Tag Archives: word of the day

Bunglesome -Friday’s Word of the Day

Friday’s word of the day at dictionary.com is identified as an Americanism dating back to 1885-90. Bunglesome is characterized as or marked by bungling, clumsy, awkward, or incompetent. What really intrigued me about this word is the idea that it is considered an “Americanism”.

In case you are wondering, an Americanism is a word or phrase (or, less commonly, a feature of grammar, spelling, or pronunciation) that (supposedly) originated in the United States and/or is used primarily by Americans. Some accounts state that the term was first coined by the Reverend John Witherspoon, founding father and signer of the Declaration of Independence and president of what would become Princeton University.

Here’s are a few notable phrases and words: wigwam, pretzel, spook, depot and canyon, that borrowed from the Indians, Germans, Dutch, French and Spanish.”

Here is a list of Americanisms and their British English counterpart:

American English/British English
bill/bank note
attorney/barrister, solicitor

Read the entire list HERE.

So bunglesome is apparently an Americanism. In fact I also learned that you can add the suffix -some to a whole host of words. It makes the root word an adjective that implies more of the root word it is attaching to.

Well, I had best get to the Haiku. I’m already late, but bunglesome is too good a word to miss!

for bunglesome pols
appointed to a play a role
loyalty is key


Demonym – Friday’s Word of the Day

Today’s word of the Day on dictionary.com is demonym. It is defined as the name used for the people who live in particular country, state, or other locality: Two demonyms for the residents of Michigan are Michigander and Michiganian.”

Its origin from dictionary.com:
The name noun demonym is clearly from the Greek dêmos, “people, common people, common soldiers, (as opposed to officers) popular government, democracy, district, country, land.”. The second part of the word comes from Greek dialect (Doric, Aeolic) ónyma, a variant of ónoams “name” s very common in compounds like antonym and pseudonym. It entered English in the late 20th Century.

From Wikipedia:

National Geographic attributes the term “demonym” to Merriam-Webster editor Paul Dickson in a recent work from 1990.[10] The word did not appear for nouns, adjectives, and verbs derived from geographical names in the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary nor in prominent style manuals such as the Chicago Manual of Style. It was subsequently popularized in this sense in 1997 by Dickson in his book Labels for Locals.[11] However, in What Do You Call a Person From…? A Dictionary of Resident Names (the first edition of Labels for Locals)[12] Dickson attributed the term to George H. Scheetz, in his Names’ Names: A Descriptive and Prescriptive Onymicon (1988),[1] which is apparently where the term first appears. The term may have been fashioned after demonymic, which the Oxford English Dictionary defines as the name of an Atheniancitizen according to the deme to which the citizen belongs, with its first use traced to 1893.

I discovered that there official or common demonyms and then there are colloquial demonyms. For example, someone from the USA is officially an American or a Yankees or Yanks; Zimbabweans are also called Zimbos; the French are Frogs or Gauls; Faulkland Islanders are Belongers; Costa Rican’s are Ticos; and Canadians are Canucks. Here in the states we have Buckeyes (Ohioans), Ice Chippers (Alaskans), and Cheeseheads ( Wisconsinites). You can see a comprehensive list on Wikipedia, HERE.

There is an unspoken rule when crafting a demonym. If you’re stuck, go with what the locals call themselves.

Normally I do a Haiku but given the word of the day I am thinking only a limerick will do.

There once was a dude from the hood
Who lived life upstanding and good
Now he was no gangster
Say bro, he might answer
But demonyms fall short as they should



Phub – Friday’s Word of the Day

Today’s word of the day is phub. Dictionary.com defines phub as a slang word that means to ignore (a person or one’s surroundings) when in a social situation by busying oneself with a phone or other mobile device: hey, are you phubbing me?

Wiktionary tells us it’s a word that was created by combining the words phone and snub sometime between 2010-2014. But we’ve probably been phubbing for a bit longer, even though there was not a word for it yet. Phub, they explain, was coined by Adrian Mills at the McCann advertising agency as part of a campaign to promote the Macquarie Dictionary by creating a new word.

Have you been phubbed? It’s certainly a thing. We are attached to our phones these days, what with tweets and posts and texts that bombard us on a minute by moment basis. And by game apps; those addictive,mindless diversions that divert our attention from everything around us into a strobing screen…just one more round…a win, at-long-last. I’m must come clean. I have probably been a phubber. I may not have intentionally phubbed anyone, but I’m most certain I have done it. Not that I can recount a clear example. It’s all a blur.

