Sunday, April 19th
Airs and Graces Word of the Day:
Be sure to practice the pronunciation on this noun, so you can drop it witheringly when the next opportunity arises. It's a French loaner: literally, the quality of being high, but closely akin semantically to haughtiness or, more informally, uppityness.
Monday, April 20th
Spring Bouquet Word of the Day:
This spring-blooming European bulb is a suitable candidate to salute in spring. The name is from Greek; the ancient belief that asphodels were the favorite food of the dead resulted in their being planted near graves. Modern daffodil, though a different plant, is derived from the word asphodel.
Tuesday, April 21st
That Never Happened Word of the Day:
You'll probably see nul (from Latin nullum, "nothing") at the core of this word, and that's a good clue to its meaning: the underlying verb, annul, originally meant "reduce to nothing" and developed into "make ineffective." We salute it today, the 400th anniversary of the ascent of Henry VIII to the English throne. He found annulment so convenient and successful that he practiced it multiple times!
Wednesday, April 22nd
Explosive Evidence Word of the Day:
Only those with the Advanced Word Detective merit badge might notice the resemblance but this word is in fact related to pomegranate, and for a good reason: it denotes a syrup made from the juice of that fruit. Another more obviously related word is grenade, since early versions of that explosive device were allegedly pomegranate-shaped.
Thursday, April 23rd
Good for a Laugh Word of the Day:
You're forgiven for thinking this word means "an ability to rise." In fact it means "readiness to laugh." Its etymology is somewhat obscured by the conjugation of its Latin root (ridere), which also gives us deride and ridiculous.
Friday, April 24th
Puzzling Word of the Day:
Reasonable guess: gift of a tropical resort holiday, delivered electronically. Actual meaning: a Chinese puzzle made from shapes of wood that fit together as a square. A Google image search on this one is easily worth a thousand words. Etymology of the word is unknown, leaving it wide open for speculation.
Saturday, April 25th
Floats My Boat Word of the Day:
Like its cousin boatswain (pronounced "bos'n"), coxswain has a surprising pronunciation in relation to its spelling, with /w/ sound disappearing and the vowel in the second syllable reduced to a schwa. The swain part is from a word for "servant." Cox is from cok, a small boat.