Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for December 3, 2019 is:
ersatz • \AIR-sahts\ • adjective
: being a usually artificial and inferior substitute or imitation
“If you want to keep your drinks cold without constantly running to the ice machine, using the laundry bag as an ersatz ice chest is a great option….” — Melissa Locker, Time, 7 Oct. 2019
“Painting a cow to look something like a zebra has been found to reduce fly bites by 50%…. Only 55 flies were observed on the zebra cows, compared with 111 on the black-painted cows and 128 on the control cows. The ersatz zebras were observed to demonstrate only 40 fly-repelling behaviours (such as flicking their tails and shaking their heads) every 30 minutes, compared with 53 and 54 fly-repelling behaviours in the others. — Naaman Zhou, The Guardian (London), 11 Oct. 2019
Did you know?
Ersatz can be traced back in English to the 1870s, but it really came into prominence during World War I. Borrowed from German, where Ersatz is a noun meaning “substitute,” the word was frequently applied as an adjective in English to modify terms like coffee (made from acorns) and flour (made from potatoes)—ersatz products resulting from the privations of war. By the time World War II came around, bringing with it a resurgence of the word along with more substitute products, ersatz was wholly entrenched in the language. Today, ersatz can be applied to almost anything that seems like an artificial imitation.
December 03, 2019 at 01:00PM
Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for December 2, 2019 is:
bon vivant • \bahn-vee-VAHNT\ • noun
: a sociable person who has cultivated and refined tastes especially with respect to food and drink
“The Major was somewhat of a bon vivant, and his wine was excellent.” — Sir Walter Scott, Waverley, 1814
“The Swiss-born chef and bon vivant saw life through rose-colored beer glasses, preferring to keep negativity at bay by drinking, eating, laughing, loving and yodeling.” — Mike Hale, The Monterey (California) County Herald, 4 Sept. 2019
Did you know?
Fans of fine French wine and cuisine won’t be surprised to hear that the French language gave us a number of words for those who enjoy good living and good eating. Gourmet, gourmand, and gastronome come from French, as does bon vivant. In the late 17th century, English-speakers borrowed this French phrase, which literally means “good liver.” No, we don’t mean liver, as in the organ. We mean liver, as in “one who lives (in a specified way)”—in this case, “one who lives well.”
December 02, 2019 at 01:00PM
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December 02, 2019 at 07:00AM
Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for December 1, 2019 is:
pointillistic • \poyn-tuh-LISS-tik\ • adjective
1 : composed of many discrete details or parts
2 : of, relating to, or characteristic of pointillism or pointillists
“[Herman] Wouk is often grouped with middlebrow writers of popular historical fiction … but his novels are better understood as pointillistic character studies in historical settings.” — Adelle Waldman, The New York Times, 17 May 2019
“For her first album in eight years, the English singer, songwriter, and author paired her rich alto with pointillistic lyrics about 21st-century life, keeping its emotions aloft with club-ready beats….” — Maura Johnston, The Boston Globe, 20 Dec. 2018
Did you know?
In the late 19th century, Neo-Impressionists discovered that contrasting dots of color applied side by side would blend together and be perceived as a luminous whole when seen from a distance. With this knowledge, they developed the technique of pointillism, also known as divisionism. By the 1920s, the adjective pointillistic was being used as a word describing something having many details or parts, such as an argument or musical composition; it was then applied to the art of pointillism and its artists, the pointillists.
December 01, 2019 at 01:00PM
Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for November 30, 2019 is:
incognito • \in-kahg-NEE-toh\ • adjective or adverb
: with one’s identity concealed
“I do walk around the [Las Vegas] Strip. I walk with my head down and a baseball cap on and—so far—no one has noticed. I’ve been incognito.” — Paula Abdul, quoted in The Las Vegas Review-Journal, 17 Nov. 2019
“[Constance] Messmer remembers the night that the cast of ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ came to eat, and there were kids trying to peer in through the windows. Or the time that Sharon Stone arrived incognito, hiding underneath a big floppy hat.” — Geoff Currier, The Martha’s Vineyard Times, 17 Oct. 2019
Did you know?
The ancient Greeks and Romans knew that there were times when you didn’t want to be recognized. For example, a myth tells how Zeus and Hermes visited a village incognito and asked for lodging. The apparently penniless travelers were turned away from every household except that of a poor elderly couple named Baucis and Philemon, who provided a room and a feast despite their own poverty. The Romans had a word that described someone or something unknown (like the gods in the tale): incognitus, a term that is the ancestor of our modern incognito. Cognitius is the past participle of the Latin verb cognoscere, which means “to know” and which also gives us recognize, among other words.
November 30, 2019 at 01:00PM
Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for November 29, 2019 is:
mutt • \MUT\ • noun
1 : a stupid or insignificant person : fool
2 : a mongrel dog : cur
Our family’s new dog is an affable, shaggy-haired mutt who is a delight to anyone who visits our home.
“I worried that my new acquisition was unexceptional: a mutt on the small side of medium with a shiny black coat, an extra-long nose and ears that stick out at the angle of bat wings in flight. I fell in love at obedience class, where he demonstrated what I took for a drive to excel.” — Nora Caplan-Bricker, The New York Times Magazine, 17 Sept. 2019
Did you know?
Mutt can now be used with either affection or disdain to refer to a dog that is not purebred, but in the word’s early history, in the U.S. around the turn of the 20th century, it could also be used to describe a person—and not kindly: mutt was another word for “fool.” The word’s history lies in another insult. It comes from muttonhead, another Americanism that also means essentially “fool.” Muttonhead had been around since the early 19th century but it was not unlike an older insult with the same meaning: people had been calling one another “sheep’s heads” since the mid-16th century.
November 29, 2019 at 01:00PM
周五中午啦～ 吃完午饭，下午继续工作！ （由 IFTTT 发送）
November 29, 2019 at 12:00PM