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Author Topic: Word of the Day
Bob_Scopatz
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The Word of the Day for July 27 is:

luftmensch \LOOFT-mensh ("OO" as in "foot")\ noun
: an impractical contemplative person having no
definite business or income

Example sentence:
"The son ...," wrote American author Irving Howe, "is
leaving to be a luftmensch -- a starving poet, a painter without
pictures, a radical leader without followers."

Did you know?
Are you someone who always seems to have your head in
the clouds? Do you have trouble getting down to the lowly
business of earning a living? If so, you may deserve to be
labeled a "luftmensch." That airy appellation is an adaptation
of the Yiddish "luftmentsh," which breaks down into "luft" (a
Germanic root that can be tied linguistically to the English
words "loft" and "lofty"), meaning "air," plus "mentsh,"
meaning "human being." "Luftmensch" was first introduced to
English prose in 1907, when Israel Zangwill wrote "The
word 'Luftmensch' flew into Barstein's mind. Nehemiah was not an
earth-man .... He was an air-man, floating on facile wings."

(c) 2003 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

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Bob_Scopatz
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The Word of the Day for July 28 is:

quietus \kwye-EE-tus\ noun
1 : final settlement (as of a debt)
*2 : removal from activity; especially : death
3 : something that quiets or represses

Example sentence:
"This book is also about the death of Lavrenti Pavlovich
Beria, a quietus that for reasons not satisfactorily explained
has been placed a year later than it actually occurred." (Ruth
Rendell, _The New York Times Book Review_, April 6, 1986)

Did you know?
In the early 1500s, English speakers adopted the Medieval
Latin phrase "quietus est" (literally "he is quit") as the name
for the writ of discharge exempting a baron or knight from
payment of a knight's fee to the king. The expression was later
shortened to "quietus" and applied to the termination of any
debt. William Shakespeare was the first to use "quietus" as a
metaphor for the termination of life: "For who would bear the
whips and scorns of time, ...When he himself might his quietus
make / With a bare bodkin?" (_Hamlet_). The third meaning, which
is more influenced by "quiet" than "quit," appeared in the 19th
century. It sometimes occurs in the phrase "put the quietus on"
(as in, "The bad news put the quietus on their celebration").

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

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Zalmoxis
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Nathan didn't even have the imagination to be a luftmensch -- he was always swinging from one obsession to another, filling his brain with whatever random pamphlet he'd been given at the bus stop or on campus. He was, well, a true loofamensch.
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Bob_Scopatz
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The Word of the Day for July 29 is:

cantankerous \kan-TANG-kruss\ adjective
: difficult or irritating to deal with

Example sentence:
Philip was always cantankerous in the morning, given to
snapping and snarling until he'd had his first cup of coffee and
a soothing hot shower.

Did you know?
It's irritating, but we're not absolutely sure
where "cantankerous" comes from. Most etymologists think it
probably derived from the Middle English word "contack"
(or "contek"), which meant "contention" or "strife." Their idea
is that "cantankerous" may have started out as "contackerous,"
but it was later modified as a result of association or
confusion with "rancorous" (meaning "spiteful") and "cankerous"
(which refers to something that spreads corruption of the mind
or spirit). Considering that a cantankerous person generally has
the spite associated with "contack" and "rancor," and the
noxious and sometimes painful effects of a "canker," that theory
seems plausible. What we can say with conviction is
that "cantankerous" has been used in English since the late
1700s.

(c) 2003 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

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Bob_Scopatz
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The Word of the Day for July 30 is:

de minimis \dee-MIH-nih-miss\ adjective
: lacking significance or importance : so minor as to merit
disregard

Example sentence:
"The likelihood that I'm going to win the lottery is de
minimis," said the struggling young law student, "so I don't
expect to be buying that luxury yacht I've got my eye on anytime
soon."

