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  #81  
قديم 10-10-2006, 09:35 PM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
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افتراضي _MD_RE: كلمة اليوم Word of the Day

Karaoke (Noun)
referrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600">
Pronunciation: [kah-rê-'o-kee]

Definition 1: Singing live to an orchestral accompaniment provided electronically or the electronic equipment for providing such accompaniment and recording the mix of voice and orchestra.

Usage 1: Today's word is not to be confused with "carioca" [kæ-ri-'o-kê], a native of Rio de Janeiro or a South American dance based on the samba. "Karaoke" is another lexical orphan with no other related words. (Don't miss the opportunity to meet other Word of the Day subscribers and discuss today's word in the YDC Agora.)

Suggested usage: Karaoke is most closely associated with the karaoke bars of Japan and elsewhere, where anyone with the courage can sing to the accompaniment of a professional orchestra: "Glynnis loves karaoke because she thinks bad accompanists kept her out of show business." Today's word hasn't expanded much metaphorically because of its newness but it already shows great promise: "Slim is a karaoke player: he thinks he is the star when, in fact, it is the team behind him that makes him look good."

Etymology: "Kara-oke" is a clipping (a shortening, like "doctor" > "doc") of kara o-ke-su-to-ra "empty orchestra" where "okesutora" is the Japanese pronunciation of "orchestra," borrowed from English. Clipping also applies to "Makudonarudo" (MacDonald's), shortening it simply to "Makku." As for "kara" it is also found in kara-shuchou "empty business trip," a business trip one doesn't make but collects the expenses for, and "karate" from the Japanese phrase kara te "empty hand." Japanese phonology (sound system) differs from those of European languages in two interesting ways. First, all syllables must end on a vowel and not on any consonant except [n]. Second, all syllables must begin with a simple consonant, not a consonant cluster like [st] or [pr]. So, "McDonalds" becomes "Makudonarudo" in Japanese and "baseball" is pronounced "besubaru" [be-su-ba-ru] to avoid the [sb] cluster and final [l] in [beysbal].

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  #82  
قديم 10-12-2006, 02:51 PM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
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افتراضي _MD_RE: كلمة اليوم Word of the Day

Crepuscular (Adjective)
Pronunciation: [krê-'pês-kyu-lê(r)]

Definition 1: Pertaining to crepuscule, twilight; dim or weak in terms of visibility.

Usage 1: Today's word is an adjective more appealing than the noun (crepuscule) it is derived from. "Twilight" certainly is a more beautiful way to describe the light at dusk than "crepuscule" but "crepuscular" has its charms.

Suggested usage: Today's word should come to mind in any situation characterized by dimness: "I'm afraid that reading the fine print of this contract demands too much of my crepuscular vision." The term fits many other legal situations, too, "Your honor, in the crepuscular light of the bar, it was easy to mistake my wallet for the wallet of the guy sitting next to me." The judge's vision would have to be crepuscular for him to not see through that excuse.

Etymology: Latin crepusculum "twilight," diminutive of creper "dark." The suffix -ul- is found in several other borrowings from Latin, e.g. "homunculus" and "miniscule." The origin of the root crep- is unclear but it might be related to the cor- "bellow, squawk" of cornix "crow" and corvus "raven" (akin to English "crow" and "to crow") if it acquired an association with darkness because of the color of these birds. However, the semantic relation cannot be established unequivocally.

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  #83  
قديم 10-13-2006, 04:38 PM
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  #84  
قديم 10-14-2006, 09:42 PM
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  #85  
قديم 10-16-2006, 01:14 PM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
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افتراضي _MD_RE: كلمة اليوم Word of the Day

Attaint (Verb)
Pronunciation: [ê-'teynt]

Definition 1: To disgrace, sully, or taint something or someone's reputation. Originally, the act of attainting meant conviction of a crime but later it was used to refer to conviction by legislation without benefit of trial.

Usage 1: Today's word is used almost exclusively in connection with the term "bill of attainder," a legislative act that pronounces a person or group of people guilty of a capital crime (usually treason) without a trial. A person so designated is subject to capital punishment, confiscation of all property, and a prohibition against inheritance. Since a bill of attainder violates the separation of powers (judicial versus legislative), such acts are prohibited by the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 9, paragraph 3).

Suggested usage: You may use the verb to occasionally relieve "sully" and "disgrace" of their duties: "Nothing you can say can attaint the reputation of our president these days." There may even be ways to use "bill of attainder" metaphorically: "This department has a bill of attainder against me—I am blamed for everything that goes wrong here."

Etymology: Old French "ataint" past participle of ataindre "to affect, convict." Originally, "attaint" was the past tense of "attain" but subsequently became a word unto itself used only the negative sense. "Taint" is an aphetic (dropping an initial vowel) form of "attaint" in its new sense. Originally, the past participle of Latin attingere "touch upon, attack" from ad- "to" + tangere "to touch" from the nasalized form of *tag- "touch" which also underlies "tangible," "tangent" and, without [n], "tax," as when the government 'touches' you for a few bucks. "Contaminate" is from Latin contaminare: con- "together" + tag-men- (suffixed form of *tag-) "contact" + are.

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  #86  
قديم 10-18-2006, 12:40 PM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
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افتراضي _MD_RE: كلمة اليوم Word of the Day

Testimony (Noun)
Pronunciation: ['tes-tê-mo-nee]

Definition 1: (1) The account of a witness, especially in a court procedure; (2) evidence in general; (3) a public declaration of a religious experience.

Usage 1: The plural of today's word is "testimonies" and the verb underlying it is "testify." However, the person who testifies is a witness rather than a testifier.

Suggested usage: Although the legal application of this word is most commonly encountered, the metaphoric uses are much more touching, "The tall, toppling chimney bore mute testimony of the mansion that once stood on the spot." We see this type of testimony all around us: "Sarah Bellum's new mink coat was telling testimony to the size of the raise she had received."

Etymology: This word comes to us from Old French testimonie (current French témoin "witness") from Latin "testimonium," made up of testis "witness" and, possibly, a noun from monere "to remind." "Testis," believe it or not, comes from the same root as Latin tri "three," also the origin of our "three." It was originally a compound noun rather like *tri-sta-i- meaning, roughly, "third person standing by," with the *sta- root found in English "stand" and "stead." How the meaning of the Latin word wandered off to its current sense in English is one of the great unsolved mysteries of etymology.

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  #87  
قديم 10-19-2006, 01:19 PM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
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افتراضي _MD_RE: كلمة اليوم Word of the Day

Appellation (Noun)
Pronunciation: [æ-pê-'ley-shên]

Definition 1: (1) A name or title; (2) the legally trademarked name of a wine that authenticates the type of vine and district where the wine originates.

Usage 1: Here is another of those words, like "accommodation," with a double set of double letters—remember them. It has an adjectival and adverbial offspring, "appellative" and "appellatively," respectively.

Suggested usage: Before handing in that term paper on the geology of the Eastern United States, remember that there are no Appellation Mountains there. This leads to considerable embarrassment among college students, especially those in their freshman year. There is a chain of mountains in the eastern US with the appellation 'Appalachian.' Doubt remains as to whether Saddam Hussein deserved the appellation of president of a people he periodically slaughtered.

Etymology: In sense 2, this word has been reduced from the French phrase appellation (d'origine contrôlée) "trade name (of controlled origin)." The word itself was borrowed via Old French from Latin "appellatio(n)," the noun from appellatus, the past participle of appellare "to drive to, admonish, entreat." This verb is a combination of ad "(up) to" + pellare "to push, hurl, beat, propel." The past participle of this verb is "pulsus" from which we retrieved "pulse." The same root came directly into Old English as an-fealt "anvil," i.e. something beaten on. It is also the origin of the noun "felt," which is made by beating or compressing fibers rather than weaving them.

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  #88  
قديم 10-21-2006, 04:05 PM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
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افتراضي _MD_RE: كلمة اليوم Word of the Day

Germane (Adjective)
Pronunciation: [jêr-'meyn]

Definition 1: Closely related, relevant, pertinent, apposite.

Usage 1: Today's word is related to English german "having the same parents or grand-parents," as in "brother-german," "sister-german," "cousin-german." A sister-german is the contrary of a step-sister. The current meaning of the word with the final [e] is but a short hop from the meaning of "most closely related by kinship."

Suggested usage: Today's word refers to a stronger relation than does "pertinent" or "relevant." Raising pigs for their skin might be pertinent to a discussion of US football since footballs are made from pigskin but hardly germane. Quarterbacks, field goals, and end runs are, however, quite germane to any discussion of football. So, would a discussion of the word "German" be germane here? Apparently, not. The English name for the Germans apparently comes from an accidentally similar Latin word, perhaps itself borrowed from Celtic.

Etymology: Ultimately from Latin germanus "own, fully related," based on germen "offshoot." The root here, germ-, underwent an interesting change frequently seen in language called "dissimilation." It was originally the same *gen- that gave us "generate," "genus" from Latin and "kin," "kind" and German "Kind" from Old Germanic. But when the suffix –men was added to the root to make *gen-men-, the [n] and the [m] didn't get along because both are nasals, i.e. pronounced through the nose. (Hold your nose and pronounce them; you should get [d] and [b], as you do when your nose is stopped up from a cold.) Anyway, the [m] forced the [n] to become a dissimilar [r] to remain next to it, hence *ger-men from *gen-men.

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  #89  
قديم 10-23-2006, 12:39 PM
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افتراضي _MD_RE: كلمة اليوم Word of the Day

Malaise (Noun)
Pronunciation: [mê-'leyz]

Definition 1: A vague sense of physical illness or mental dispiritedness.

Usage 1: "Malaise" is an orphan with no lexical relatives, no adjective or verb—not even a plural. It is a convenient way around the widely misused word, "funk" (including "blue funk") which itself should refer to a state of paralyzed fear but is becoming a term of aesthetics (art and music) with an almost indeterminate meaning.

Suggested usage: Contemporary society, no matter what the century, always suffers some sort of spiritual or societal malaise until forgotten and its era hailed as "the good old days." According to Rabbi Eugene Borowitz of Hebrew Union College, "The peculiar malaise of our day is air-conditioned unhappiness, the staleness and stuffiness of machine-made routine." The word works just as well with individuals, though, "My dog, Porky, is suffering from a worrisome malaise: he hasn't chased a cat for a week and the squirrels come down the trees just to jeer him."

Etymology: From French malaise "discomfort, uneasiness" based on mal "bad, badly" + aise "ease" (cf. English "dis-ease"). "Mal" comes from Latin malus "bad" also found in malevolence "ill-intent," "malign," "malignant," and malaria, originally meaning "bad air." "Aise" came from Old French Old French aise "elbowroom, opportunity," probably a descendant of Vulgar Latin ansatus "having handles, arms akimbo."

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  #90  
قديم 10-26-2006, 05:19 PM
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افتراضي _MD_RE: كلمة اليوم Word of the Day

Prolepsis (Noun)

referrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600">Pronunciation: [pro-'lep-sis]

Definition 1: Today's word is about bringing the future into the present not with technology but through language. "Prolepsis" means: (1) the presentation of a future potentiality as an accomplished fact, (2) a response to criticism in advance of hearing it, and (3) placing a redundant descriptive phrase, that refers to a term in the middle of the sentence, at the head of the sentence.

Usage 1: Here is something else you do all the time but probably did not know what to call it. Have you ever said, "I'm out of here!" Then you have committed prolepsis by representing a potentiality as an accomplished fact. Has anyone ever told you, "If you touch my beer, you're toast!" They are not lying, even though you are not toast at the time, but they are displaying their proleptic (the adjective) side. (The hyperbole may be a tad overdone in this one, too.)

Suggested usage: How about this: "I know we will have to work harder with this plan, but the benefits outweigh the sacrifices." This, too, is prolepsis, for it anticipates criticism before the criticism occurs. Finally, both last and least, grammatical prolepsis is frowned upon by grammarians and for that reason it occurs more often in speech than in written English: "That fellow from the finance office, I saw him helping hitch your car to the tow truck." It may seem as though this sentence contains a spurious and redundant "him" when, in fact, the focus of the sentence has been extracted and placed front if not center for emphasis.

Etymology: Late Latin prolepsis from Greek prolambanein "to anticipate" based on pro- "before" + lambanein, lep- "to take." The Greek root is ostensibly akin to English "latch" but few other relationships have been established.

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  #91  
قديم 10-31-2006, 05:49 PM
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  #92  
قديم 11-03-2006, 03:01 PM
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افتراضي _MD_RE: كلمة اليوم Word of the Day

Attenuate (Verb)
Pronunciation: [ê-'ten-yu-weyt]

Definition 1: To make thinner—narrower, rarer, or weaker; to reduce in strength, force, effect; to weaken.

Usage 1: This verb has fathered a healthy family of related words. The noun is "attenuation" and something that attenuates is an attenuator. There are two adjectives: attenuative means "tending to attenuate" while "attenuate" [ê-'ten-yu-êt] means "thin or having been made thin."

Suggested usage: The basic meaning of today's word is to make thinner in girth, "The month of wandering the desert had noticeably attenuated Fatima." This applies to both senses of the word "thin," as we see here: "Finding the kumquat smoothie a bit too thick for her taste, Portia attenuated it with a half cup of gin." The other meaning is to reduce the power or intensity of something, "Boomer, would you mind attenuating the music until I am off the telephone?"

Etymology: Latin attenuare, attenuat-: ad- "to" + tenuare "to make thin" (from tenuis "thin"). The root *ten- with the suffix -d shows up in many words borrowed from Latin, including tender "to offer," "tendon" (Greek "tenon" from teinein "to stretch"). Greek has a partially reduplicated form with the root repeated: tetanos "rigid" which gave us "tetanus" via Latin. In Latin, the root turns up in tenere "to hold" and from there found its way into tenant "lease holder" and tenor "course or drift of a discourse." As you can see in the pairs Latin pater : English father, Latin mater : English mother, the PIE [t] became [th] in English so we get the expected "thin" from the same root in English.

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  #93  
قديم 11-08-2006, 02:43 PM
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Frolic (Verb)
Pronunciation: ['frah-lik]

Definition 1: To make merry, to gambol, to romp or caper about worry-free.

Usage 1: Don't forget to add the [k] to today's word when extending it with suffixes like "frolicker," "frolicked," or "frolicking" (compare: traffic : trafficker, picnic : picnicker). A person in the mood to frolic is "frolicsome." I hope you know many frolicsome people.

Suggested usage: Like "gambol," today's word is usually associated with children and animals: "Serafina and Giorgio sat on the porch, watching the children and squirrels frolicking together on the front lawn." Of course, it may be used figuratively to simply refer to a mirthful time, "I heard that Phil Anders and Emma Chisit frolicked the weekend away in Las Vegas."

Etymology: From Dutch vrolijk "merry" from Middle Dutch vro "happy" + -lijc "-ly, like." Akin to German fröhlich "happy." The suffix here comes from the Old English ancestor of "like," which reduced itself to –ly in Modern English. However, "like" is now making a comeback in such words as "lady-like," "bell-like," "fern-like." These words are currently compound nouns comprising some word plus the regular word, "like," but 300 years from now "like" will again reduce to affix, either merging with the current suffix –ly or assuming a similar form.

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  #94  
قديم 11-23-2006, 03:29 PM
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  #95  
قديم 12-01-2006, 03:23 PM
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Beatific (Adjective)
Pronunciation: [bee-ê-'tif-ik]
Definition 1: Exhibiting ultimate serenity, imparting or experiencing a state of utmost bliss (beatitude), usually associated with a religious experience.
Usage 1: This word family is used almost exclusively in a religious sense. The Christian "beatific vision" is the bliss aroused by the direct contact with God enjoyed by angels and other souls in heaven. "Beatific smiles" reflect that serenity and contentedness. The noun, beatitude, is associated with the list of blessings in Christ's Sermon on the Mount, commonly referred to as "The Beatitudes."
Suggested usage: There is no reason why religion should usurp the services of this word family. There are secular situations where it might be used in the sense of a serene self-confidence like that of a religious faith. For example, "Louella entered the room with a beatific air that inspired confidence in every word she uttered," suggests the serene self-confidence inspired by the knowledge that the gods are watching over her. The noun is subject to similar application, "Manfred's attitude suggested beatitude more than mere self-confidence."
Etymology: Latin beatificus "making happy" from beatus "happy" (past participle of beare "to bless") + -fic (from fac-ere "make, do") + case ending -us. The ultimate root also underlies Latin bonus "good," bene "well" found in "benefit," "benevolent," and "benign," not to mention bellus "beautiful" from which we get "beauty" and "belle (of the ball)."
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  #96  
قديم 12-06-2006, 04:22 PM
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Steganography (Noun)

referrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600">Pronunciation: [ste-gên-'ah-grê-fee]

Definition 1: Hiding writing in plain view, cryptography.

