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Quotes and Words of the Day

QuotationsPage.com | Quotes of the Day

Bertrand Russell
"Mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true."

Edward R. Murrow
"When the politicians complain that TV turns the proceedings into a circus, it should be made clear that the circus was already there, and that TV has merely demonstrated that not all the performers are well trained."

Segal's Law
"A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure."

Peter Sellers
"There used to be a real me, but I had it surgically removed."

Neil Gaiman
"It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor."

Rita Rudner
"I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult."

Franklin P. Adams
"To err is human; to forgive, infrequent."

Wilson Mizner
"God help those who do not help themselves."

Howard Aiken
"Don't worry about people stealing an idea. If it's original, you will have to ram it down their throats."

Stanislaw J. Lec
"People find life entirely too time-consuming."

John Kenneth Galbraith
"Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite."

Jack Benny
"I don't deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don't deserve that either."

BrainyQuote.com | Quotes of the Day

Josh Billings
"Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well."
"They succeed, because they think they can."
James Madison
"If men were angels, no government would be necessary."
Eleanor Roosevelt
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

Dictionary.com | Word of the Day

buss: Dictionary.com Word of the Day
buss: a kiss; to kiss.

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Merriam-Webster | Word of the Day


Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 22, 2009 is:

carrefour • \kair-uh-FOOR\  • noun
1 : crossroads *2 : square, plaza

Example sentence:
“The farmers as a rule preferred the open carrefour for their transactions, despite its inconvenient jostlings and the danger from crossing vehicles….” (Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge)

Did you know?
An interesting thing about "carrefour" is that even though the second half of the word contains the number "four," it is actually the first half of the word that derives from the Latin word for "four." "Carrefour" derives via Middle French from Late Latin "quadrifurcus," an adjective meaning "having four forks," formed by combining Latin "quadri-" ("four") and "furca" ("fork"). "Carrefour" has been a part of the English language since the 15th century. It once referred to an intersection of four roads at a single point, but later came to refer to any public square or plaza. "Carfax," a similar word that also derives from "quadrifurcus," can be found in some British place names, such as the primary intersection in the city of Oxford, England.

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.


Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 21, 2009 is:

plenary • \PLEE-nuh-ree\  • adjective
*1 : complete in every respect : absolute, unqualified 2 : fully attended or constituted by all entitled to be present

Example sentence:
The U.S. Congress has plenary power to pass laws regulating immigration and naturalization.

Did you know?
In the 14th century, the monk Robert of Brunne described a situation in which all the knights of King Arthur's Round Table were present at court by writing, "When Arthures court was plener, and alle were comen, fer and ner. . . ." For 200 years, "plener" (also spelled "plenar") served English well for both senses that we reserve for "plenary" today. But we'd borrowed "plener" from Anglo-French, and, although the French had relied on Latin "plenus" ("full") for their word, the revival of interest in the Classics during the English Renaissance led scholars to prefer purer Latin origins. In the 15th century, English speakers turned to Late Latin "plenarius" and came up with "plenary." ("Plenarius" also comes from "plenus," which is the source of our "plenty" and "replenish" as well.)

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.


Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 20, 2009 is:

deasil • \DEE-zil\  • adv
: clockwise

Example sentence:
One pictograph shows a group of warriors dancing deasil around what appears to be a gigantic wild boar speared numerous times.

Did you know?
According to an old custom, you can bring someone good fortune by walking around the person clockwise three times while carrying a torch or candle. In Scottish Gaelic, the word "deiseil" is used for the direction one walks in such a luck-bringing ritual. English speakers modified the spelling to "deasil," and have used the word to describe clockwise motion in a variety of rituals.


Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 19, 2009 is:

posture • \PAHSS-cher\  • verb
1 : to strike a pose for effect *2 : to assume an artificial or pretended attitude : attitudinize

Example sentence:
Posturing as pro-worker, he won the support of the trade unions, only to cave in to big business almost the minute he got elected.

Did you know?
Can you guess which of the following come from the same Latin ancestor as "posture"?

