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New Game: What's the Word?

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What's the Word? - HOBBLEDEHOY

pronunciation: [HA-bəl-dee-hoy]

 

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Unknown, mid 16th century

 

Meaning

1. A clumsy or awkward youth.

 

Example:

"I felt like a real hobbledehoy at my first job."

"Now that Jennifer's braces were off, she was ready to leave her days of being a hobbledehoy behind."

 

About Hobbledehoy

It is unknown exactly how and where the word hobbledehoy came from, although we do know that it was first used in the 16th century. The noun's playful cadence was used to describe an awkward, youthful person.

 

Did you Know?

Nearly everyone was a hobbledehoy at some point — it's a normal part of adolescence to feel a little awkward. Encouragement, praise, and support goes a long way in helping your loved ones feel more confident in themselves as they grow up.

 

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What's the Word? - MENSURATION

pronunciation: [men-sə-RAY-shən]

 

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Latin, late 16th century

 

Meaning

1. Measuring.

 

Example:

"Careful mensuration is a part of every baking experiment."

"I had to improve my mensuration skills before I could call myself a carpenter."

 

About Mensuration

This noun comes from the Latin word "mensurare," which means "to measure."

 

Did you Know?

Carpenters know how important mensuration is; the saying "measure twice, cut once" reminds anyone working with wood that an accurate mensuration the first time saves time and material.

 

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What's the Word? - GEWGAW

pronunciation: [GYOO-gaw]

 

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Middle English, unknown

 

Meaning

1. A showy thing, especially one that is useless or worthless.

 

Example:

"Grandpa's collection of gewgaws clashes with Grandma's elegant taste."

"She bought a gewgaw whenever she went to the thrift store."

 

About Gewgaw

Here's another word with unknown origins. While we know that gewgaw was first used in earnest in the 16th century, there's no information on how this word developed in the first place.

 

Did you Know?

Home personalization is hard. Whether you love gewgaws or not, try taking inspiration from magazines, sticking to a theme, or asking for advice. Encourage your personal sense of interior design to shine.

 

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What's the Word? - FULSOME

pronunciation: [FUL-səm]

 

Part of speech: adjective

Origin: Middle English, unknown

 

Meaning

1. Complimentary or flattering to an excessive degree.

2. Of large size or quantity; generous or abundant.

 

Example:

"Her fulsome words made Jimmy both embarrassed and grateful."

"They brought home a fulsome supply of apples from the orchard."

 

About Fulsome

This adjective comes from Middle English, and developed from the words "full" (filled to the limit) and "some" (a group of a particular number).

 

Did you Know?

While fulsome is a homonym (a word with multiple meanings for the same spelling/pronunciation), its earlier definition of "generous or abundant" is seen by some critics as incorrect. These critics say that fulsome was originally intended to refer to "words of flattery." What do you think?

 

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What's the Word? - AMBIT

pronunciation: [AM-bət]

 

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Late Middle English, unknown

 

Meaning

1. The scope, extent, or bounds of something.

 

Example:

"She tested the ambit of their friendship by asking for a ride to the airport."

"I was captivated by the ambit of the ocean, stretching in all directions."

 

About Ambit

Ambit developed from the Latin word "ambitus" (circuit) and its predecessor "ambire" (go round).

 

Did you Know?

Word sleuths will recognize that ambit forms the first half of another popular word: "ambitious." Someone who is ambitious has their sights set way beyond what's in front of them; the official definition is "having or showing a strong desire and determination to succeed."

 

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What's the Word? - ROISTER

pronunciation: [ROY-stər]

 

Part of speech: verb

Origin: Latin, late 16th century

 

Meaning

1. Enjoy oneself or celebrate in a noisy or boisterous way.

 

Example:

"Let's get dressed up and roister in our living room this year."

"I plan to roister and party over Zoom with friends around the world."

 

About Roister

Roister has a diverse background (including its bout in France as "rustre," or ruffian) but it predominantly originates from the Latin word "rusticus" (rustic).

 

Did you Know?

Word sleuths will recognize that ambit forms the first half of another popular word: "ambitious." Someone who is ambitious has their sights set way beyond what's in front of them; the official definition is "having or showing a strong desire and determination to succeed."

 

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What's the Word? - MENOLOGY

pronunciation: [mə-NAL-ə-jee]

 

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Greek, early 18th century

 

Meaning

1. An ecclesiastical calendar of the months, especially a calendar of the Greek Orthodox Church containing biographies of the saints in the order of the dates on which they are commemorated.

 

Example:

"Rosa loved collecting different examples of menology, and switched calendars throughout the year to change things up."

"Theresa consulted a menology to learn more about her namesake saints."

 

About Menology

This noun comes from the Greek word "mēnologion" — which can be broken down further into the words "mēn" (month) and "logos" (account).

 

Did you Know?

Calendars come in all different shapes and forms, from breathtaking art prints to a simple desk flip calendar. Switch up your way of tracking the days this year to a wonderful alternative, such as a menology. Don't worry, your digital calendars will still be there.

 

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What's the Word? - SANATIVE

pronunciation: [SAN-ə-div]

 

Part of speech: adjective

Origin: Latin, unknown

 

Meaning

1. Conducive to physical or spiritual health and well-being; healing.

 

Example:

"Reagan's favorite sanative pastime was driving down to the beach to watch the ocean."

"The spa promised a sanative effect from every visit."

 

About Sanative

Sanative developed through the Old French word "sanatif" and the late Latin word "sanativus," but its origins lie in the Latin word "sanare" — which means "to cure."

 

Did you Know?

While it can be tempting to pursue many different goals, hobbies, and aspirations during the new year, be careful to avoid burnout. Try to schedule in some regular sanative time for yourself. Your future self will thank you!

 

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What's the Word? - MAJUSCULE

pronunciation: [MAJ-əs-kyool]

 

Part of speech: noun

Origin: French, 18th century

 

Meaning

1. Large lettering, either capital or uncial, in which all the letters are the same height.

2. A large letter.

 

Example:

"The bodega's new sign used majuscule to advertise their new menu items."

"It was difficult to read her handwriting because she avoided all use of majuscule."

 

About Majuscule

This noun developed in French, but originally comes from the Latin word "majuscula," which means a "somewhat greater letter."

 

Did you Know?

When printshops used individual metal type, letters were kept in separate cases. Smaller letters were kept in a case on a lower shelf for easy access, creating "lowercase" letters. The larger letters, the majuscule, were kept on the upper shelf.

 

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What's the Word? - QUISQUOUS

pronunciation: [KWIS-kwəs]

 

Part of speech: adjective

Origin: Unknown, 17th century

 

Meaning

1. Difficult to deal with or settle; perplexing; (of a person) of dubious character.

 

Example:

"I wanted to trust him, but also knew that he had a quisquous reputation."

"She tried to be patient, but knew that her friend was quisquous."

 

About Quisquous

While we know that quisquous is a Scottish word that first came into use around the 17th century, its exact origins are uncertain. It could possibly originate from the Latin word "quisquis," which means "whoever."

 

Did you Know?

Quisquous characters have long been referred to as tricksters in mythology; the coyote (Indigenous cultures), the fox (East Asian cultures), Anansi (the spider god of West Africa), and Loki (Norse god) are all viewed as tricksters.

 

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What's the Word? - TROUVAILLE

pronunciation: [troo-VAI]

 

Part of speech: noun

Origin: French, Unknown

 

Meaning

1. A lucky find.

 

Example:

"The rare coin was a trouvaille for the archaeologist."

"My train ticket was in my pocket the whole time — what a trouvaille!"

 

About Trouvaille

Trouvaille developed in French from the word "trouver" (to find).

 

Did you Know?

You've probably heard of "A Series of Unfortunate Events," but luckily, a trouvaille describes the opposite. A trouvaille is a lucky find — like when you happen upon your keys in the freezer after giving up on finding them.

 

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What's the Word? - BIJOU

pronunciation: [bee-ZHOO]

 

Part of speech: adjective

Origin: French, Unknown

 

Meaning

1. (especially of a residence or business establishment) small and elegant.

 

Example:

"For their first date, Harold reserved seats at a bijou restaurant downtown."

"Kyle was a little intimidated by how bijou his new friend's house was."

 

About Bijou

This adjective comes from the French words "bizou" (finger ring) and "biz" (finger).

 

Did you Know?

Have you heard of the tiny house trend? Many tiny house owners seek a bijou residence — small, but easily cared for, blending elegance with self-sufficience.

 

On a side-note: bijou is also French for jewelry as in "Where are your bijous?"

 

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What's the Word? - EUDAEMONIC

pronunciation: [yoo-də-MAH-nik]

 

Part of speech: adjective

Origin: Greek, mid 19th century

 

Meaning

1. Conducive to happiness.

 

Example:

"Getting the promotion was a eudaemonic boost for the rest of her week."

"Enjoying a cup of coffee every morning is a eudaemonic experience."

 

About Eudaemonic

Eudaemonic developed from the Greek words "eudaimonikos" and "eudaimōn," which both mean "happy."

 

Did you Know?

The Latin root "eu," found in eudaemonic, means "well" or "good." It makes up many different words that describe pleasant things, such as "euphoria" (intense happiness), "euphony" (a pleasant sound).

 

 

 

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What's the Word? - PREPRANDIAL

pronunciation: [pre-PRAN-dee-əl]

 

Part of speech: adjective

Origin: Latin, early 19th century

 

Meaning

1. Done or taken before dinner or lunch.

2. (medicine) Occurring or done before a meal.