Usage 1: This word has been in use since 1569 as a synonym for "cryptography." Recently, however, it has been associated with digital watermarking, so it may diverge from "cryptography" in the future. It comes replete with a panoply of derivatives: "steganogram," "steganographer," and an adjective, "steganographical."

Suggested usage: The use of this term in referring to digital watermarking means no one has had time to use it metaphorically: "Any half-clever steganographer can find the watermark in this graphic file." Already we can send steganograms via e-mail to the extent they are merely encrypted messages, but what of concealed codes in missives of all sorts: "Manfred loves to steganographically conceal messages in his letters to Flo."

Etymology: From Greek steganos "covered" + graphein "to write." "Steganos" comes from stegein "to cover (water-tight)." Domos hala stegon "a house that keeps out the sea" was a metaphor for a good ship. The same root occurs without "s" in Latin tegere "to cover" whence tegula that evolved into "tile." In the Germanic languages this form emerges in German decken "cover," Dach "roof," and "deck" from Middle Dutch dec "roof, covering." In Russian we find stegnut' "to button, zip, etc." and, finally, from Hindi we get "thug" from Hindi "thag," probably from Sanskrit sthaga "a cheat," itself from sthagati "he conceals."

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قديم 12-13-2006, 05:38 PM
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قديم 01-01-2007, 05:27 PM
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Oxymoron (Noun)
Pronunciation: [ahk-see-'mo-rahn]

Definition 1: A phrase comprising two mutually contradictory words.

Usage 1: We often understand phrases that, when interpreted logically, actually contradict themselves! What do you think passes through the mind of an English-learner when they first hear: "a long brief," "the living dead," or "freezer burn?" A shot fired at me was a "near miss;" does this mean I was partially hit? What could "old news" possibly mean? An old story cannot be news of any kind.

Suggested usage: Now, see how many you can find in this paragraph: "It was a pretty ugly situation: we were alone together with a pitcher of beer almost exactly half full listening to soft rock. I was half naked in a pair of tight slacks and Lucy wore a pair of slack tights. Suddenly we had an urge for some jumbo shrimp but when I put on my plastic glasses to look for them, we found our car keys missing." Other candidates are a matter of interpretation. What do you think: bureaucratic efficiencies, British cuisine, American taste, Russian political organization, golf fashion, holy war, Microsoft Works, political science, rap music?

Etymology: From Greek oxus "sharp" and moros "dull, stupid." Greek "oxus" is also found in "oxygen" and shares an origin with Latin acus "needle" underlying "acuity," "acid," "acupuncture," and "acute." In Germanic it became *agjo which developed into Old Norse eggja, "to incite, egg on," borrowed later by English "egg (on)" which thus has nothing to do with the avian reproductive system. The same Germanic stem developed into English "edge."

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قديم 01-05-2007, 04:48 PM
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Pot (Noun)

referrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600">Pronunciation: ['paht]

Definition 1: A deep hole in the ground; a deep, usually round vessel for storage and cooking; the cranium, skull (archaic).

Usage 1: Pot-hole is pleonastic, to use a recent word of the day, since a pot is a hole. A bad road has pots in it. The "jack-pot" was originally the pot in a game of draw-poker, which accumulated until one player had a pair of jacks or better. "Pot luck" has always been your luck in being offered whatever is being cooked in the pot when you visit someone's home. The cook on a New England whaler was called a "pot wrestler." Guess why.

Suggested usage: Most of us know how to use today's word; the interest is in its pliable meaning, so let's look at some more uses of it. A "pot shot" was one taken at game merely for the purpose of filling the pot for a meal rather than for sport or trophy mounts. Hence its meaning, "an easy shot." A "pot-boiler" shares the same thought: a book written to boil the food pot rather than to create a modern masterpiece. A crackpot, originally a "cracked pot," harks back to the days when pot meant "skull, cranium."

Etymology: Nothing is known for sure as to the origin of "pot." It has been speculated that late Latin had a word "pottus" in it since French has the same word "pot" (as in pot pourri, literally "rotten pot"), borrowed by an English speaker whose French, apparently, was shaky. However, there is no written record of the Latin word. It is related to "porridge," an altered form of pottage "what is in the pot.".

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قديم 01-08-2007, 11:36 AM
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قديم 01-10-2007, 01:25 PM
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Voracity (Noun)referrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600">Pronunciation: [vo-'ræ-sê-ti]

Definition 1: An enormous appetite, uncontrollable hunger, ravenousness.

Usage 1: Be sure to make the initial [o] sound in today's word distinct; otherwise, it may well be confused with veracity "truthfulness." People noted for their voracity are quite distinct from those known for their veracity. The adjective from today's noun is "voracious" and the adverb "voraciously."