      A. positive    B. impose    C. posit    D. expose    E. oppose
      F. component    G. dispose    H. position    I. postpone
We won't put off the answer to our quiz : they all do. The Latin verb "ponere," meaning "to put" or "to place," is the ancestor of numerous English terms, including "posture" and our nine quiz words. The past participle of "ponere" -- "positus" -- gave Latin the noun "positura" (same meaning as the English noun "posture"). That noun passed through Italian and Middle French and was finally adopted by English speakers as "posture" around 1586. The verb "posture" followed later from the noun, finding its place in English around 1645.

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.


Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 18, 2009 is:

cupidity • \kyoo-PID-uh-tee\  • noun
*1 : inordinate desire for wealth : avarice, greed 2 : strong desire : lust

Example sentence:
"This time, developing-world economies far from the pinstriped epicentres of mass cupidity are suffering massive collateral damage as the global downturn cuts heavily into demand for their agricultural and resource commodities." (David Olive, The Toronto Star, March 29, 2009)

Did you know?
From its verb "cupere" ("to desire") Latin derived three nouns which have passed with minimal modification into English. "Cupiditas" meant "yearning" and "desire"; English borrowed this as "cupidity," which originally in the 15th century was synonymous with "lust." (The "greed" meaning of "cupidity" developed very soon after this other now-archaic meaning.) Latin "cupido" started out as a near synonym of "cupiditas," but it came to stand for the personification of specifically carnal desire, the counterpart of Greek "eros"; this is the source of our familiar (and rather domesticated) Cupid. A strengthened form of "cupere" -- "concupiscere," meaning "to desire ardently" -- yielded the noun "concupiscentia" in the Late Latin of the Christian church. "Concupiscentia" came specially to denote sexual desire, a meaning reflected in the English version "concupiscence," meaning "sexual desire."

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.


Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 17, 2009 is:

domiciliary • \dah-muh-SILL-ee-air-ee\  • adjective
1 a : of, relating to, or constituting a domicile: as b : provided or taking place in the home* c : providing care and living space (as for disabled veterans)

Example sentence:
Citing the need to provide more assistance to the state's homeless veterans, the veterans home has asked the legislature to increase funding for the home's domiciliary unit.

Did you know?
"Domiciliary" can be traced back through French "domiciliaire" and Medieval Latin "domiciliarius" to the earlier Latin word "domicilium" ("domicile"). "Domicilium" comes from the Latin "domus" ("home"), which is at the heart of a number of other English words, including "domestic" and "domicile." It is even the source of the English word "dome." In Medieval Latin, "domus" came to mean "church," and was borrowed by French for the word "dôme" ("dome" or "cathedral") and by Italian for "duomo" ("cathedral"). In the 1500s, English drew on these words for "dome," a word which originally referred not to a vaulted roof or ceiling but to a mansion or a stately building.

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.


Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 16, 2009 is:

repudiate • \rih-PYOO-dee-ayt\  • verb
1 : to refuse to have anything to do with : disown *2 : to refuse to acknowledge, accept, or pay

Example sentence:
The nation's president has unequivocally repudiated the arms treaty, and it is very probable that he has green-lighted the manufacturing of strategic nuclear weapons.

Did you know?
In Latin, the noun "repudium" refers to the rejection of a spouse or prospective spouse, and the related verb "repudiare" means "to divorce" or "to reject." In the 16th century, English writers used the derivative "repudiate" to mean "to divorce," when in reference to a wife, or "to disown," when in reference to a member of one's family, or just generally "to reject or cast off." By the 19th century the word had also come to be used for the rejection of things that one does not accept as true or just, ranging from opinions and accusations to contracts and debts.

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.


Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 15, 2009 is:

scrupulous • \SKROO-pyuh-lus\  • adjective
1 : having moral integrity : acting in strict regard for what is considered right or proper *2 : punctiliously exact : painstaking

Example sentence:
In The House of Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne writes that it would be unseemly for Judge Pyncheon, a man "generally so scrupulous in his attire," to wear a stained shirt to dinner.

