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Atrabilious

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                     *  WORD A DAY  *
                 Thursday, August 16, 2007
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Fellow Logophiles, 

Good morning! Here are the answers to the word scramble: 
1) nyctalopia, 2) munificent, 3) embonpoint, 4) inveigle, 
and 5) hebdomad. 

Before we get on with the rest of the issue I want to let 
you know that I have an announcement. We are going to be 
consolidating Word-A-Day with our Trivia Today newsletter. 
As of next week we will no longer be sending out this 
publication, but your subscription will not end! 

You will be receiving TRIVIA TODAY five days a week, just 
like this email. And you will still be getting word origins 
and other fun word facts along with even more interesting 
trivia, puzzles and brain teasers. 

If this doesn't sound interesting to you, you can always 
scroll to the bottom of this page and unsubscribe and your 
email address will not be merged with the TRIVIA list. 

But hopefully you'll stick around for the fun. 

Okay, on with today's Word-A-Day and don't forget to check 
back tomorrow for the farewell issue!

Sincerely,

Carly

P.S. You can discuss this issue or any other topic in the
new Word A Day forum. Check it out here... Word A Day Forum

                             *

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WORD:  atrabilious   at-ruh-BIL-yuhs  (adjective) 

: Melancholic; gloomy. 

SYNONYMS: * irritable 
          * peevish 
          * crabby 

WORD WISE: Atrabilious is from Latin atra bilis, black 
(atra) bile (bilis). It is a translation of Greek melan-
kholia (see melancholy), from melan-, black + khole, bile. 

QUOTE: Captain Aubrey's steward [was] an ill-faced, ill-
tempered, meagre, atrabilious, shrewish man who kept his 
officer's uniform, equipment and silver in a state of exact, 
old-maidish order come wind or high water. 
--Patrick O'Brian, The Hundred Days 


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BONUS WORD OF THE DAY:  gossamer   gossemer  (noun)

: A fine film of cobwebs, often seen floating in the air 
or covered with dew on the ground 
: Fabric or gauze that is delicate, sheer, and soft 

Fourteenth century. Probably from goose + summer, a period of 
mild autumn weather when goose was in season and such webs 
were often seen in the air. 


                  OBSCURE AND UNUSUAL WORDS
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1)  horripilation   haw rippi laysh'n  (noun) 
    : the standing on end of somebody's hair, e.g., because 
    of fear or cold 

    Mid-17th century. From the late Latin stem horripilation-, 
    from, ultimately, Latin horripilare "to become hairy," 
    from horrere "to stand on end" + pilus "hair." 

2)  tawdry   tawdree  (adjective) 
    : gaudy, cheap in appearance, and of inferior quality 

    Early 17th century. Shortening of tawdry lace, an alter-
    ation of St. Audrey's lace. 


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