Suggested usage: Today's word always refers to the appetite, so "a voracious appetite" is redundant: "Manley attacked the roast beef with a voracity expected only of a pack of wolves." However, outside the gastronomic purview, the word loses its negative connotations and assumes a sophistication consonant with its phonetic beauty: "Madeleine has an insatiable voracity for German classical music."

Etymology: From Latin vorax "ravenous" from vorare "to swallow, devour." The same word emerges in French as "voracité," in Italian as "voracità," and in Spanish as "voracidad." Today's word is akin to vorago "chasm, abyss" and its adjective voraginous "gaping, resembling a chasm or abyss," things that can greedily swallow you up.

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قديم 01-11-2007, 05:25 PM
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Labile (Adjective)
Pronunciation: ['ley-bIl or 'ley-bêl]

Definition 1: Changeable, unstable; apt to slip away.

Usage 1: When used to describe personalities, today's word replaces "temperamental" or "moody," as in, "Birgitta was a labile lass with a personality hard to calculate." It also refers to unstable chemical and electrical changes. The noun is lability [lê-'bi-lê-tee].

Suggested usage: Today's proffering works in discussions of international politics: "Don't talk to me about lability in the Middle East. We've reconsidered 3 vacations in the past 2 years over it." With its two 'liquid' sounds (L's in this case), the word is euphonic (nice-sounding) enough for poetic or romantic _expression, "The sunny, labile days of that spring were hard to pin down in his memory; she was the constant that held that year together in his mind."

Etymology: Latin labilis "slippery, apt to slip" via Old French "labile." Related to labor and lapsare both of which mean "to slip, stumble, fall." The past participle of "labor" is "lapsus," the origin of English "lapse." The stem here is probably related to labium "lip" and English "lip" which all seem to come from the same root, *leb-.

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قديم 03-10-2007, 09:33 AM
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Gambit (Noun)Pronunciation: ['gæm-bit]

Definition 1: A daring opening move in chess that sacrifices a piece for a future advantage.

Usage 1: Applied first and foremost to the game of chess.

Suggested usage: Of course, it can be applied to any daring opening move, such as a provocative statement to open a conversation or a risky business maneuver that promises long-term gains. "Buying so much of the flood plain was a risky gambit that could pay off if fish-farming becomes profitable."

Etymology: Italian gambetto "gambit", originally "tripping (up)" from gamba "leg". The same PIE root devolved into Greek kampê "bend, twist" and Lithuanian kampas "corner".

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قديم 03-11-2007, 09:47 AM
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Pyrrhic (Adjective)

referrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600">
Pronunciation: ['pir-ik]

Definition 1: Used in the phrase "Pyrrhic victory," meaning a victory with losses or costs so great, it's no victory at all.

Usage 1: Today's word is usually capitalized, since it comes from a proper name (see the Etymology). It is used almost exclusively in the phrase "Pyrrhic victory." As a noun it can refer to an ancient Greek military dance, the pyrrhic, or a metric foot in poetry comprising two unaccented syllables.

Suggested usage: Arguably, every victory in war is Pyrrhic because the costs of any battle are always too great. Pyrrhic victories often win the battle but lose the campaign: "Besting Lettucia in the state salad-making finals turned into a Pyrrhic victory for Leonard when Lettucia returned the engagement ring to him the following day." Revenge is generally Pyrrhic in that, having achieved it, the avenger usually feels sympathy for his victim.

Etymology: The eponym of today's word is Pyrrhus (318-272 BC), a Greek king of Epirus who fought the Roman Empire. Twice, he defeated the Romans, at Heraclea (280) and Asculum (279), but suffered such loses that he is quoted after the second battle in Plutarch's 'Lives' as saying, "One more victory like this will be the end of me." Legend has it that Pyrrhus also invented the pyrrhic dance, hence its name. Perhaps he would have sustained fewer losses had he focused more on the battlefield and less on the dance floor.

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قديم 03-12-2007, 09:03 AM
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Sanction (Noun)Pronunciation: ['sængk-shên]

Definition 1: This word has two contradictory meanings: approval for or prohibition against doing something. It also may refer to a specific law prohibiting something or the penalty for violating such a law.

Usage 1: When you sanction the use of something you either approve of it or effectively prohibit it. The meanings are distinguished by the prepositions used with the word: sanction to (approval) versus sanction against (prohibition). "Sanction" is also a verb but the prepositional distinction is not maintained with the verb: "Mom sanctioned milk and cookies after school" could mean she approved of them or prohibited them.

Suggested usage: This is a word that can be used everywhere from the home to international relations: "We need Mom and Dad's sanction (approval) to pull stumps in the back yard with the Volvo" but "The US established sanctions against non-essential exports to Cuba in the 1960."

Etymology: Latin sanctio "establishing as inviolable" from sancire "to make holy." The Proto-Indo-European root, sak-, which was rendered "sanc-" when nasalized, also underlies "saint" (sank-t-) with the "t" suffix and simplification of the consonant cluster (loss of the "k" sound). Unnasalized, it produced "sacred." Read "How is a Hippopotamus like a Feather" in the yourDictionary library for more on Proto-Indo-European.

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قديم 03-14-2007, 08:32 AM
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قديم 03-17-2007, 08:47 AM
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Agora (Noun)
referrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600">
Pronunciation: ['æ-gê-rê]

Definition 1: A meeting place or marketplace.

Usage 1: The plural is "agorae" or "agoras." We thought today's word an especially appropriated name for the new forum we just opened today, because it reminds us of Attic Greece, where not only Western word study originated but many of the very words we use today in English and other languages around the world. It is related to "agoraphobia," the fear of open spaces. We hope to develop a community of "agoraphiles," who appreciate both the open marketplace of ideas and our new linguistic Agora.

Suggested usage: We would like to infuse "agora" with new life, "The best source of information on language is yourDictionary's Agora. It is the meeting place for web-footed logophiles, word-nerds, and normals, not to mention the uptown marketplace of linguistic ideas on the Web." However, any good university is an intellectual agora and your house could be the social agora of your neighborhood or town. (If it is, tell all your guests about ours.)

Etymology: From Greek agora "marketplace," the noun from ageirein "to assemble." The Greek word also underlies "category" from Greek kategorein "to accuse, predicate" comprising kata "down, against" + agoreuein "to speak in public." The original root *(ê)ger-, lost its initial vowel in Latin and Germanic languages. In the former, it turns up in grex, gregis "herd," underlying English "aggregate," "congregation," "segregate," and "egregious." With the suffix –m, it became English "cram."

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قديم 03-18-2007, 08:14 AM
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Panglossian (Adjective)

referrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600">
Pronunciation: [pæn-'glah-si-ên]

Definition 1: Blindly and naively optimistic.

Usage 1: Today's word provides a way to shorten conversations by condensing "overly-optimistic and naïve" into a single word. The adjective may be also used freely as a noun, "Nothing distresses Rita; she is an eternal panglossian." It has a non-identical twin, "panglossic," which offers the advantage of an adverb, "panglossically." The noun is "panglossism," taken directly from "Pangloss" (see Etymology).

Suggested usage: Panglossians are generally pleasant company, since they are deaf to bad news. However, the attitude does not fit all circumstances: "Trey Sample is so panglossian as to think that the major impact of the Inquisition was to improve the living standards of rack and gallows makers." Since youth is highly susceptible to the attitude, household uses for today's word abound, "I hope you are not so panglossian as to think that your devastation of my petunias with the lawn-mower this afternoon will pass unnoticed."

Etymology: Today's word is based on the name of Pangloss, the tutor in Voltaire's 'Candide' (1759) who believes, in Candide's words, "that all is right when all goes wrong." Voltaire created the name from Greek pan "all, whole" + glossa "language, tongue." The lawn-mower this afternoon will pass unnoticed."

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قديم 03-20-2007, 05:34 PM
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Muckle (Adverb)referrelative="t" />Pronunciation: ['mê-kl]

Definition 1: Much, a great many, a large amount; large, great (Scots English).

Usage 1: Usage of today's word tapered off over the course of the 20th Century even in its last stronghold, Scotland, always the land of fascinating words. An older variant of this word is "mickle." In the Eve of St. Agnes (xiv) Keats pleads, "Let me laugh awhile, I've mickle time to grieve." Most Scots today would probably prefer using "muckle," as did Frank Kippax as recently as 1992 in The Butcher's Bill: "The Home Guard barged in and waved a muckle pistol in his face."

Suggested usage: Today our word is heard mostly in the idiom, "Many a mickle mak's a muckle," meaning roughly "a lot of littles make a lot," an encouragement to save for a rainy day. This idiomatic (unpredictable) phrase seems contradictory and probably is a corruption of "Many a little mak's a muckle," suggesting the Scots themselves are letting this quaintly old fashioned word slip away. Still and again, J. D. Salinger wrote in Catcher in the Rye (1951), Chapter 11, that Jane Gallagher "was sort of muckle-mouthed" because when she talked excitedly "her mouth sort of went in about fifty directions."

Etymology: The origin of today's word is a prominent root *meg- "great, large" found in some form in almost every Indo-European language. It ended up (also) as "much" in English but we find it in Norwegian and Danish meget "very (much)" and Swedish mycken "much," as well. The ancient Greek cognate is megas "great," borrowed in all the English words on "mega": "megastar," "megaton," "megabyte." It also underlies megalomania "delusions of wealth and power." In Armenian it became mec "great" and in Albanian, madh "great." Sanskrit maha "great" is used in several words borrowed into English, including mahatma as in Mahatma Gandhi, maharishi "great seer," an eminent spiritual teacher, and maha raja "great king," which also includes "raja," a relative of "royal" and French roi "king."

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قديم 03-24-2007, 08:10 AM
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*Puerile (Adjective)Pronunciation: ['pwe-rêl or 'pwe-rIl]

Definition 1: Related to early childhood; juvenile, childish, immature.

Usage 1: This term is not so much scholarly as simply widely overlooked. It refers to a younger stage than immature or even juvenile. It specifically refers to very young children.

Suggested usage: This word is an emphatic substitute for "childish" or immature': "don't be so puerile, Buffy! It can also be used simply to refer to childhood: "In his puerile world, Ralphy was king."

Etymology: Latin puer "boy" and puera "girl". Originally from PIE *pou- "little, few" which gave both English few and paucity borrowed from Latin paucus "little, few". Paucus also underlies Spanish poco, and with the diminutive suffix, l, gives the Latin paulus "small, Paul".

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قديم 03-25-2007, 12:51 PM
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Hep (Adjective)

referrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600">
Pronunciation: [hep]

Definition 1: (Dated slang) In the know, in the swing of the newest fad, in tune with the latest youthful style in music, clothes and slang.

Usage 1: In the 40s and 50s only musicians and those who followed them identified with "hep" and they called each other "hep cats" given jazz musicians' preference for calling people "cats." To be a hep cat one had to get hep to the latest trends in jazz and youth dress. The original generation of hip cats appeared in the 60s, assuming quickly the name "hippy." They considered themselves set apart by their "hipness" (not to be confused with the hippiness which characterize most now).