Did you know?
"Scrupulous" and its close relative "scruple" ("an ethical consideration") come from the Latin noun "scrupulus," the diminutive of "scrupus." "Scrupus" refers to a sharp stone, so "scrupulus" means "small sharp stone." "Scrupus" retained its literal meaning but eventually also came to be used with the metaphorical meaning "a source of anxiety or uneasiness," the way a sharp pebble in one's shoe would be a source of pain. When the adjective "scrupulous" entered the language in the 15th century, it meant "principled." Now it also commonly means "painstaking" or "careful."

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.


Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 14, 2009 is:

bludge • \BLUJ\  • verb, chiefly Australia & New Zealand
1 : to avoid work or responsibility *2 : to get something from or live on another by imposing on hospitality or good nature : sponge

Example sentence:
"If I want to go to Rotto, I’ll catch the ferry or bludge a ride on the new boat of one of my commodity-boomed nouveau riche friends." (Phil Haberland, The [Perth, Australia] Guardian Express, March 6, 2007)

Did you know?
Though they can be annoying, people who bludge -- bludgers -- are relatively harmless. On the other hand, a bully armed with a bludgeon -- a "bludgeoner" -- can cause serious harm. In the 19th century, "bludgeoner" was shortened to "bludger" and used as a slang word for "pimp." That "bludger" was certainly a kind of bully, one apparently willing to wield a bludgeon now and then to insure his livelihood. In the early 20th century, "bludge" became the verb for what a bludger does. By then, a somewhat softened "bludger" had appeared in Australia and New Zealand: the pimping and the bullying were eliminated, and the parasitical tendencies reduced to mere cadging or sponging.

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.


Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 13, 2009 is:

calamari • \kah-luh-MAHR-ee\  • noun
: squid used as food

Example sentence:
Ophelia tried fried calamari for the first time from a small seafood shack near the beach.

Did you know?
The word "calamari" was borrowed into English from 17th-century Italian, where it functioned as the plural of "calamaro" or "calamaio." The Italian word, in turn, comes from the Medieval Latin noun "calamarium," meaning "ink pot" or "pen case," and can be ultimately traced back to Latin "calamus," meaning "reed pen." The transition from pens and ink to squid is not surprising, given the inky substance that a squid ejects and the long tapered shape of the squid's body. English speakers have also adopted "calamus" itself as a word referring to both a reed pen and to a number of plants.


Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 12, 2009 is:

ulterior • \ul-TEER-ee-er\  • adjective
1 a : further, future* b : more distant : remoter c : situated on the farther side : thither 2 : going beyond what is openly said or shown and especially what is proper

Example sentence:
"The poet, by an ulterior intellectual perception, gives [symbols] a power which makes their old use forgotten, and puts eyes, and a tongue, into every dumb and inanimate object." (Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays: Second Series)

Did you know?
Although now usually hitched to the front of the noun "motive" to refer to a hidden need or desire that inspires action, "ulterior" began its career as an adjective in the mid-17th century describing something occurring at a subsequent time. By the early 18th century it was being used to mean both "more distant" (literally and figuratively) and "situated on the farther side." The "hidden" sense with which we're most familiar today followed quickly after those, with the word modifying nouns like "purpose," "design," and "consequence." "Ulterior" comes directly from the Latin word for "farther" or "further," itself assumed to be the comparative form of "ulter," meaning "situated beyond."

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

Yahoo.com | Words of the Day

durable - May 22, 2009
(adjective) long lasting.