 

Example:

"He made sure to fit in several preprandial workouts throughout the week."

"Pam set an alarm to take her preprandial vitamins."

 

About Preprandial

Prepandial developed twofold in Latin from the words "pre" (before) and "prandium" (a meal).

 

Did you Know?

Looking for some preprandial practices? Try to drink a glass of water before you eat dinner. Drinking water during your meal can dilute your digestive enzymes and make it hard for your body to break down your food.

 

 

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What's the Word? - SKUEOMORPH

pronunciation: [SKYOO-oh-morf]

 

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Greek, late 19th century

 

Meaning

1. An object or feature which imitates the design of a similar artifact made from another material.

2. (Computing) An element of a graphical user interface which mimics a physical object.

 

Example:

"The museum had several skueomorphs of original indigenous weaponry."

"I love a pen and paper but the notepad skeuomorph on my phone is handier."

 

About Skeuomorph

Skeuomorph originated from the Greek words "skeuos" (container, implement) and "morphē" (form).

 

Did you Know?

Apple has incorporated skeuomorphs into much of the iPhone design. Your note-taking app is represented by a skeuomorph of a notepad, and the timer is a skeuomorph of a clock. This design element is everywhere!

 

 

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What's the Word? - BADINAGE

pronunciation: [bad-in-AHJ]

 

Part of speech: noun

Origin: French, mid 17th century

 

Meaning

1. Humorous or witty conversation.

 

Example:

"After a badinage, it's nice to sit beside each other in quiet contentment."

"Fred's badinage always kept his friends laughing."

 

About Badinage

The word badinage has a rich genealogy — it is thought to have developed from the French word "badiner" (to joke), which came from the word "badin" (fool), which is an evolution of the word "badar" (gape).

 

Did you Know?

If you're trying to incorporate badinage into your conversations, first establish a rapport with your audience. Empathy is just as valuable as a witty conversation.

 

 

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What's the Word? - AILUROPHILE

pronunciation: [aye-LOO-rə-fayhl]

 

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Greek, early 20th century

 

Meaning

1. A cat lover.

 

Example:

"She must be an ailurophile after fostering cats for 15 years."

"Even though I only have dogs, I'm an ailurophile at heart."

 

About Ailurophile

Ailurophile developed in Greek, specifically from a combination of the Greek word "ailuros" (cat) and "phile" (a love or fondness for something).

 

Did you Know?

If you would like to indicate your identity based on your love for something, you can follow this pattern: use its Greek or Latin name + the suffix "phile." Some examples include ailurophile (cat lover), bibliophile (book lover), and Anglophile (a lover of England and English culture).

 

 

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What's the Word? - TOHUBOHU

pronunciation: [toh-hoo-BOH-hoo]

 

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Hebrew, unknown

 

Meaning

1. A state of chaos; utter confusion.

 

Example:

"The mayor's unexpected announcement left the press in a tohubohu."

"After recess the students were always in a tohubohu."

 

About Tohubohu

This word developed from the Hebrew word "tōhū wa-ḇōhū," which translates to "emptiness and desolation." Tohubohu is also found in the Bible, used in context to mean "without form and void."

 

Did you Know?

In a modern sense, tohubohu refers to a state of chaos. Originally, however, it meant something very different. The Hebrew phrase "tōhū wa-ḇōhū" refers to the world just before the creation of light. In this context, it means a lightless, endless void.

 

Edited by DarkRavie
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What's the Word? - BOÎTE

pronunciation: [bwat]

 

Part of speech: noun

Origin: French, unknown

 

Meaning

1. A small restaurant or nightclub.

 

Example:

"Pierre was delighted to learn the new boîte was not too far from his apartment."

"This boîte has the best happy hour in town."

 

About Boîte

Boîte means "box" in French. This word's origins and how it became widely used to describe restaurants and nightclubs is, unfortunately, unknown.

 

Did you Know?

Not every restaurant is a boîte. If a restaurant is small and has a vibrant nightlife, then it is considered a boîte.

 

 

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What's the Word? - DEMIURGIC

pronunciation: [dem-ee-ER-jik]

 

Part of speech: adjective

Origin: Greek, early 17th century

 

Meaning

1. A powerful creative force or being.

 

Example:

"When she's in her studio, she's a demiurgic force."

"I meditate before I work to try to access a demiurgic state."

 

About Demiurgic

Demiurgic is thought to have originated from the Greek word "dēmiourgós," or "skilled worker."

 

Did you Know?

While demiurgic describes a powerful creative force or state of being, a demiurge is a creative entity — such as an artisan or craftsman. One notable demiurge is the Greek god Hephaestus, who was a talented blacksmith known as the god of the forge.

 

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