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A.Word.A.Day--bodacious

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

This week's selection features words coined by fusing two separate words. What is unique about these words, as opposed to the words formed by simply placing two words next to each other, e.g. lovesick, is that the former are blended together in such a way that each participating word contributes a fragment of its whole, both in letters and in meaning to the new word. Such an amalgamated word is also known as a portmanteau (from French, carrying case for clothes, usually with two compartments) since Lewis Carroll gave them this moniker in his 1872 classic "Through the Looking-Glass". Carroll himself coined some great portmanteaux, such as chortle (chuckle + snort), and slithy (slimy + lithe).

Many of these portmanteaux words are clunky (infotainment: information + entertainment) while others are fluid (smog: smoke + fog) but they all serve a purpose and that's why they stay in the language.

bodacious (boh-DAY-shuhs) adjective

1. Outright, thorough.

2. Remarkable, impressive.

3. Gutsy, brazen.

4. Voluptuous.

[A blend of bold and audacious.]

See more usage examples of bodacious in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

-Anu Garg (garg wordsmith.org)

"Amy (Jessica Simpson) is the bodacious new cashier whose virtue is reputedly available only to employee-of-the-month title holders." 'Employee of the Month' (movie) Nothing to Brag About; Chicago Tribune; Oct 7, 2006.

X-Bonus

People never lie so much as before an election, during a war, or after a hunt. -Otto von Bismarck, statesman (1815-1898)

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