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Today's Word



Mar 9, 2020
This week’s theme
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This week’s words

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with Anu Garg

Time passes slowly and in spurts. You have a baby and before you know it, she’s walking and then in high school, college, and beyond.

I started something on March 14, 1994, that became Wordsmith.org and this week we’re celebrating the 26th anniversary. Dictionaries do not list a word for a 26th anniversary but we can coin one: sexvicennial, from Latin sex (six) + vicennial (20th anniversary).

Thank you for being with us, whether you joined us last week or you have been with us for years or decades. Yes, we still have readers with us who joined back in the 1990s. (Find out when you joined by sending a blank email to wsmith@wordsmith.org with the word “howlong” in the Subject line.)

CONTEST: To celebrate, we are holding a contest and giving away prizes. The prizes are not as elaborate as what we offered for our 25th anniversary celebration last year, but still fun. We usually announce the theme of each week’s word selections, but this week you get to determine it on your own. It could be words coined after someone (also known as eponyms), or even words borrowed from a language (from Yiddish, for example).

What is this week’s theme?

HOW TO ENTER: When you think you have figured out what’s common among this week’s words, email us your answer to contest@wordsmith.org (include your location). One answer per person, please.

PRIZES: There are two prize categories. One for the first person to send the correct answer. And the other for an individual randomly selected from everyone who sent correct answers. Each of the two winners will get to pick from either of these two prizes: Wise Up!, a game, courtesy of Old’s Cool Company; or a signed copy of any of my books.

SOLUTION: See AWADmail 924.

On to today's word...



adjective: Relating to the essential nature of something or someone.

From Latin quid (what), which also gave us quidnunc, quid pro quo, and quiddity. Earliest documented use: 1600.

“And if a butterflying pair of wings can precipitate disaster at the other edge of the world, are those not the real angels to oppose God? Aren’t they the ones who can never be allowed into heaven? And isn’t that why they have beauty that nothing shares, totally quidditative?”
Alec McGuire; Luther; demiHorse Books; 2009.

Why should a poet pray thus? poets scorn / The boundaried love of country, being free / Of winds, and alien lands, and distances, / Vagabonds of the compass, wayfarers, / Pilgrims of thought. -Vita Sackville-West, poet and novelist (9 Mar 1892-1962)

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