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Jun 30, 2014
This week's theme
Words to describe people

This week's words
mossback
misanthrope
bon vivant
autodidact
magnifico

mossback turtle
Mossback turtle

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

What words do you choose to describe a person? Do you go for overused everyday words such as nice, good, bad, cool, and the like? How about a word that may be more colorful or precise or exotic? Let's give the tired words a rest and use this week's terms to describe people.

mossback

PRONUNCIATION:
(MOS-bak)

MEANING:
noun: A very old-fashioned person or one holding extremely conservative views.

ETYMOLOGY:
From the idea that someone is old enough to have moss grow on his back. Old aquatic animals, such as turtles, do develop mosslike growth on their backs. Earliest documented use: 1865.

USAGE:
"Here, Markowitz deals with ... moldy old mossbacks in English departments who won't teach writing by women."
Miriam Markowitz; Here Comes Everybody; The Nation (New York); Dec 9, 2013.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Not that I want to be a god or a hero. Just to change into a tree, grow for ages, not hurt anyone. -Czeslaw Milosz, poet and novelist (1911-2004)

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