Visual Thesaurus Word of the Day
Sunday, October 10th nomenclature Name That Thing Word of the Day:
This word, denoting a system of naming things, wins a small award in English for being the only word ending in -clature, despite its being derived from fairly ordinary Latin roots. The nomen part is related to name, noun, and nominative; the -clature part is related to claim, clear, and council.
Monday, October 11th parthenogenesis Look Mom No Dad Word of the Day:
It's all the rage today, as scientists discover more and more animals that can reproduce from the female without help from the male. The roots are Greek, and mean essentially "maiden borne."
Tuesday, October 12th congeneric Cuz They're Cousins Word of the Day:
This adjective is handy shorthand for describing a close genetic relationship: instead of saying, e.g., "rodents of the same genus," you can say "congeneric rodents," thereby saving yourself one syllable, and gaining widespread admiration for you erudition.
Wednesday, October 13th lavender Sweet Smell of Spelling Success Word of the Day:
Resist the temptation to spell the name of this aromatic shrub with two as rather than two es, but blame calendar if you do. Both words are confusing, since they end with the same sounds. Here's a mnemonic: lavender is a flower; a calendar is a list of days.
Thursday, October 14th commodious Room For All Word of the Day:
This rather formal adjective characterizes a place, usually an indoor one, with ample room. Its opposite, incommodious, is mainly used disparagingly. The nearest cognate in English, commode, derives from an earlier meaning of the word: "convenient."
Friday, October 15th dulcimer Sounds Sweet Word of the Day:
Your inventory of stringed-instrument words should include this one, a trapezoidal-shaped folk instrument with a fretted fingerboard. The dulc- part of the word is from the Latin for "sweet."
Saturday, October 16th vermicelli Diet of Worms Word of the Day:
Italian pasta terminology is nothing if not descriptive, and so with this word for thin spaghetti, which means "little worms." A related, but much less appetizing word in English is vermiform, "resembling a worm."
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