Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


About | Media | Search | Contact  


Today's Word

Yesterday's Word



AWADmail Issue 489

A Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Other Tidbits about Words and Language

From: Jeremiah Reedy (reedy macalester.edu)
Subject: apopemptic
Def: Relating to departing or leave-taking; valedictory.

Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words also gives "apopemptoclinic" meaning "inclining towards divorce". I once told Alain Renoir (who was a grandson of the painter and who taught at Berkeley) that I had learned a lot of wonderful words from Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary but when the opportunity arose to use one of them, I'd fail to think of it. He told me that was going about it in the wrong way. Each morning he would pick some words he wanted to use that day and then create opportunities for them!

Jeremiah Reedy, Saint Paul, Minnesota

From: Michael Peterson (mpeterson65 comcast.net)
Subject: addlepated
Def: Confused; eccentric; flustered.

Some homebrewing buddies of mine explained to me how due to tradition, the naming of bock beers usually ends in an -ator suffix such as "maximator". Their favorite was a very strong triple bock beer known as Addlepator.

Michael Peterson, Fresno, California

From: Scotty MacInnes (scottymacinnes yahoo.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--addlepated

Brings to mind the word 'twitterpated', with very similar meaning from an old Walt Disney movie Bambi.

Scotty MacInnes, Pembroke, Massachusetts

Email of the Week (Courtesy Uppityshirts - Whitebread is the new Black.)

From: Penny Randolph (prandol verizon.net)
Subject: catawampus
Def: 1. Askew; crooked. 2. Diagonally positioned: catercornered.

Over the years, we've shared our lives with a series of furry felines called Waully, Strophe, and Wampus... as in caterwaul, catastrophe, and catawampus. A hyper cat would have been Pult or Maran. A particularly lazy cat would have answered to Log... or Tonic... or even perhaps Lepsy. A lame cat who appreciates classical music we would have named Lyst in the fond hope that Lyst could, despite a limp, compose and play the piano.

Penny Randolph, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts

From: Shane Dorval (dorvalorama gmail.com)
Subject: Kattywumpus

I thought you might like to see this. It's a historical legend about a creature called Kattywumpus (catawumpus).

Shane Dorval, Brunswick, Maine

From: Gary Garnier (ggarnier yahoo.com)
Subject: Scrobiculate
Def: Having many small grooves; furrowed.

I'm grateful that the person who named one of my favorite pasta shapes saw ridges on its outer surface, rather than grooves. Penne rigate is so much easier to say than penne scrobiculate. Not to mention more appetizing!

Gary Garnier, Los Gatos, California

From: Steve Yanne (steve.yanne comcast.net)
Subject: Scrobiculate

And once again, you made a perfect word choice for Friday with 'scrobiculate'. Being 11/11/11, it is also the grandest day of the century for Corduroy fanatics!

Steve Yanne, Northampton, Massachusetts

From: David Calder (dvdcalder gmail.com)
Subject: November palindrome

Down here in New Zealand, we have woken up to a beautiful Late Spring day. It is 11th November, and at 11 am, some of us will pause for a minute's silence to remember the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in 1918 when the guns fell silent on the Western Front in Europe, where many young Kiwi men had died. But this year it will be different, and I learned a new word or phrase to share... A repunit palindrome! The latter word you'll know, but a "repeat unit" is a numerical palindrome, and 11.11.11 is just that, and the last one for this century -- until 2111 I guess, and I don't think any current A.Word.A.Day readers will be around then.

So today I will raise my glass to the brave who have fallen in all wars, and allowed me a lifetime of peace and freedom to love and admire the beauty of English. By the way, a lad in my town turns 11 today, and he's in Room 11 at his local school. Bradley is 11 times blessed.

David Calder, New Plymouth, New Zealand

From: Simon Alterman (simon alterman.co.uk)
Subject: This week's words

A lovely set of unusual words this week, which inspired a challenge to use them all in one sentence. Here's an effort on a topical subject:

"Berlusconi appeared somewhat addlepated during his apopemptic speech to the Italian parliament, his brow scrobiculate as the reality dawned of a forficate Europe and a political career now completely catawampus."

Simon Alterman, London, UK

Words form the thread on which we string our experiences. -Aldous Huxley, novelist (1894-1963)

We need your help

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


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

© 1994-2024 Wordsmith