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



May 20, 2013
This week's theme
Words coined after mountains

This week's words
vesuvian
parnassian
chevy
chartreuse
himalayan

Mount Vesuvius
Mount Vesuvius
Photo: Julius V

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

Next week marks 60 years of the first scaling of the Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world. Going up nine kilometers in storms, avalanches, and thin air is not just any hike on the trail. Nearly 4,000 have made it to the top and back but more than 200 have died in the attempt.

It's hard, but not impossible if you're determined. A double-amputee has scaled the peak, so has a blind person. A 13-year-old boy has done it, and so has a 76-year-old. And one man has done it as many as 21 times ("Honey, I'm stepping out for a stroll ... on Mount Everest").

We all have our mountains to scale. Some of these are not as visible as Mt. Everest though they may be equally challenging. Scaling them comes with no accolade, but they are nonetheless worthwhile. May you reach all the peaks you set out to scale.

Everest has become a metaphor for a high point of something. This week we'll see five other words that are derived from mountains and hills.

vesuvian

PRONUNCIATION:
(vi-SOO-vee-uhn)

MEANING:
adjective: Marked by sudden explosive outbursts.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Mount Vesuvius, a volcano that buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum when it erupted in 79 CE. Earliest documented use: 1673.

USAGE:
"It erupted without warning from a young man ... his Vesuvian sneeze rocked the room."
Dr. Kate Scannell; Tis the Season of the 'Winter Flu Olympics' -- Again; Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, California); Jan 20, 2013.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
May my silences become more accurate. -Theodore Roethke, poet (1908-1963)

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

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith