You Pick Two

I chose today’s word, not because it is exotic or rare, but because it has two meanings that are wildly different from each other. I find that fascinating!

Solvent is both a noun and an adjective: As a noun, it means: 1. something that dissolves another thing, and 2. something that solves a problem.

 

 

As an adjective, it means: 1. able to pay one’s debts, and 2. able to dissolve another substance.

ETYMOLOGY: From Latin solvere (to loosen, to dissolve, to pay). Ultimately from the Indo-European root pleu- (to flow), that is also the source of flow, float, flit, fly, flutter, pulmonary, pneumonic, pluvial, fluvial, effluvium, fletcher, and plutocracy. Earliest documented use: 1653.

Our word for today is from wordsmith.org, where you can sign up to receive a word a day via email!

My guiding star

Lodestar is a noun meaning: someone or something that serves as a guiding principle, model, inspiration, ambition, etc.

 

 

ETYMOLOGY: From Old English lad (way) + star. A lodestar is called so because it’s used in navigation, it shows the way. Earliest documented use: 1374

 

“He was her rock, the lodestar on which she could focus.” Laura Benedict; Bliss House; Pegasus Books; 2014.

Our word for today is from wordsmith.org, where you can sign up to receive a word a day via email!

The Death Star

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Cagastrical is an adjective used to describe diseases such as plague and fever, which were once thought to be caused by the influence of malignant stars.

 

 

the-death-star1

 

(No, I am not making this up, although I am a fan of Star Wars movies!) The word comes from Greek root words meaning “evil star”.

 

weird-and-wonderful-words-book-cover

 

This word was found in the wonderful and often hilarious book:  Weird and Wonderful Words, edited by Erin McKean

Gros Melons- Not what you think!

punkin3-sept-21-2015While doing a word search on the internet, I found this information on the word “pumpkin”,

which, coincidentally…….is the name of one of my cats!

 

 

squirrel on pumpkin-small

“During the crisp autumn months, pumpkins pop up everywhere — on our porches, in shop windows, and at the local farmer’s market.

 

 

 

melons-variety1They are part of the gourd family, along with cucumbers, honeydew, watermelon, cantaloupe, and zucchini. Pumpkins were originally called “gros melons“ by French explorer Jacques Cartier in 1584.

 

 

pumpkins-variety1

The English translation was “pompions,” which eventually evolved into our modern word, “pumpkin.” -By Caroline Young”

 

A Sad Goodbye to Mary Tyler Moore

mary-tyler-moore1While watching the Mary Tyler Moore tribute, they used the word “eponymous” referring to her TV show, and I liked the sound of the word so I thought I’d share its meaning and origins with you.

Eponymous is an adjective meaning: 1. Of, relating to, or constituting an eponym, such as “The Mary Tyler Moore” Show.

 

 

he-man_12. Named after something else or deriving from an existing name or word: “Programs such as He-Man and Masters of the Universe … were all created with the explicit purpose of selling the eponymous toys to children”. Source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/eponymous

 

 

onyma-greek-wordEtymology notes: Eponymous comes from the Greek adjective epōnymos, which is itself from onyma, meaning “name.” “Onyma” has lent its name to a number of English words, including “synonymous,” “pseudonym,” and “anonymous.” Traditionally, an eponymous person or thing (i.e., an “eponym”) might be a mythical ancestor or totem believed to be the source of a clan’s name.

Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eponymous

Let us worship words!

oliver-wendell-holmes-sr-quoteOur word for today was found in a page in the Reader’s Digest:  epeolatry, meaning, the worship of words.

Etymology: From Greek, epos (word) + -latry (worship).

 

oliver-wendell-holmes-sr-1The first citation of the word is from Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., in his 1860 book Professor at the Breakfast Table.

For another cool source for new words, visit: http://wordsmith.org/words/epeolatry.html

Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.

julie-andrews-singingMy word for today was disambiguation, but it’s rather hard to jump into the middle of the meaning when it hinges on the root word, which is ambiguous.

1.  open to or having several possible meanings or interpretations; equivocal: for example, an ambiguous answer.

 

airplane- cartoon2. In linguistics it means: exhibiting constructional homonymity; having two or more structural descriptions, as the sequenceFlying planes can be dangerous”.

3. of doubtful or uncertain nature; difficult to comprehend, distinguish, or classify: a rock of ambiguous character.

4. lacking clearness or definiteness; obscure; indistinct: for example “an ambiguous shape; an ambiguous future”.

 

latin-sayingsThe source dates from 1520-30; from Latin: ambiguus, equivalent to ambig (ere) be uncertain (amb- ambi- + -igere combining form of agere to drive, lead, act) + -uus deverbal adj. suffix; see-ous.

Therefore, disambiguation refers to the removal of ambiguity by making something clear. Whew, that was a doozie!