Did you know?
Proponents of readable prose over jargon and legalese might
argue that the last thing 20th-century American jurisprudence
needed was another Latin term. Yet here we have a legal term
that entered English only around 1950. Perhaps we should
clarify: the legal doctrine of "de minimis non curat lex" ("the
law does not concern itself with trifling matters") has been
around for awhile, but use of "de minimis" on its own is
relatively recent. At first, the shortened phrase was simply
used to refer to the legal doctrine itself ("the de minimis
rule"). Then it came to be used more broadly as an adjective
("de minimis contacts with the defendant"). Finally, "de
minimis" leaked out of the courtroom and into the world at
large.

(c) 2003 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

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Bob_Scopatz
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The Word of the Day for July 31 is:

mercurial \mer-KYUR-ee-ul\ adjective
*1 : characterized by rapid and unpredictable changeableness
of mood
2 : of, relating to, containing, or caused by mercury

Example sentence:
Paul's mercurial moods made him extremely difficult to work
with because even the most innocuous event could provoke a fit
of violent temper.

Did you know?
The Roman god Mercury ("Mercurius" in Latin) was the
messenger and herald of the gods and also the god of merchants
and thieves. (His counterpart in Greek mythology is Hermes.) He
was noted for his eloquence, swiftness, and cunning, and the
Romans named what appeared to them to be the fastest-moving
planet in his honor. The Latin adjective derived from his
name, "mercurialis," meaning "of or relating to Mercury," was
borrowed into English in the 14th century as "mercurial."
Although the adjective initially meant "born under the planet
Mercury," it came to mean also "having qualities of eloquence,
ingenuity, or thievishness attributed to the god Mercury or the
influence of the planet Mercury," and then "unpredictably
changeable."

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

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Bob_Scopatz
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For years I drove around in a late 70's mercurial Cougar.
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Bob_Scopatz
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The Word of the Day for August 1 is:

twee \TWEE\ adjective
chiefly British : affectedly or excessively dainty,
delicate, cute, or quaint

Example sentence:
Thatched-roof birdhouses with posies in the windows are a
bit too twee for Annalese, who doesn't go in much for cutesiness.

Did you know?
Most adults wouldn't be caught dead saying, "Oh, look at
the tweet 'ittle birdie!" (at least not to anyone over the age
of three), but they probably wouldn't be averse to saying, "He
went fishing with his dad," "She works as a nanny," or "Hey,
buddy, how's it going?" Anyone who uses "dad," "nanny,"
or "buddy" owes a debt to "baby talk," a term used for both the
childish speech adults adopt when addressing youngsters and for
the speech of small children who are just learning to
talk. "Twee" also originated in baby talk, as an alteration
of "sweet." In the early 1900s, it was a term of affection, but
nowadays British speakers and writers, and, increasingly,
Americans as well, use "twee" for things that have passed beyond
agreeable and into the realm of cloying.

(c) 2003 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

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Bob_Scopatz
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Reminds me of a scene where Groucho is sitting in a canoe with some woman who is talking baby talk. His reply:

"If baby doesn't stop tawking wike dat, ookums will smash awl her widdle teef white down her froat!"

[ August 01, 2003, 09:34 AM: Message edited by: Bob_Scopatz ]

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Bob_Scopatz
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The Word of the Day for August 2 is:

sensibility \sen-suh-BIH-luh-tee\ noun
1 : ability to receive sensations : sensitiveness
*2 : the emotion or feeling of which a person is capable
3 : refined or excessive sensitiveness in emotion and taste

Example sentence:
Instead of going to the van Gogh exhibit, Dan went fishing
and gratified his artistic sensibilities by the gleam of a trout
at the end of his hook.

Did you know?
From Latin "sentire" ("to feel"), the meanings
of "sensibility" run the gamut from mere sensation of the sense
organs to excessive sentimentality. In between is a capacity for
delicate appreciation, a sense often pluralized. In Jane
Austen's books, "sensibility," a word much appreciated by the
novelist, is mostly an admirable quality she attributed to or
found lacking in her characters: "He had ... a sensibility to
what was amiable and lovely" (of Mr. Elliot in _Persuasion_). In
_Sense and Sensibility_, however, Austen starts out by ascribing
to Marianne sensibleness, on the one hand, but an "excess of
sensibility" on the other: "her sorrows, her joys, could have no
moderation . . . she was everything but prudent."

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

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Bob_Scopatz
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The Word of the Day for August 3 is:

macadam \muh-KAD-um\ noun
: a roadway or pavement of small closely packed broken stone

Example sentence:
We left the old city with much regret, passing from its
quaint cobblestones to lumpy macadam, leaving our vacation
behind and returning reluctantly to the workaday world.

Did you know?
In 1783, inventor John Loudon McAdam returned to his native
Scotland after amassing a fortune in New York. He was promptly
made road trustee for his district and quickly set his
inventiveness to remedying the terrible condition of local
roads. After numerous experiments, he created a new inexpensive
but durable road surfacing material made of bits of stone that
became compressed into a solid mass as traffic passed over them.
His invention revolutionized road construction and
transportation, and engineers and the public alike honored him
by using his name (respelled "macadam") as a generic term for
the material or pavement made from it. He is further
immortalized in the verb "macadamize," which names the process
of installing macadam on a road.

(c) 2003 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

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Bob_Scopatz
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The Word of the Day for August 4 is:

malinger \muh-LING-gur\ verb
: to pretend or exaggerate incapacity or illness (as to
avoid duty or work)

Example sentence:
When Kim called in sick on yet another beautiful summer day,
her boss began to suspect she was malingering.

Did you know?
Do you know someone who always seems to develop an ailment
when there's work to be done? Someone who merits an Academy
Award for his or her superb simulation of symptoms? Then you
know a malingerer. The verb "malinger" comes from the French
word "malingre," meaning "sickly," and one who malingers feigns
illness. In its earliest uses in the 19th century, "malinger"
usually referred to a soldier or sailor pretending to be sick or
insane to shirk duty. Later, psychologists began
using "malingering" as a clinical term to describe the feigning
of illness in avoidance of a duty or for personal gain.
Today, "malinger" is used in just about any context in which
someone fakes sickness or injury to get out of an undesirable
task.

(c) 2003 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

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rivka
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My sensibilities were offended by the malingerer whimpering on the macadam. That little tap from my car couldn't possibly have broken her leg.
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Bob_Scopatz
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...just her will to live.
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Bob_Scopatz
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The Word of the Day for August 5 is:

skulk \SKULK\ verb
*1 : to move in a stealthy or furtive manner
2 a : to hide or conceal something (as oneself) often
out of cowardice or fear or with sinister intent b _chiefly
British_ : malinger

Example sentence:
"I sometimes met with hounds in my path prowling about
the woods, which would skulk out of my way, as if afraid, and
stand silent amid the bushes till I had passed." (Henry David
Thoreau, _Walden_)

Did you know?
Here's one for the word-puzzle lovers. Can you name
three things that the word "skulk" has in common with all of
these other words: booth, brink, cog, flit, give, kid, meek,
scab, seem, skull, snub, and wing? If you noticed that all of
the terms on that list have just one syllable, then you've got
the first (easy) similarity, but the next two are likely to
prove a little harder to guess. Give up? All of the words listed
above are of Scandinavian origin and all were first recorded in
English in the 13th century. As for "skulk," its closest
Scandinavian relative is Norwegian dialect "skulka," which
means "to lie in wait" or "lurk."

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

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Bob_Scopatz
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The Word of the Day for August 6 is:

pidgin \PIH-jun\ noun
: a simplified speech used for communication between people
with different languages

Example sentence:
Creole, which is now spoken in parts of southern Louisiana,
originated as a pidgin spoken between French-speaking colonists
and African slaves.

Did you know?
The history of "pidgin" begins about the early 19th century
in the South China city of Guangzhou. Chinese merchants
interacting with English speakers on the docks in this port
sometimes pronounced the word "business" as "bigeon." By the
century's end, "bigeon" had degenerated into "pigeon" and
finally "pidgin," which then appropriately became the descriptor
of the unique communication necessitated when people who speak
different languages meet. Pidgins generally consist of a small
vocabulary (Chinese Pidgin English has only 700 words), but some
have grown to become the native language of a group. Examples
include Sea Island Creole spoken in South Carolina's Sea
Islands; Haitian Creole; and Louisiana Creole. The alteration
of "bigeon" to "pigeon" also gave us "pigeon," meaning "an
object of special concern" or "accepted business or interest."

(c) 2003 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

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Book
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Hey! I knew that one! And who said high school education is useless? Well... yeah, that pretty much is useless education. So nevermind.
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Evie3217
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The Word of the Day for August 7 is:

bright-line \BRYTE-lyne\ adjective
: providing an unambiguous criterion or guideline
especially in law

Example sentence:
While there is no bright-line rule, cost spreads of more
than five percent are considered excessive for certain municipal
bonds.

Did you know?
In the first half of the 20th century, courts began
referring to a "bright line" that could or could not be drawn to
make clear-cut distinctions between legal issues, such as a
bright line to distinguish negligence from nonnegligence. Early
users may have been influenced by the term "bright line," used
by physicists to refer to the distinct color lines in the light
spectrum. Before that, judges were content with wording that was
more prosaic, such as "line of demarcation." In the second half
of the 20th century, we began using "bright-line" as an
adjective. Nonlegal types looking for unambiguous distinctions
in other walks of life took a shine to "bright-line" sometime in
the 1980s.

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Bob_Scopatz
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Try as they might, Congress couldn't come up with a bright-line between soft money and undue influence in political campaigns.
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Bob_Scopatz
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The Word of the Day for August 8 is:

sawbones \SAW-bohnz\ noun
slang: physician, surgeon

Example sentence:
Before going in for his appendectomy, Uncle George jokingly
wondered aloud how much blood he'd have left after the old
sawbones had sewn him back up.

Did you know?
"Sawbones" first cut its teeth in Charles Dickens's 1837
novel The _Pickwick Papers_, when Sam Weller said to Mr.
Pickwick, "Don't you know what a sawbones is, sir? . . . I
thought everybody know'd as a sawbones was a surgeon." By the
late 19th century, the word had also been used by authors such
as H. G. Wells and Mark Twain and was well established in
English. 19th-century surgeons used saws to perform amputations,
and the word "sawbones" was associated with unskillful hacking.
Mercifully, medical technology has improved dramatically since
then (the surgical saws used in procedures today are a far cry
from the primitive tools of yesteryear), but the word "sawbones"
is still used, often in a humorous context.

(c) 2003 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

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Zalmoxis
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And in the last days the sawbones will put down their instruments of carnage and take to chasing a small white sphere, and, lo, their frustration will breed like maggots upon an festering wound, and this shall be to the retribution of all the rightous who have suffered indignities and grievances at their clumsy hands.

-- The 3rd Book of the Apocrypha of Bob 27:9

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Bob_Scopatz
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The Word of the Day for August 9 is:

oligopsony \ah-luh-GAHP-suh-nee\ noun
: a market situation in which each of a few buyers exerts a
disproportionate influence on the market

Example sentence:
Fewer than 10 automakers worldwide dominate the industry,
forcing suppliers into an oligopsony where the buyers can
dictate prices.

Did you know?
You're probably familiar with the word "monopoly," but you
may not recognize its conceptual and linguistic relative, the
much rarer "oligopsony." Both "monopoly" and "oligopsony" are
ultimately from Greek, although "monopoly" passed through Latin
before being adopted into English. "Monopoly" comes from the
Greek prefix "mono-" (which means "one") and "polein" ("to
sell"), while "oligopsony" derives from the combining form
"olig-" ("few") and the Greek noun "opsonia" ("the purchase of
victuals"), which is ultimately from the combination of "opson"
("food") and "oneisthai" ("to buy"). It makes sense, then,
that "oligopsony" refers to a "buyers' market" in which the
seller is subjected to the potential demands of a limited pool
of buyers. Another related word is "monopsony," used for a more
extreme oligopsony in which there is only a single buyer.

(c) 2003 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

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Bob_Scopatz
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Musicians face a true oligopsony, emphasis on the "SONY."
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Bob_Scopatz
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The Word of the Day for August 10 is:

propitiate \proh-PIH-shee-ayt\ verb
: to gain or regain the favor or goodwill of : appease,
conciliate

Example sentence:
The locals invited some of the tourists to participate in a
traditional ceremony in which offerings were made to propitiate
the region's deities.

Did you know?
Like its synonym "appease," "propitiate" means "to ease the
anger or disturbance of," but there are subtle differences
between the two terms as well. "Appease" usually implies
quieting insistent demands by making concessions,
whereas "propitiate" tends to suggest averting the anger or
malevolence of a superior being. In fact, "propitiate" often
occurs -- as in our example sentence -- in contexts involving
deities, spirits, or other preternatural forces. You
might "appease" your hunger, but to speak more colorfully, you
could "propitiate the gods of hunger."

(c) 2003 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

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rivka
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Newbies soon learn that propitiating the Hatrack old-timers is good for one's health.
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Bob_Scopatz
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You got that right!!! [Big Grin]

The Word of the Day for Aug 11 is:

shopaholic \shah-puh-HAH-lik\ noun

: one who is extremely or excessively fond of shopping

Example sentence:
Susie is such a shopaholic that her friends refuse to set foot
in a mall with her on the day of a big sale.

Did you know?

The word "alcoholic" refers to someone who has a serious
medical condition. "Shopaholic," on the other hand, is a rather
playful word that usually suggests mere excess rather than true
addiction. "Shopaholic" first appeared in print in 1983. It was
formed on the model of "alcoholic," which was itself created
many years earlier by combining "alcohol" with "-ic,"
meaning "of or relating to." People evidently saw a parallel
between someone addicted to alcohol and someone "addicted" to
shopping. This is not the first time "alcoholic" has spawned a
spinoff word  "shopaholic" was preceded by "workaholic"
and "chocoholic," both of which first turned up in 1968.

(c) 2003 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

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Zalmoxis
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Tami discovered she was a serious shopaholic when she awoke early one morning and found herself sleep-dialing QVC.
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Zalmoxis
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The Word of the Day for August 12 is:

quorum \KWOR-um\ noun
1 : a select group
*2 : the number (as a majority) of officers or members of a body that when duly assembled is legally competent to transact business

Example sentence:
The committee lacked a quorum that day, and so was unable to vote on any issues.

Did you know?
"Quorum" was introduced into Modern English in the early 17th century by way of Middle English, where it referred to a group of justices of the peace. From there, the English term can be traced back to the Latin "quorum," meaning "of whom," which is itself the genitive plural of "qui," meaning "who." At one time, the Latin "quorum" was used in the wording of the commission issued to justices of the peace in England. In English, "quorum" initially referred to the number of justices of the peace who had to be present to constitute a legally sufficient bench. That sense is now rare, but it's not surprising that "quorum" has come to mean both "a select group" and "the minimum people required in order to conduct business."

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

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Bob_Scopatz
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Psychotherapy never worked for Bob because his many personalities could never pull together a quorum.
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Bob_Scopatz
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The Word of the Day for August 13 is:

flounce \FLOWNSS ("OW" as in "cow")\ verb
1 *a: to move with exaggerated jerky or bouncy motions;
also: to move so as to draw attention to oneself b: to go with
sudden determination
2 : flounder, struggle

Example sentence:
The host of the party looked like she was dancing as she
flounced about in an effort to greet each of the guests.

