Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Home

Today's Word

Subscribe

Archives



Dec 26, 2016
This week’s theme
Long words

This week’s words
chintz
sesquipedalian
dermatoglyphics
hemidemisemiquaver
supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

A dress in chintz
A dress in chintz
Photo: Hugo Maertens/Wikimedia

Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Someone sent me a picture of this tattoo that says “I see God in birds and Satan in long words.” It’s a splendid tattoo and I love our feathery friends. What I was really intrigued about was what the owner of this artwork had against long words. Turns out the line is from a song.

Not sure I agree with it. Just as all living beings, human and non-human, of all shapes and sizes, of all colors and stripes, enrich our world, so do words, short and long, homegrown and imported, plain and exotic, enrich our language.

About 10 years ago we did a week of long words. This week we’ll feature another set of long words, except that these words are long in some special manner. For example, today’s word is the longest word with all letters in alphabetical order. There are others with the same length, but they are everyday words, such as “almost” and “begins”.

chintz

PRONUNCIATION:
(chints)

MEANING:
noun: A printed and glazed cotton fabric, typically with a flowery pattern.

ETYMOLOGY:
From chintz, a printed cotton fabric imported from India, from Hindi chheent (spattering, stain). Earliest documented use: 1614. The word has resulted in the adjective chintzy meaning gaudy or stingy.

USAGE:
“Caspian fingered the edge of the chintz curtain.”
Beatriz Williams; Tiny Little Thing; Berkeley Books; 2015.

See more usage examples of chintz in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
One has to be a lowbrow, a bit of a murderer, to be a politician, ready and willing to see people sacrificed, slaughtered, for the sake of an idea, whether a good one or a bad one. -Henry Miller, writer (26 Dec 1891-1980)

A.Word.A.Day by email:

Subscribe

"The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace."

The New York Times

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith