Wordsmith.Org


A.Word.A.Day

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


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ


Aug 9, 2010
This week's theme
Glacial landforms

This week's words
drumlin
moraine
esker
fjord
cirque

drumlin
A drumlin in Clew Bay, Ireland
Photo: Brendan Conway

Discuss
Feedback
RSS/XML
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

The planet is getting warmer. Glaciers are melting. Then and now pictures leave no doubt about the severity of the problem. When glaciers retreat, they carve out landforms in all kinds of shapes and sizes.

In this week's words we take the time to explore some of the formations resulting from the glacial melt. These words derive from languages that are as varied -- Irish, French, and Norwegian -- as the diversity of the forms sculpted by the glaciers.

drumlin

PRONUNCIATION:
(DRUM-lin)

MEANING:
noun: A long, narrow, whale-shaped hill of gravel, rock, and clay debris, formed by the movement of a glacier.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Irish druim (back, ridge) + -lin, a variant of -ling (a diminutive suffix, as in duckling).

USAGE:
"The bluffs are actually the ends of drumlins, the elongated hills shaped centuries ago by retreating glaciers. Drumlins are common in Western New York, but almost all are covered with trees, shrubs, grapevines, and other vegetation."
Martin Naparsteck; Lake Ontario Exposes Natural Wonders; The Buffalo News (New York); Jun 13, 2010.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Poetry is the art of saying what you mean but disguising it. -Diane Wakoski, poet (b. 1937)

A.Word.A.Day by email:

Subscribe

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

The New York Times

Sponsored by:

Give the Gift of Words

Share the magic of words. Send a gift subscription of A.Word.A.Day.

Anu on Words:
Writer Magazine
Globe & Mail

Interact:

Bulletin board
Wordsmith Talk

Moderated Chat
Wordsmith Chat

Readers' Voice
AWADmail

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

© 2014 Wordsmith