Did you know?
Despite its rhyming connection with "bounce," the history
behind "flounce" is not entirely certain. Its first recorded use
as a verb in English occurred in 1542. Some scholars believe it
is related to the Norwegian verb "flunsa" (meaning "to hurry"
or "to work briskly") and the Swedish "flunsa" ("to fall with a
splash" or "to plunge"). The connection is uncertain, however,
because the "flunsa" verbs did not appear in their respective
languages until the 18th century, long after "flounce" surfaced
in English. A second distinct sense of "flounce," referring to a
strip or ruffle of fabric attached on one edge, did not appear
in English until the 18th century. This "flounce" derives from
the Middle English "frouncen" ("to curl").

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

(c) 2003 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

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Bob_Scopatz
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The Word of the Day for August 14 is:

ahimsa \uh-HIM-sah\ noun
: the Hindu and Buddhist doctrine of refraining from
harming any living being

Example sentence:
Mahatma Gandhi directed his followers to adhere to the
principles of ahimsa, insisting that even people fighting for
their rights need to honor life and do no harm.

Did you know?
"Ahimsa" has been part of the English language since at
least 1875, but the word didn't gain popularity in the English-
speaking world until the first half of the 20th century, when it
was recognized as an important component of the teachings of
Mahatma Gandhi. "Ahimsa" comes from a Sanskrit word
meaning "noninjury," and Gandhi's policy of nonviolent protest
played a crucial role in the political and social changes that
eventually led to India's independence from Britain in 1947.

(c) 2003 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

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Bob_Scopatz
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The Word of the Day for August 15 is:

skirl \SKURL\ verb
*intransitive; of a bagpipe : to emit the high shrill tone
of the chanter; also : to give forth music
transitive : to play (music) on the bagpipe

Example sentence:
The bagpipes skirled, the bodhran drummed, the tartans
swirled, and the Summer 2003 Highland Games were ushered in!

Did you know?
Not every musical instrument is honored with its very own
verb. But then, not every musical instrument emits a sound that
quite matches that of a bagpipe. Depending on your ear, you
might think bagpipes "give forth music," or you might be more
apt to say they "shriek." If you are of the latter opinion, your
thinking aligns with the earliest sense of "skirl" -- "to
shriek." Beginning around 1400, that early sense was used of
screeching maids, winds, and the like. Scottish poet Robert
Sempill first used it for bagpipes in the mid-1600s. The meaning
of "skirl" has shifted over time, however, and these days you
can use the verb without causing offense to bagpipers and
bagpipe enthusiasts.

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

(c) 2003 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

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Zalmoxis
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The wee bairn skirled so loud and long, he almost convinced his parents to abandon their dedication to ahimsa.
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Bob_Scopatz
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lol!

The Word of the Day for August 16 is:

panache \puh-NASH\ noun
1 : an ornamental tuft (as of feathers) especially on a
helmet
*2 : dash or flamboyance in style and action

Example sentence:
Edmond leaped onto the table with the panache of a
musketeer, and shouted, "Quiet down!" to the unruly crowd.

Did you know?
Few can match the panache of French poet and soldier Cyrano
de Bergerac. In his dying moments, he declared that the one
thing left to him was his panache, and that assertion at once
demonstrates the meaning of the word and draws upon its
history. "Panache" derives via Middle French from the Late
Latin "pinnaculum," meaning "small wing" or "gable," a root that
also gave English the word "pinnacle." In both French and
English, "panache" originally referred to a showy, feathery
plume on a hat or helmet; its dashing figurative sense developed
from the verve and swagger of one bold enough to wear such an
adornment in public. When the dying Cyrano turned his huge nose
heavenward and spoke of his panache, his nose became the literal
and figurative pinnacle of a multifaceted pun.