Phrases.org | Phrase of the week

Just hold on a minute.
Cherchez la femme
Is this a dagger I see before me?
Old codger
Could I borrow a cup of sugar?
Oh lardy!
Rule of thumb
Put that stick down.
The proof of the pudding
Go on - prove it.
Need a new saucepan?
Hobson's choice
What sort of choice is that?
A skeleton in the closet
In the closet? I keep mine in a cupboard.
A stitch in time saves nine
Saves nine what?
Ring aring o'roses
A plague on your folk etymology.
My old Dutch
From Holland? No. From Fife? No. Well, where then?
In the offing
Off you go.
Yellow belly
From the Wild West? More like the wild east.
Augur well
Augur or bode? Take your choice.
Back to square one
Probably from a game, but which one?
Wax poetic
Okay, but can you also wane poetic?
Derring? What's derring?
At loggerheads
Going to Wales for your holidays?
Without let or hindrance
No let, no hindrance? Do you need a rub?
Double cross
Doubling and crossing? You must really be annoyed with someone.
Make no bones about it
Cream of tomato, anyone?
Harbinger of doom
We're all doomed, doomed I tell ye.
A piece of the action
Gimme, gimme, gimme.
Worth one's salt
Paying you a condiment.
Dressed to the nines
Nines? What about the tens?
The Graveyard Shift
Everything to do with shifts and nothing to do with graves.
Jump on the bandwagon
Go on, you know you want to.
In limbo
Stuck in limbo? Could it be time to get out the pole and start dancing?
An Englishman's home is his castle
Not English? Not male? So, where do you live?
Hedge your bets
Going hedging? You'll need your pruning shears.
Have an inkling
Are you inclined to inkle?
Crop up
Something has turned up. What have crops got to do with it?
Tide over
That's going to have to last until we get new stocks. So what's tide got to do with it?
As happy as...
Feeling happy chappie? You aren't the only one.
Chip on your shoulder
Feeling chippy chappie? What's that on your shoulder, and how did it get there?
Come a cropper
Okay, you can come one - but what is a cropper exactly?
Caught in a cleft stick
Sounds nasty - but why?
As easy as pie
As easy as pie.
Warts and all
Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Who was the wartiest of them all?
Upside down
Which century is that from?
Bats in the belfry
What is the link between the phrases 'bats in the belfry', 'dead ringer' and 'saved by the bell'?
A cock and bull story
Did this originate in the Cock and the Bull inns in Buckinghamshire - or is that just a cock and bull story?
Fight fire with fire
Pass the petrol; I'm just going to put that fire out.
Hurry up; there are choppy waters ahead.
With bells on
Bow bells? Seven bells? Hell's bells?
Think outside the box
Which box is that?
I'll be toddling off.
High flyer
It's good to fly high - or is it?
Ne'er cast a clout till May be out
June. Time to take your coat off?
Die hard
You mean there's an easy way?
Let the cat out of the bag
Didn't that piglet just miaow?
Donkey's years
Howdy. I haven't seen you in donkeys.
Bandy words
Bandy. Isn't that like hockey?
Bale out/bail out
Bale? Bail? Which is which?
Blown to smithereens
Blown where?
Silver bullet
Who was that masked man?
Point blank
What's the point?
Chaise lounge
We all long to lounge.
Guinea pig
A what, from where?
Through thick and thin
A new double act?
Strait and narrow
Let's get this straight...
Round Robin
Hood? Redbreast?
Raining cats and dogs
Rein in those wild ideas.
As rare as hen's teeth - an old acronym.
The devil to pay
Just think. Do you owe him anything?
I haven't got a clue
Don't string me along
Best bib and tucker
Would you need both?
Why daisy?
Parting shot
With an arrow?
Go off half-cocked
Not the best time to go off.
Boxing Day
Seconds out?
Cooking the books
Cooking the books - making a comeback.
Get down to brass tacks
Or is that 'brass tax'?
Spelling bee
Why not a spelling a, or c?
On cloud nine
Or seven, or eight, or...
Grass up
Who's a pretty boy then?
Red Herring
Trick or treat?
Keep the ball rolling
What ball was that exactly?
The living daylights
Jeepers, creepers, where'd ya get those daylights.
Three sheets to the wind
One, two, three - fall over.
On the warpath
The road to rage.
In the pink
Better than being in the red.
Toe the line
Toe? Tow?
Top dog
Do you need to be a dog to be top?
Barking mad
You don't have to live in East London to be barking. You don't have to live in East London to be barking.
The whole shebang
Shebang - is that like a ball of wax, or an enchilada, or a caboodle, or...?
Prime time
Prime time - at 4am?
Run the gauntlet
Gauntlets. Running. No connection, surely?
A flash in the pan
Which bright spark thought of this one?
Curry favour
Curried horse? Surely not?
To a T
T, tee, tea?
Coin a phrase
Who coined 'coin a phrase'?
Rack and ruin
Rack and ruin. Do you need both?
Take umbrage
Take it? I'd need to know what it is first.
Curiosity killed the cat
Or did it?
Get under way
Under, or over?.