Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

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


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ


Oct 20, 2008
This week's theme
Words that appear to have been coined after the 2008 US presidential candidates

This week's words
obambulate
bidentate
palinode
meeken
barrack
Discuss
Feedback
RSS/XML
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Two years in the making, the 2008 US presidential election will take place two weeks from now. By the time the campaigns end, the candidates will have spent more than a billion dollars trying to get the job. All those bucks for a position that earns less than half million dollars a year and lasts only four years! But weighing the post by its salary is like saying that Olympic athletes sweat for years just to pocket a few hundred dollars' worth of gold.

The post of President of the United States carries immense power to make decisions that affect, for better or worse, people the world over. The effects of the actions of a president last for years and eponyms (words coined after someone's name) enter the language that reflect their legacy, such as Reaganomics, teddy bear (after Theodore Roosevelt), etc.

This week I have selected five words that appear to have been coined after this year's presidential candidates (Obama, Biden, McCain, and Palin). These are all 100% dictionary words -- they have been in the language even before these candidates were born.

Enjoy these words, and don't forget to vote!

obambulate

PRONUNCIATION:
(o-BAM-byuh-layt)

MEANING:
verb intr.: To walk about.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin ob- (towards, against) + ambulare (to walk). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ambhi- (around) that is also the source of ambulance, alley, preamble, and bivouac. The first print citation of the word is from 1614.

USAGE:
"We have often seen noble statesmen obambulating (as Dr. Johnson would say) the silent engraving-room, obviously rehearsing their orations."
The Year's Art; J.S. Virtue & Co.; 1917.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there. -Yasutani Roshi, Zen master (1885-1973)

Subscribe:

Sign up to receive A.Word.A.Day in your mailbox every day.

"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

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith