The huge Amazon Alexa hit Word of the Day is now available as a podcast! Word of the Day teaches you a useful word, its definition, etymology, and gives you examples of how to use it in a sentence. A new word each and every day! Perfect for those looking to expand their vocabulary, learning English and looking for a boost and anyone who loves words.
0:46Eggcorn is a noun that refers to a word or phrase that results from a mishearing. Our word of the day is a very recent addition to English, entering in the early 21st century. It came about by people mishearing the word acorn and instead thinking the word was eggcorn. Everyday language is full of such mistakes. Here’s an example of it in use: For years, I heard the phrase ‘for all intents and purposes’ as ‘for all intensive purposes.’ It wasn’t until much later that I learned this was an eggcorn.
0:42Echt is an adjective that means authentic and typical. It can also be used as an adverb that means authentically or typically. Coming directly from the German word for real, our word of the day has maintained the same basic meaning after being imported into English. Here is an example of echt in use. Those crowds at our early shows were placed there by our management to make it seem that we were a popular band. But later we attracted echt crowds and it was glorious to see that real people actually did enjoy our music.
0:44Enshrine is a verb that means to preserve and cherish as sacred. The latin word scrinium (screen ee OOM) refers to ‘a chest for books.’ In later years a shrine became a word for a holy place that held sacred items. Enshrine is a verb that is often used metaphorically to refer to the process of treating something as if it were sacred. Here’s an example: The rights we were fighting for have since been enshrined into law. A violation of those laws would be treated as an act of sacrilege.
0:36Jouissance is a noun that refers to physical or intellectual pleasure. The French word juir (ghweere) means ‘to enjoy.’ From this our word of the day has come to enter English. Here’s an example of it in use: I could see the joy on my daughter’s face when I took her to the circus. She clearly took delight in seeing all that joyous activity.
0:38Multifarious is an adjective that means ‘of many types. ‘ The Latin multifarius (mool tee FAR ee oose) was imported into English in the Late 16th century and has maintained the same basic meaning of ‘derived of various types.’ The reasons for our project’s failure were many. The multifarious disasters that took place would take too long to list.
0:30Lorn is an adjective that means lonely and abandoned. Or word of the day comes indirectly from Old English and is commonly used in literary writing. Here’s an example of it: The princess found herself lorn in the castle all alone. In spite of her immense wealth, she needed the companionship and intimacy that only love can provide.
0:40Agrarian is an adjective that means related to cultivating the land. The latin word ager (ah JER) means ‘field.’ From this word comes our word of the day. In addition to being an adjective that means ‘farming’ or ‘cultivating the land,’ agrarian can also be used as a verb to refer to a person who advocates farming. I know for a fact that the agrarian life isn’t for everybody. Farming is hard work and requires lots of concentration.
0:47Compendium is a noun that refers to a concise collection of information. The Latin prefix C-O-M means ‘together,’ while pendere (PEN dare ay) is Latin for ‘weight.’ Compendium entered the English language around the late 16th century to refer to ‘what is weighed together.’ The word later came to refer to a collection of information about a particular subject. I found a compendium on UFOs that was very helpful for my research. Having all that UFO information at my fingertips made me close to an expert on the topic.
0:43Calumniate is a verb that means to defame or make false statements about. The Latin word calumnia (cal OOM ne uh) means ‘oppression.’ More recently, the English ancestor or this word, calumniate, has come to mean ‘injure the reputation of.’ Here’s an example: When I ran for office, I swore I would never calumniate my opponents. But I have to confess that I did have a few occasions where I made statements about them that weren’t strictly correct.
0:49Splenetic is an adjective that means ill-tempered or spiteful. Our word of the day shares its origin with the word spleen, an abdominal organ that serves as part of the immune system. The Ancient Greeks believed the spleen was the seat of a bad temper, so the word splen (splan) meant ‘ill-tempered.’ Centuries later, splenetic entered English as an adjective for spiteful or malevolent. After working with some ill-tempered people, I became something of an expert at recognizing splenetic behavior. Most importantly, I became good at not hiring such people.