Word of the day


Manorialism –  system of economic, social, and political organisation based on the medieval manor in which a lord enjoyed a variety of rights over land and tenants; an organizing principle of rural economies which vested legal and economic power in a lord of the manor.; political, economic, and social system by which the peasants of medieval Europe were rendered dependent on their land and on their lord;  seignorialism, or seignorial system.

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Word of the day


Defalcation – deduction; misappropriation of funds by a person trusted with its charge; the taking or illegal use of money by someone who has responsibility for it; the act or an instance of embezzling; a failure to meet a promise or an expectation.

Word of the day


Ug –  to fear, feel horror; shudder with horror; to feel dread, loathing or disgust; to contemplate someone with loathing or disgust.

Word of the day


Disconsolate  – very unhappy and unable to be comforted; dejected; without consolation or solace; hopelessly unhappy; inconsolable; sad beyond comfort.

Word of the day


Tirrivee- an outburst of bad temper; a tantrum; a fit of passion; a noise or commotion.

Word of the day


Gadwaddick – to go on a jaunt or a head-clearing pootle; go on a pleasure trip.

Word of the day


Plouter – to dabble, flounder or paddle in water, mire or mud, with the hands or feet; to splash about; work in anything wet or dirty;  move about with splashing; wade.

Word of the day


Stadle – a sapling or young tree, especially one left when older ones are felled.

Word of the day


Spadegraft – the depth to which a spade can dig in one go.

Word of the day


Flappable – easily agitated, confused or upset, especially under stress; capable of becoming flustered.

Word of the day


Weal – happiness, prosperity or wellbeing; a sound, healthy, or prosperous state; a red, swollen mark left on flesh by a blow or pressure; any physical damage to the body caused by violence or accident or fracture.

Word of the day


Dispositive – directed toward, effecting,  relating to or bringing about the settlement of an issue or the disposition of property; intending to or resulting in or capable of disposition; dealing with the disposition of property by deed or will; deciding a matter finally, or relating to the process of doing this; producing a final settlement or determination.

Word of the day


Synodic – relating to or involving the conjunction of stars, planets, or other celestial objects; relating to the period between two successive conjunctions of the same celestial bodies.

Word of the day


Pecksniffery – hypocritical, sanctimonious or unctious behaviour or language; a hypocritical display of benevolence; affecting benevolence or high moral principles; the quality or state of being pecksniffian.

Word of the day


Verschlimmbessern – to make something worse while trying to make it better or in an honest but failed attempt to improve it.

Word of the day


Trump –  a playing card of the suit chosen to rank above the others, which can win a trick where a card of a different suit has been led; to play such a card;  surpass (something) by saying or doing something better; to get the better of; a decisive overriding factor or final resource; to be better than, or have more importance or power than another person or thing; to outrank or defeat someone or something; a helpful or admirable person;  of a restive or bad-tempered horse: to kick, stamp, toss up the heels; a thing that is of small value; to deceive, to cheat; to go off in consequences of disgrace, or necessity. *

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Greatest word of all time


Is it possible to pick the greatest word of all time?

Dictionary.Com thinks so and has narrowed down the possibilities to 32.

First Round Matchups

yes vs. no

It’s a matchup for the ages. Every day and often in profound ways, choices between yes and no form the forks that accumulate into the branching paths of our lives. So what’s it going to be: yes or no?

and vs. but

And gives us the precious opportunity to keep going, to add additional thoughts, and requests, and items in a list, and whatever else we want to say next. But but crucially allows us to hit the brakes, to introduce contradictory information or an alternative position. 

maybe vs. OK

Maybe is a true blessing: an easy way to be noncommittal. OK is a miracle of near universality and world-class versatility: it can be an adjective, adverb, interjection, noun, and verb (not to mention having a fascinating origin story). 

please vs. thank you

The “magic word” itself, please is the key to polite requests and earnest pleas alike. It’s matched up against the term at the other end of such interactions: thank you, the reigning champion of gratitude (yes, technically it’s a phrase, but it functions like a single-word interjection).  

um vs. ew

Um gets a bad reputation as the ultimate “filler word,” but try to imagine life without it, with nothing but awkward pauses to resort to when we’re grasping for what to say next. As for ew: just try to express disgust more efficiently. 

sorry vs. oops

The world would be a far worse place without a concise way to acknowledge a mistake. There is power in a single, sincere sorry, just as there is catharsis in a well-placed oops. Bonus: both can be wielded sarcastically to searing effect. 

hello vs. goodbye

Is there a word more fundamental to what it means to be human than hello? Perhaps there is, and perhaps it’s goodbye. No one likes to say it, but at some point, we all have to. 

what vs. why 

It’s hard to fathom life without either of these indispensable interrogatives, both essential for posing questions practical and existential. 

me vs. you

It’s first person against second person. But remember: everyone is a me and a you, depending on the point of view. 

y’all vs. hey

The word y’all, once only a regional favorite of collective address, has broken onto the national scene. But don’t sleep on hey, whose underrated range allows it to pivot from familiar greeting (“Hey!”) to accusatory attention-getter (“Hey!”).

home vs. welcome

Through some kind of linguistic alchemy, home is imbued with the ability to impart some of the same warm feeling of comfort provided by the place itself. Welcome, central to the sacred tradition of hospitality, is proof of the best that we’re capable of. 

the vs. thing

A real grammarian’s matchup: the definite article versus the stand-in for any item, tangible or abstract. Good luck getting the English language to function without either of these ubiquitous terms. 

love vs. friend

The basis of entire genres of songs, stories, and letters, love is renowned for its use as both a noun and—most famously between I and you—a verb. Love itself may be beloved, but don’t discount the joy of calling someone a friend—and of having the word applied to you. 

whoa vs. awesome

This matchup pits pop culture darling whoa against longtime favorite awesome. The latter may seem played out, even after besting cool to make the GWOAT tournament, but don’t underestimate its continued prominence in our informal vocabulary. 

happy vs. beautiful 

In a field short on adjectives, either one of these perennially popular descriptors could draw the support of those who prize positivity. 

lol vs. yikes

The inclusion of lol is sure to rile up the purists, begging the question of whether it’s even a word (and whether we just used begging the question properly lol). And then there’s yikes, a potential dark horse and, according to one analyst, “the Boaty McBoatfaciest competitor in the bracket.”

You can vote on Twitter.

I’m opting for  love, because that’s what the world, and people, need most.

Word of the day


Memoriter – marked by emphasis on memorisation; by heart, by or from memory.

Word of the day


Mumpsimuses –   traditional customs or ideas adhered to although shown to be unreasonable; people who obstinately adhere to old customs or ideas in spite of evidence that they are wrong or unreasonable; bigoted adherents to exposed but customary error;  those who insist they are right and apportion blame to others without looking at themselves.

Word of the day


Alluvion – the action of the sea or a river in adding to the area of land by deposition; a gradual increase of land on a shore or a river bank by the action of water from natural or artificial causes;  the gradual formation of new land, as by the recession of the sea or deposit of sediment on a riverbed; the slow accretion or erosion of soil, sand, and other parts of land; matter deposited as sediment; the wash of the sea or of a river; an overflow or flood.

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