300 episodes

The huge Amazon Alexa hit Word of the Day is now available as a podcast!

Word of the Day teaches you a useful word, its definition, etymology, and gives you examples of how to use it in a sentence. A new word each and every day! Perfect for those looking to expand their vocabulary, learning English and looking for a boost and anyone who loves words.

Word of the Day Word of the Day

    • Language Learning

The huge Amazon Alexa hit Word of the Day is now available as a podcast!

Word of the Day teaches you a useful word, its definition, etymology, and gives you examples of how to use it in a sentence. A new word each and every day! Perfect for those looking to expand their vocabulary, learning English and looking for a boost and anyone who loves words.

    Moniker

    Moniker

    Moniker is a noun that refers to a nickname.

    Our word of the day’s exact origin is not known for sure, but it is believed to have started in Shelta (SHELL tah) a secret jargon spoken by Irish immigrants.

    I always wondered how Harvey got the moniker butterfingers, but after watching his clumsy play on the football field, I instantly understood the origin on that unflattering nickname.

    • 45 sec
    Excursive

    Excursive

    Excursive is an adjective that means tending to ramble.

    Our word of the day is has its origin in the Latin word excurrere (ex coo RARE ay) which means ‘to extend’ or ‘run out.’ When it later evolved into English, it became a synonym of digressive or meandering.

    My students always get excursive when discussing a topic they don’t care about. They tend to lose focus and drift into unrelated issues.

    • 41 sec
    Anthropomorphize

    Anthropomorphize

    Anthropomorphize is a verb that means to attribute human qualities or personalities to things not human.

    Our word of the day is a fairly recent addition to the English language, dating back to the early 19th century, but its origin goes back to Ancient Greek. The prefix anthrōpos (AHN throw pose) means ‘human being,’ while the suffix I-Z-E means ‘to become,’ so when we anthropomorphize something, we make it ‘become’ human — if only in our imagination.

    The word is typically used when describing the behavior of animals, but it’s also possible to anthropomorphize a god or an object. For example: It makes me laugh when dad anthropomorphizes his old guitar. He talks about how much he misses it the way most people talk about a loved one.

    • 1 min
    Superficies

    Superficies

    Superficies is a noun that refers to the external aspect or appearance of something.

    The Latin prefix super (SOO pair) means ‘top’ or ‘surface.’ while facies (FAH chez) means ‘face’ or ‘aspect.’ When combined we get a word that refers to the surface or outer appearance of a thing. On a side note, our word of the day ends with an S whether it’s used in the singular or plural.

    When I first bought it, the car’s superficies looked fine. But I later discovered that its interior was in horrible shape.

    • 53 sec
    Serotine

    Serotine

    Serotine is an adjective that means late in flowering or developing.

    The Latin word sero (SAY roe) means late. Our word of the day has evolved from this to describe a person or thing that is late. But its most common use is in describing something or someone that is late in in developing.

    Don’t be fooled by Lori’s Serotine progress. It may take a while for her to fully develop into a competent realtor, but I’m sure she’ll get there.

    • 41 sec
    Recalcitrant

    Recalcitrant

    Recalcitrant is an adjective that means stubbornly resistant.

    Although our word of the day is typically used to describe people who are hard to manage and uncooperative, its origin has nothing to do with people at all. The Latin word recalcitrare (ray call see TRAR ay) means ‘to kick back.’ It was used to describe stubborn, difficult to handle mules.

    By the mid-19th century, the word — now evolved into the English recalcitrant —  came to be used to describe stubborn and hard to manage humans.

    Annie is one of my more recalcitrant piano students. She insists on playing scales her own way no matter how many times I scold her.

    • 1 min

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