Word of the Day


lido \LEE-doh\
noun: a fashionable beach resort
Examples:
Sharon bought a new bathing suit in anticipation of her upcoming vacation at a luxurious lido.

“The lido on the Promenade at Grange-over-Sands has been abandoned since it closed in 1993, although there is now a campaign for it to be reopened.” — Griff Witte, BBC.com, August 13, 2014
Did you know?
The original Lido is a beach resort near Venice, Italy. The town’s name comes from the Italian word lido, which means “shore” or “bank.” (The Italian root derives from litus, the Latin word for “shore.”) By the mid-19th century, Lido’s reputation as a chic vacation destination for the well-to-do made it the envy of seaside resorts everywhere. English speaking social climbers generalized the town’s name and started using it for any fashionably Lido-esque beach.

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Word of the Day


exacerbate \ig-ZASS-er-bayt\
verb: to make more violent, bitter, or severe
Examples:
It seemed as though every new attempt at a solution served only to exacerbate the problem.

“The rise of commercial data profiling is exacerbating existing inequities in society and could turn de facto discrimination into a high-tech enterprise.” — Seeta Peña Gangadharan, The New York Times, August 7, 2014
Did you know?
Make it a point to know that the Latin adjective acer, meaning “sharp,” forms the basis of a number of words that have come into English. The words acerbic (“having a bitter temper or sour mood”), acrid (“having a sharp taste or odor”), and acrimony (“a harsh manner or disposition”) are just the tip of the iceberg. First appearing in English in the 17th century, exacerbate derives from the Latin prefix ex-, which means “out of” or “outside,” and acerbus, which means “harsh” or “bitter” and comes from acer. Just as pouring salt in a wound worsens pain, things that exacerbate can cause a situation to go from bad to worse. A pointed insult, for example, might exacerbate tensions between two rivals.

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Word the day Day


rathskeller \RAHT-skel-er\
noun: a usually basement tavern or restaurant
Examples:
Beneath the service club’s new meeting hall is a rathskeller that is open for lunch and dinner.

“Troy’s Germania Hall remains open. The club serves dinner every Friday night in its rathskeller.” — Jeff Wilkin, The Gazette (Schenectady, New York), August 10, 2014
Did you know?
Rathskeller is a product of Germany, deriving from two German nouns: Rat (also spelled Rath in early Modern German), which means “council,” and Keller, which means “cellar.” (Nouns in German are always capitalized.) The etymology reflects the fact that many early rathskellers were located in the basements of “council houses,” which were equivalent to town halls. (The oldest rathskeller found in Germany today is said to date from the first half of the 13th century.) The earliest known use of rathskeller in English dates from 1766, but the word wasn’t commonly used until the 1900s. Although the German word is now spelled Ratskeller, English writers have always preferred the spelling with the “h”—most likely to avoid any association with the word rat.

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Word of the Day


stereotactic \stair-ee-uh-TAK-tik\
adjective: involving or used in a surgical technique for precisely directing the tip of a delicate instrument or beam of radiation in three planes using coordinates provided by medical imaging in order to reach a specific locus in the body
Examples:
“Once in the OR, Mario was given a local anesthetic. His head had been shaved, his brain targeted to millimeter precision by MRIs. Attached to his head was a stereotactic frame to provide surgeons with precise coordinates and mapping imagery.” — Lauren Slater, Mother Jones, November 2005

“The center is equipped with a $5 million machine, known as a stereotactic body radiotherapy system, that zaps tumors with high doses of radiation without damaging nearby tissue and organs.” — James T. Mulder, The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY), July 18, 2014
Did you know?
At the beginning of the 20th century, neurosurgeons were experimenting with a technique used to direct the tip of a needle or an electrode in three spatial planes (length, width, and depth) to reach a particular place in the brain. At that time, the word for this technique was “stereotaxic,” based on the prefix “stereo-” (“dealing with three dimensions of space”) and “taxis” (referring to the manual restoration of a displaced body part). In 1950, “stereotactic” (based on “tactic,” meaning “of or relating to touch”) joined the medical vocabulary as a synonym of “stereotaxic.” Around the same time, a noninvasive neurosurgery technique was developed using beams of radiation. It is this procedure that is now often described as “stereotactic” and (less frequently) “stereotaxic.”

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Word of the Day


culprit \KUL-prit\
noun1 : one accused of or charged with a crime 2 : one guilty of a crime or a fault 3 : the source or cause of a problem
Examples:
After the empty warehouse burned down, an investigation determined faulty wiring to be the culprit.

“Police searched a parking structure in the Mid-City area of Los Angeles Saturday for one of two armed suspects who robbed a pedestrian but were unable to locate the culprit.” — Los Angeles Daily News, August 2, 2014
Did you know?
We would be culpable if we didn’t clearly explain the origins behind culprit. Yes, it is related to culpable, which itself derives from Latin culpare, meaning “to blame,” via Middle English and Anglo-French. But the etymology of culprit is not so straightforward. In Anglo-French, culpable meant “guilty,” and this was abbreviated “cul.” in legal briefs and texts. Culprit was formed by combining this abbreviation with prest, prit, meaning “ready”—that is, ready to prove an accusation. Literally, then, a culprit was one who was ready to be proven guilty. English then borrowed the word for one accused of a wrongdoing.

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Word of the Day


oleaginous \oh-lee-AJ-uh-nus\
adjective1 : resembling or having the properties of oil : oily; also : containing or producing oil 2 : marked by an offensively ingratiating manner or quality
Examples:
Jim seems to mistake his own oleaginous demeanor for charm.

“From swimsuits, evening gowns, and talent to spokesmodel abilities and handling a ‘beauty crisis,’ the girls go through their paces, egged on by the oleaginous emcee.” — Christopher Byrne, Gay City News (New York), July 24, 2014
Did you know?
The oily oleaginous slipped into English through Middle French, coming from the Latin oleagineus, meaning “of an olive tree.” Oleagineus itself is from the Latin olea, meaning “olive tree,” and ultimately from the Greek elaia, meaning “olive.” Oleaginous was at first used in a literal sense, as it still can be. An oleaginous substance is simply oily, and an oleaginous plant produces oil. The word took on its extended “ingratiating” sense in the 19th century.

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Word of the Day


bivouac \BIV-uh-wak\
verb1 : to make a temporary encampment under little or no shelter 2 : to take shelter often temporarily 3 : to provide temporary quarters for
Examples:
The search party bivouacked under a nearby ledge until the storm passed.

“Until Saturday, the virus had never entered the United States. But opposition to its importation via the ailing patients has been minimal, limited mainly to right-wing pundits and individuals griping on social media or eyeing the media horde bivouacked outside Emory.” — Tina Susman, Los Angeles Times, August 3, 2014
Did you know?
In his 1841 dictionary, Noah Webster observed bivouac to be a French borrowing having military origins. He defined the noun bivouac as “the guard or watch of a whole army, as in cases of great danger of surprise or attack” and the verb as “to watch or be on guard, as a whole army.” The French word is derived from the Low German word biwacht, which translates to “by guard.” Germans used the word specifically for a patrol of citizens who assisted the town watch at night. Today, bivouac has less to do with guarding and patrolling than it does with taking shelter.

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Making A Difference With Young Caribbean Minds

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