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

(c) 2003 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

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Zalmoxis
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The crowd did not, in fact, quiet down and a brawl ensued which left one young man with a broken collarbone and several of Cardinal Richlieu's guardsmen with rather large bruises. Shortly after this rash act, Edmond was knifed too death in a brothel and the panache was returned to its rightful owner a middle-aged muskateer by the name of Henri. As a reward to the comrades-in-arms who recovered his helmet plume, Henri gave them a cask of port. Unfortunately, they decided to drink it all in one sitting and as a result missed their guard duties. This allowed an English spy to infilitrate the apartments of the Comte de Angelou and steal a long look at a sheaf of papers documenting a plot to poison the queen of Portugal with a specially prepared torte that had a yummy but deadly chocolate cream filling. For reasons that aren't quite clear, the English decided to share this information with the Portugese. The plot was foiled and the would-be poisoner was executed.

And now you know the rest of the story. If it weren't for a little panache, a poisonous batch of ganache would have changed the course of history.

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rivka
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[ROFL] *wipes tears from eyes*
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Bob_Scopatz
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LOL!

Zal...and if they tried again, it would either be their just desserts, or a retorte.

The Word of the Day for August 17 is:

tankini \tang-KEE-nee\ noun
: a woman's two-piece swimsuit consisting of bikini briefs
and a tank top

Example sentence:
After a morning of soaking up the sun by the pool, Ella
threw on a skirt that matched the flowery top of her tankini and
lunched at the resort's restaurant.

Did you know?
The two-piece swimsuit we call the bikini made its debut on
Paris runways in 1946. The word "bikini" comes from "Bikini
atoll," the name of one of the Marshall Islands in the western
Pacific, where atomic-bomb tests were performed in 1946. One
theory of the coinage is that the effect achieved by a scantily
clad woman appearing in public may be compared to the effect of
an A-bomb blast. Another possible explanation is that the bikini
leaves its wearer nearly bare, the way the bomb tests stripped
Bikini atoll. In 1985, the tankini began appearing on beaches in
the U.S., and the word "bikini" was combined with "tank" to
create its appropriate name.

(c) 2003 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

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Mr.Funny
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Bob, you need to use all the word-of-the-days from all of the previous days in one post, going back to the first post! Now get started!!!! [Evil Laugh]
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Bob_Scopatz
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I think it far more likely that we'll see OSC and PapaMoose modeling tankinis at the next Endercon than that I'll use all the prior words in one post.
[Razz]

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Bob_Scopatz
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The Word of the Day for August 18 is:

waitron \WAY-trahn\ noun
: a person who waits tables (as in a restaurant) :
waitperson

Example sentence:
"You waitrons better start picking up these orders before
they get cold!" yelled the head chef across the busy restaurant
kitchen.

Did you know?
Gender-neutral language has become an increasingly common
phenomenon in English over the past several decades. Nowadays,
it seems natural to hear conversations laced with terms
like "mail carrier," "firefighter," "police officer,"
and "waitron." It's easy to see how the first three terms came
about, but the origin of "waitron," which first appeared in
print in 1980, is less straightforward. "Waitron" is probably a
blend of "waiter/waitress" and "-tron," a suffix that seems to
allude to the machinelike impersonality of waiting tables.
Despite this hint of disparagement, "waitron" quickly gained
popularity. Its gender-neutrality makes it a convenient
substitute for "waiter" or "waitress."

(c) 2003 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

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Bob_Scopatz
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"I'm not your waitron," momtron yelled for the sixth time today.
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Morbo
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Hardly any joints have the panache to carry off waitrons flouncing around in tankinis.
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Bob_Scopatz
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The Word of the Day for August 19 is:

profligate • \PRAH-flih-gut\ • adjective
1 : completely given up to dissipation and licentiousness
*2 : wildly extravagant : prodigal

Example sentence:
Each political party tried to paint the other side as profligate wasters of the taxpayers’ money.

Did you know?
When a royal record keeper reported the "profligation of the knights" 477 years ago, he didn’t mean the knights were wildly indulging in excesses; he meant they were thoroughly defeated in battle. There’s nothing etymologically extreme there; the Latin verb "profligare," which is the root of both "profligate" and the much rarer "profligation" (meaning "ruin"), means "to strike down," "to destroy, ruin," or "to overwhelm." When the adjective "profligate" first appeared in print in English in the 1500s, it meant "overthrown" or "overwhelmed." By 1647 it had acquired its "abandoned or given over to vice" sense, and by 1779 it was being used with the meaning "wildly extravagant."

