired waterproof ceramic clay used in pottery and building construction.
(b) Ceramic wares made of this material.
2. A brownish orange.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : Early 18th century: from Italian terra cotta ‘baked earth’, from Latin terra cocta .

Word of the day

The word for today is…
(As supplied by reader Dave of the West Bank)

quockerwodger (noun) – The term quockerwodger, although referring to a wooden toy figure which jerks its limbs about when pulled by a string, has been supplemented with a political meaning. A pseudo-politician, one whose strings of action are pulled by somebody else, is now often termed a quockerwodger.

Source : World Wide Words

Etymology : A most mysterious term, this appears in the middle of the nineteenth century, apparently originally an English dialect term for which no antecedents are known. The English Dialect Dictionary of the end of the century has quocken, to vomit or choke, and quocker, a man who goes harvesting at some distance from home, neither of which is any help at all in explaining a word that means a wooden puppet on a string.

It is recorded best in John Camden Hotten’s A Dictionary of Modern Slang, Cant, and Vulgar Words of 1859.

Word of the day

The word for today is…

longueur (noun) – A tedious passage in a work of literature or performing art.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : From French longueur. In French, “longueurs” are tedious passages, and “longueur” literally means “length.” The first recorded use of “longueur” in English comes from the writer Horace Walpole, who wrote in a letter, “Boswell’s book is gossiping;. . . but there are woful longueurs, both about his hero and himself.”