Word of the Day


numismatic \noo-muz-MAT-ik\
adjective1 : of or relating to the study or collection of coins, tokens, and money 2 : of or relating to currency : monetary
Examples:
Jasmine was disappointed to learn that the 1936 buffalo nickel she owned had virtually no numismatic value.

“Steve is well-known in the numismatic community as a specialist in National Currency and is very passionate in his teachings and publications….” — Lake Sun Leader (Camdenton, Missouri), March 21, 2014
Did you know?
The first metal coins are believed to have been used as currency by the Lydians, a people of Asia Minor, during the 7th century B.C.E., and it is likely that folks began collecting coins not long after that. The name that we give to the collection of coins today is “numismatics,” a word that also encompasses the collection of paper money and of medals. The noun “numismatics” and the adjective “numismatic” came to English (via French “numismatique”) from Latin and Greek “nomisma,” meaning “coin.” “Nomisma” in turn derives from the Greek verb “nomizein” (“to use”) and ultimately from the noun “nomos” (“custom” or “usage”). From these roots we also get “numismatist,” referring to a person who collects coins, medals, or paper money.

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Word of the Day


requisite \REK-wuh-zut\
adjective: essential, necessary
Examples:
The application will not be considered until all of the requisite forms have been submitted.

“This smaller, slightly more upscale pizza shop … has all the requisite Wicker Park trappings: chalkboard menu, exposed brick, communal seating.” — Kate Bernot, Chicago Tribune, June 20, 2014
Did you know?
Acquiring an understanding of where today’s word comes from won’t require a formal inquiry. Without question, the quest begins with Latin “quaerere,” which means “to ask” and is an ancestor of a number of English words, including “acquire,” “require,” “inquiry,” “question,” “quest,” and, of course, “requisite.” From “quaerere” came “requirere,” meaning “to ask again.” Repeated requests can express a need, and the past participle of “requirere,” which is “requisitus,” came to mean “needed” or “necessary.” The English language acquired “requisite” when it was adopted into Middle English back in the 1400s.

Word of the Day


silhouette \sil-uh-WET\
noun1 a : a picture (as a drawing or cutout) of the outline of an object filled in with a solid usually black color b : a profile portrait done in silhouette 2 : the shape or outline of something; especially : the outline of an object seen or as if seen against the light
Examples:
“The tree-tops rose against the luminous blue sky in inky silhouette, and all below that outline melted into one formless blackness.” — H. G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau, 1896

“This is not a season for shoehorning yourself into your pants. Painted-on is out, and loose, slouchy silhouettes are in.” — Christine Whitney and Jessica Prince, Harper’s Bazaar, April 2014
Did you know?
Before the age of the photograph, the silhouette, either cut from paper or painted, was the most affordable portrait that could be made. The art enjoyed a golden age in the second half of the 18th and first half of the 19th centuries, when many people collected them. Although silhouettes were well-loved, the man for whom they were named was not: Étienne de Silhouette was France’s finance minister under Louis XV and was notorious for both his frugality and his hobby of making cut-paper shadow portraits. The phrase “à la Silhouette” came to mean “on the cheap,” and portraits like the ones he produced were (satirically) bestowed with his name as well.

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Word of the Day


interpolate \in-TER-puh-layt\
verb1 a : to change (as a text) by inserting new or foreign matter b : to insert (words) into a text or into a conversation 2 : to insert (something) between other things or parts : to make insertions 3 : to estimate values of (data or a function) between two known values
Examples:
“Ellis nicely interpolated a harpsichord solo between Bach’s two movements….” — Tom Aldridge, NUVO (Indiana), May 18, 2013

“Most scanners can scan at higher resolutions than their maximum optical resolutions by using software to interpolate more dots per inch, but you really aren’t getting any better quality.” — Jim Rossman, The Virginian-Pilot, June 23, 2014
Did you know?
“Interpolate” comes from Latin “interpolare,” a verb with various meanings, among them “to refurbish,” “to alter,” and “to falsify.” “Interpolate” entered English in the 17th century and was applied early on to the alteration (and in many cases corruption) of texts by insertion of additional material. Modern use of “interpolate” still sometimes suggests the insertion of something extraneous or spurious, as in “she interpolated her own comments into the report.”

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Word of the Day


Yooper \YOO-per\
noun: a native or resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan — used as a nickname
Examples:
The land of the Yoopers—the Upper Peninsula, or U.P.—is connected to Michigan’s Lower Peninsula by means of the Mackinac Bridge.

“Every Yooper I’ve ever met was an uncommonly unique character—a real salt-of-the-earth townie, skilled at mechanics, deer hunting, and/or ice fishing.” — Kelly O, The Stranger, January 29, 2014 – February 4, 2014
Did you know?
The word “Yooper” comes from the common nickname of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula—the “U.P.”—and the etymology requires the same follow-up question that a challenging joke does: “Get it?” If you’re not there yet, try saying them both out loud: Yooper, U.P. Yoopers have been saying both out loud now for about 40 years, but it’s only in recent years that those beyond the U.P. and its geographical neighbors have begun to encounter “Yooper” in use. Yoopers refer to people who live in the Lower Peninsula as “trolls” (they live “under” the Mackinac Bridge, after all), but that nickname is still at this point too regional for entry in our dictionaries.

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Word of the Day


fiduciary \fuh-DOO-shee-air-ee\
adjective1 : involving a confidence or trust 2 : held or holding in trust for another
Examples:
“While bank trust departments have a fiduciary duty to file claims on behalf of their clients, many are overworked and understaffed.” — Business Wire, September 17, 2010

“The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals decided a case in which it addressed a variety of fiduciary breaches alleged by employees participating in an employer’s 401(k) plans.” — Peter K. Bradley, Anita Costello Greer, Michael J. Flanagan, Richard W. Kaiser, Arthur A. Marrapese III and Ryan M. Murphy, Lexology.com, May 30, 2014
Did you know?
Fiduciary relationships often concern money, but the word “fiduciary” does not, in and of itself, suggest financial matters. Rather, “fiduciary” applies to any situation in which one person justifiably places confidence and trust in someone else and seeks that person’s help or advice in some matter. The attorney-client relationship is a fiduciary one, for example, because the client trusts the attorney to act in the best interest of the client at all times. “Fiduciary” can also be used as a noun for the person who acts in a fiduciary capacity, and “fiduciarily” or “fiducially” can be called upon if you are in need of an adverb. The words are all faithful to their origin: Latin “fidere,” which means “to trust.”

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Word of the Day


lèse-majesté \layz-MAJ-uh-stee\
noun1 : an offense violating the dignity of sovereign 2 : a detraction from or affront to dignity or importance
Examples:
“That kind of suppression actually harkens back … to the 1976 coup, when the penalty for lèse majesté was increased to a maximum of 15 years in prison per count.…” —David Streckfuss, Vice News, June 3, 2014

“You can look it up, but every man who beat Roger Federer this year lost his next match. Maybe there is a psychic price to pay for lèse-majesté.” — Roger Kaplan, The American Spectator, June 4, 2014
Did you know?
“Lèse-majesté” (or “lese majesty,” as it is also styled in English publications) came into English by way of Middle French, from Latin “laesa majestas,” which literally means “injured majesty.” The English term can conceivably cover any offense against a sovereign power or its ruler, from treason to a simple breach of etiquette. “Lèse-majesté” has also acquired a more lighthearted or ironic meaning, that of an insult or impudence to a particularly pompous or self-important person or organization. As such, it may be applied to a relatively inoffensive act that has been exaggeratedly treated as if it were a great affront.

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