Suggested usage: If you are over fifty, you might still say something like, "Why are you wearing new jeans? What will it take to get you hep to the new faded fad?" If you are under 50, you will probably prefer the term "hip" or "in" or just "cool." The word is used more broadly to mean simply "understand," as "Selena, your dad and I are hep to your plans to go to the fraternity party tonight and we aren't going to let it happen." ."

Etymology: US English has three very similar words related to jazz whose origins cannot be established: hup, hep, and hip. All three have been around since the turn of the century. The first one is used in timing cadences for marching or playing in a band: "Hup, two, three, four; hup, two, three, four." "Hep" became very popular among jazz musicians in the 40s and 50s meaning "in the know, in tune with the latest style." The term "hep cat" came to be used to refer to those who were hep. By the late 50s, preferences among youth and rock musicians shifted to "hip" with the same meaning.

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قديم 03-26-2007, 08:47 AM
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Schlimazel (Noun)Pronunciation: [shlê-'mah-zêl]

Definition 1: A person with no luck at all, a sort of loser who magnetically attracts misfortune.

Usage 1: Today's word is almost always defined in terms of interaction between schlimazels and schlemiels. According to Leo Rosten (Hooray for Yiddish!), if a waiter spills the soup he is carrying, he is a schlemiel; the person who gets it down the neck is a schlimazel. When a schlemiel accidentally knocks over a priceless vase, he blames the nearest schlimazel. Most dictionaries will allow you to omit the [c] after [s] (shlimazel), but our spell-checkers frown on the practice.

Suggested usage: Although both these words refer to unfortunate people, they are generally used in good humor, often with sympathy attached: "The poor schlimazel had just cashed $500 in travelers checks when he was mugged." In fact, this word rarely occurs without the attribute "poor" preceding it: "One time in his life he runs a stop sign and the poor schlimazel hits a police car."

Etymology: Today's word comes from Yiddish shlimazl "bad luck, unlucky person" from an ancestor of German schlimm "bad" + Yiddish mazl "luck" from Late Hebrew mazzal "constellation, destiny." "Mazzal" came from Akkadian manzaltu, mazzatum "position of a star," the noun from the verb izuzzu "to stand." The Yiddish variant of "mazzal" is also found in mazel tov "good luck," the indispensable toast at Jewish weddings, from Mishnaic Hebrew mazzal tôb "good luck."

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قديم 03-27-2007, 12:53 PM
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Chaise longue (Noun)Pronunciation: [sheyz lang or lã (nasalized ]

Definition 1: A type of sofa or couch with a back at one end only.

Usage 1: Although a chaise longue is a good place to lounge around, the word has nothing to do with "lounging" and so the spelling "chaise lounge" and pronunciation as though it were "chase lounge" are incorrect. "Chaise lounge" is a folk etymology, the reanalysis of foreign words and phrases so that they incorporate more familiar native words (for ease of remembering and pronunciation).

Suggested usage: A chaise longue is a wonderful place to sit with someone's head on your lap; otherwise one member of the couple faces the hazard of falling off backward. "Mama's new chaise longue looks too pretentious among her colonial pieces." "Martha, you sit on the chaise longue; you fit it perfectly." Meoooow!

Etymology: From the French phrase chaise longue 'long chair.'

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قديم 03-27-2007, 12:54 PM
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تاريخ التسجيل: May 2006
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افتراضي _MD_RE: كلمة اليوم Word of the Day

Chaise longue (Noun)Pronunciation: [sheyz lang or lã (nasalized ]

Definition 1: A type of sofa or couch with a back at one end only.

Usage 1: Although a chaise longue is a good place to lounge around, the word has nothing to do with "lounging" and so the spelling "chaise lounge" and pronunciation as though it were "chase lounge" are incorrect. "Chaise lounge" is a folk etymology, the reanalysis of foreign words and phrases so that they incorporate more familiar native words (for ease of remembering and pronunciation).

Suggested usage: A chaise longue is a wonderful place to sit with someone's head on your lap; otherwise one member of the couple faces the hazard of falling off backward. "Mama's new chaise longue looks too pretentious among her colonial pieces." "Martha, you sit on the chaise longue; you fit it perfectly." Meoooow!

Etymology: From the French phrase chaise longue 'long chair.'

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  #115  
قديم 03-28-2007, 08:44 AM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
soubiri soubiri غير متواجد حالياً
أعضاء رسميون
 
تاريخ التسجيل: May 2006
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افتراضي _MD_RE: كلمة اليوم Word of the Day

Baleful (Adjective)Pronunciation: ['beyl-fêl]

Definition 1: Threatening harm, ominous or sinister.

Usage 1: "Baleful" and "baneful" are close cousins, but do have different uses. "Baleful" is said of something that seems to assure danger; "baneful" refers to something that has already caused harm. "I'm not going to have those baleful eggs; they look runny" versus "The baneful effect of the undercooked eggs was sour after-breakfast moods and conversations."

Suggested usage: The uses are endless. "The construction crew became more active when baleful clouds appeared overhead." "My little sister responded quickly to the baleful expression on Mom's face this afternoon."

Etymology: Old English balu, Middle English bale "evil, perniciousness, harm" + -ful. Archaic by the 16th century. Probably related to Slavic bol- "pain, affliction" as in Russian bol'nyi "painful."

