Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About | Media | Search | Contact  


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ


Apr 20, 2010
This week's theme
Allusions

This week's words
vanity fair
Old Man of the Sea
pygmalionism
sisyphean
achates

The Old Man of the Sea
The Old Man of the Sea, 1923
Artist: Monro Scott Orr

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

Old Man of the Sea

PRONUNCIATION:
(old man ov the see)

MEANING:
noun: A tiresome burden, especially a person, difficult to free oneself from.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Old Man of the Sea, the sea-god, who forced Sinbad to carry him on his shoulders and refused to dismount. In this story from The Arabian Nights, Sinbad the Sailor eventually released himself from his burden by getting the Old Man drunk. Also see albatross.

USAGE:
"Deirdre has Ken the Cardie Wearer ever at her side, an Old Man of the Sea she can't ditch. He grows daily more brain-sapping as he takes up local causes like t'cobbles in Coronation Street."
Molly Blake: The Mail's First Lady of TV; Evening Mail (Birmingham, UK); Dec 6, 2000.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation. -Susan B. Anthony, reformer and suffragist (1820-1906)

We need your help

Help us continue to spread the magic of words to readers everywhere

Donate

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

© 1994-2018 Wordsmith