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

2003 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

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Bob_Scopatz
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The Word of the Day for August 20 is:

chasten \CHAY-sun\ verb
1 : to correct by punishment or suffering : discipline
*2 : to cause to be more humble or restrained : subdue

Example sentence:
The humiliation of having to ask his parents for help
chastened Jim, but made him wiser about spending his money.

Did you know?
If you say you would _castigate_ or _chastise_ someone in
order to _chasten_ them, you demonstrate a good knowledge of the
origin of "chasten" -- all three verbs derive from the Latin
verb "castigare," meaning "to punish." The verb trio share an
initial sense of "to subject to severe and often physical
punishment," but all three are now as likely to refer to a
verbal dressing-down as a physical lesson. "Chasten" (which
arrived in English via the Anglo-French "chastier") can also be
used to mean "to prune (as a work of art) of excess, pretense,
or falsity." This led to the more general sense of "to make more
subdued," although the humility can be imposed by a humiliating
situation as easily as by a strict taskmaster.

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

(c) 2003 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

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jehovoid
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Chasten the profligate.
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Zalmoxis
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3. And the Almighty Bob looked down on Hatrack and was asorrowed for the Jatraqueros had turned from
their profligate ways and become serious and sedate, expounding mightily on diverse subjects. So he caused
the word to be sent abroad that if the Jatraqueros did not increase the fluff quotient that the Lord Bob would chasten
them and deprive them of his presence and move to a double-wide in the wastelands of Texas and bless them no more
with his presence, and shower them no more with amusements.

4. And the Jatraqueros wailed and gnashed their keyboards. And there was much frantic instant messaging. For they had come
to rely on Bob to interpret their dreams and visions and to uncover their personalities. And while the new graemlins were
amusing, they were like unto pale flickerings when compared to the all-powerful luminosity of the lava lamp that is the Lord Bob.

-- a fragment from the Lamentations of Bob, chapter 2.

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jehovoid
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So is that a translation from the original text which consists entirely of puns?
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Zalmoxis
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I don't know. My scholarship has focused more on Bobo-Jatraquerian relations. I do know
that theologians have been disputing for centuries over whether puns emanate from Bob
and thus are part of the actual essence of Bob or if instead they reflect the dual nature of Bob
and are thus merely a manifestation of his Bobness.

I don't have much of an opinion on the subject, but in general I do believe that the humor of Bob
is both spiritual and physical. The gnostics would have you believe that Bob exists only as a
humorous presence, but it seems clear to me that Bob's physical presence was quite real (see
for instance my recent article entitled "Bob and Weave: What the recent Jal-Alai documents reveal
about the nature of Bob").

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Zalmoxis
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Edit: that should be recently found Jal-Alai documents.
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Bob_Scopatz
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[ROFL]

The Word of the Day for August 21 is:

rutilant \ROO-tuh-lunt\ adjective
: having a reddish glow

Example sentence:
Embarrassed by the surprise party we sprung on her, Joyce
held up her hands in an effort to hide her rutilant face.

Did you know?
"Rutilant," which first appeared in English late in the
15th century, is used in English today to describe anything with
a reddish or fiery glow, such as a sunset or flushed skin. It
derives from the Latin "rutilus," meaning "ruddy," which is
probably related to the Latin "ruber," meaning "red." "Ruber"
itself is a direct ancestor of our word "rubella" (a disease
named for the reddish color one's skin turns when afflicted with
the condition) and "rubric" (which, among other things, can
refer to a book or manuscript heading that is done or underlined
in red). "Ruber" is also a distant relative of several English
words for things that bear a reddish tone
(including "russet," "rust," and "ruby") and even of the
word "red" itself.

(c) 2003 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

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