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  #116  
قديم 04-02-2007, 12:20 PM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
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افتراضي _MD_RE: كلمة اليوم Word of the Day

Meshuga (Adjective)
Pronunciation: [mê-'shU-gê]

Definition 1: Affectionate) Crazy, nutty, absent-minded.

Usage 1: The noun is meshugaas "craziness" and a crazy girl is a "meshuggeneh" while a crazy boy is a "meshuggener." Be careful not to call your boyfriend "a crazy meshuggeneh" because you make two mistakes when you do: (1) a meshuggeneh is a girl and (2) the word already says he's crazy. Of course, if you come from one of the many regions where the final [r] is not pronounced, the same word applies both ways. Today's word is also spelled "meshugga" or "meshugge."

Suggested usage: Today's is a word for "crazy" that is mild and not insulting: "I may be meshuga but I'm not an idiot," sounds perfectly OK. Here is some more meshugaas: "You can't parachute from the roof with an umbrella! Where did you get a meshuga idea like that?!"

Etymology: Yiddish "meshuge" from Hebrew mêšuggah "maddened, crazed" participle of šuggah "to be mad, crazy.

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  #117  
قديم 04-15-2007, 04:30 PM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
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أعضاء رسميون
 
تاريخ التسجيل: May 2006
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افتراضي _MD_RE: كلمة اليوم Word of the Day

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  #118  
قديم 04-20-2007, 08:57 AM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
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افتراضي _MD_RE: كلمة اليوم Word of the Day

Ephemeral (Adjective)
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Pronunciation: [ê-'fe-mê-rêl]

Definition 1: Lasting one day only; very short-lived [-lajvd], passing very quickly, fleeting.

Usage 1: "Ephemeral" is still marginally used in the original sense referring to insects that live for only a day and diseases such as an ephemeral fever or the ephemeral ague "bad hair day" which last a day but less than a nychthemeron (or "nichthy").

Suggested usage: The basic use of the word is to refer to events of exceedingly short duration: "An ephemeral smile jostled her lips at his joke; then her attention quickly returned to the filet." Because of the beauty of the word itself, it usually refers to pleasant things: "Her ephemeral romance with the president left her even lonelier and more famous." However, "His ephemeral salary was not enough to make ends meet," also works.

Etymology: Greek ephemeros "lasting a day, daily" from epi- "on" + hemera "day."

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  #119  
قديم 05-12-2007, 05:26 PM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
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افتراضي _MD_RE: كلمة اليوم Word of the Day

Pukka (Adjective)Pronunciation: ['pê-kê]

Definition 1: Authentic, solid, well built or constructed. (Its antonym is cutcha "temporary, shoddy, ramshackle.")

Usage 1: A Britisher or Australian might say, "That vindaloo's pukka, mate!" They might even talk of pukka tukka (good, solid, authentic food) in general, a phrase that plays on "tucker" in the British sense of "food, ration." ('Pukka Tukka' is now a series on the Food Channel.) You would want to build a pukka house and buy a pukka car. A cutcha car in Britain would be the equivalent of a lemon in the U.S.

Suggested usage: The first meaning of the word is "genuine," as in, "Herb is a pukka mate; he always brings crisps and beer when he comes to watch football with us." However, its other meanings recommend it even to the highest level of corporatese: "This is a pukka contract that will survive any court battle—even if it was cobbled together by a couple of cutcha lawyers from Kankakee."

Etymology: Today's word provides more evidence of the English language's proclivity to raid the languages of the world for their treasures. It comes from Hindi pakka "cooked; ripe" from Sanskrit pakva-, from pacati "he cooks." "Cutcha" comes from Hindi kachcha "raw, crude, unripe, uncooked

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  #120  
قديم 05-21-2007, 06:48 PM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
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افتراضي _MD_RE: كلمة اليوم Word of the Day

Sanctimonious (Adjective)Pronunciation: [sængk-tê-'mo-ni-ês]

Definition 1: Making a show of piety, sanctity; pretending to be pious or religious.

Usage 1: "Sanctity" or "sanctitude" refer to a saint-like holiness or moral perfection in a person. "Sanctimony," the noun underlying today's adjective, was once a synonym but today refers to a feigned sanctity, a saint-like pretension of superiority. Today's adjective, "sanctimonious," is the perfect substitute for the messy slang phrase "holier-than-thou." Make the substitution in your vocabulary today if you have ever uttered it! The adverb is "sanctimoniously." An interesting distant relative is sanctiloquent "speaking things holy, sacred."

Suggested usage: We can always suggest you use this word as Shakespeare used it in 'Measure for Measure' act I, scene 7, "Thou conclud'st like the Sanctimonious Pirat, that went to sea with the ten Commandements, but scrap'd one out of the Table." Update the context, of course, "My boss is a sanctimonious pirate who quotes the Bible as justification for forcing us to work longer and harder."

Etymology: From Latin sanctimonia "sanctity, virtuousness," based on sanct-us "holy" + monia "-ness." "Sanctus" comes from PIE *sak- "sacred" which emerges in "sacred," "sexton," and "consecrate." Nasalized (with the [n] in it), we find it in "saint," "sanctum," and today's word. "Sanctus" underlies all the Romance words for "saint," i.e. French "saint," Spanish "san," as in "San Francisco," Portuguese "são." The rather odd "Santa Claus," the nickname of Saint Nicholas with the ostensibly feminine form of the word for "saint," probably originated in Dutch "Sinterklaas." The suffix -monia shares its origin with the suffix -ment, originally referring to the mind (Latin "mens, mentis," as in "mental")

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