I think it’s a good practice to establish rules of etiquette in this age of pocket media devices by setting up situational “no mobile device zones”. For example meal times, forcing everyone around the table to engage in conversation. Remember conversation? You don’t? When I finish this post I’ll send you a text link to Wikipedia so you can learn about it. 🤪 better yet, here’s the link…CONVERSATION. Sorry…didn’t mean to shout at you. 😊

you know, we should talk
true friends don’t let friends flubber
texting is for bots


Rasputin – Friday’s Word of the Day

Friday’s Word of the Day at Dictionary.com is Rasputin. It is defined as

1. any person who exercises great but insidious influence;

2. named for Grigori Efimovich Rasputin, 1871 – 1916, a Siberian peasant monk who was very influential at the court of Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra.

Dictionary.com gives the following summary on the origin of this eponym (a word relating to, or being the person or thing for whom or which something is named: of, relating to.):

Grigori Efimovich Rasputin (c1871-1916) was a Russian peasant and self-proclaimed mystic and holy man (he had no official position in the Russian Orthodox Church). By 1904 Rasputin was popular among the high society of St. Petersburg, and in 1906 he became the healer of Alexei Nikolaevich Romanov, heir to the Russian throne and the hemophiliac son of Czar Nicholas II and his wife, Czarina Alexandra Feodorovna (a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and a carrier of hemophilia). In December 1916 Rasputin was murdered by Russian noblemen because of his influence over Czar Nicholas and the czarina.

Rasputin, I learned, is something of a legend. He was a towering man at 6’4”, believed to be a healer with clairvoyant powers. He had a wild appearance, that earned him the nickname, the “mad monk”. Though he was married and had a daughter and two sons, he earned notoriety as a philanderer and drunkard. Oddly his promiscuous behavior was, according to him, a religious practice. He believed that in order to be redeemed of sin, one must immerse oneself in it. Word of his orgies, that he called sessions of “rejoicing”, spread, much to the displeasure of the Orthodox Church. Despite his horrible hygiene, he had plenty of willing partners and hundreds of followers who called themselves “Rasputinkis.”

Eventually his wild living caught up with him. Several attempts were made on his life. The first was made by a masked woman who stabbed his abdomen so violently his entrails spilled out. The intervention of a surgeon saved him that time.

He would eventually meet his end but, as his murderer would learn, Rasputin was not an easy man to kill. On a single night, he was poisoned, which only seemed to give him a buzz, shot four times, with one bullet directly to his head, followed by a severe bludgeoning and finally he was bound and tossed into a frozen river. An autopsy later showed that he died from drowning and hypothermia, even after being poisoned, shot, beaten and, some believe, castrated. His pickled member was supposedly displayed throughout the region, a relic of sorts, said to have properties that could cure men of impotence.

Everything about Rasputin was larger than life. But it was his sinister control over the Romanoffs that eventually led to his demise and soon after, the fall of an empire.

Today we use the word Rasputin to describe someone who has evil influence over someone in power. I can think of a few examples…

Frankenstein’s Igor,
Bush’s Cheney, Trump’s Bannon,
ruthless Rasputins


Messan – Friday’s Word of the Day

Today’s Word of the day at Dictionary.com is Messan.

Its definition from the Dictionary of the Scots Language states that a messan is…
1. A small pet dog or house dog, as opposed to a dog used for some form of work, a lap-dog 
2. (a word) used contemptuously: a mongrel, a cur 
3. A term of contempt applied to human adults signifying lack of stature or dignity; or to a child.

Dictionary.com tells us that, The English noun messan “small dog, lap dog” comes from Scots Gaelic measan “small dog,” cognate with Irish Gaelic measán, both of which are diminutives of Gaelic mess “favored (one).” Messan entered English in the late 15th century.

It’s not a word that is used often, and I couldn’t find a lot of additional info online. It is a timely word, nonetheless, for today’s celebration of Chinese New Year and the beginning of the Year of the Earth Dog. Happy New Year!

I also learned that messan is a valid Scrabble word, so if you are a game board enthusiast, keep this one in your brain vault of useful words. According to Merriam-Webster 59 playable words can be unscrambled from this gem that has a letter value of 8 points.

Of course, before I close I must admit that I have a few messans of my very own, though they do not fit the physical description as defined. Still, they think they are messans and I have a few bruises to show for it! I was able to find an obscure dictionary reference (Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia: Including Atlas of the World …, Volume 5) that actually mentioned ‘mastiffs’ in the definition. So perhaps there is an instinctual reason why my big lugs find my lap so appealing!

Have a great weekend! 😊

messan-dogs find laps
their favorite place to be
that’s a lot of love


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