Word Of The Day 2-23-2017

eddish

 

An aftergrowth of grass (or other plants) which grows after it has been been mowed; also, a field of such growth.

The hay was gathered from the fields, and cattle were turned on to the eddish.
Sons and Lovers

‘When wheat upon eddish (stubble), ye mind to bestowe Let that be the first of the wheat ye do sowe’; and
A Short History of English Agriculture

In Leicestershire and Cambridgeshire the name _eddish_ prevails, I am told, and hence _eddish cheese_, made from the milk of cows which have grazed eddish.
Notes and Queries, Number 196, July 30, 1853 A Medium of Inter-communication for Literary Men, Artists, Antiquaries, Genealogists, etc

The origin of ‘eddish’ is uncertain; but probably from Middle English ‘eddish’ (found only in compounds: e.g. ‘eddish-hen’ (quail), ultimately from Old English ‘edisc’ (an eddish or aftermath; pasture; enclosed pasture, park).

Word Of The Day 2-21-2017

Distaff

adjective
DISS-taff

Definition

1 a : related through a mother

b : inherited or derived from the female parent

2 : female

Examples

“Lord Robert Walsingham de Vere St. Simon, second son of the Duke of Balmoral.… The Duke, his father, was at one time Secretary for Foreign Affairs. They inherit Plantagenet blood by direct descent, and Tudor on the distaff side.” — Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor,” 1892

“One hint that the article was aimed more at the distaff side was in the second of 15 trends it listed, namely: ‘Meet Workleisure: Athleisure is taking on the workplace.’ The illustrations were of women, the brands mentioned were feminine lines and, well, that whole concept is just too burdensome to plan and too pricey for my closet.” — Mike Tighe, The La Crosse (Wisconsin) Tribune, 29 Dec. 2016

Did You Know?

The word distaff was first used for a short staff that held a bundle of fibers—of flax or wool, for example—ready to be spun into yarn or thread. Since spinning was a basic daily task customarily done by women, the distaff came to be the symbol for the work or domain of women. This symbolic use of the noun distaff dates back to the time of Chaucer and is found in several works by Shakespeare. Eventually distaff came to be used for the female branch of a family and then as an adjective, as in “the distaff side of the family.”

Word Of The Day 2-20-201

Onus

noun
OH-nuss

Definition

1 :burden

2 : a disagreeable necessity :obligation

3 :blame

4 :stigma

Examples

Management has made it clear that the onus is on employees to ask for further training if they don’t understand the new procedures.

“I feel very fortunate that I never got into this business as a beauty queen. Even back in high school, the actors I idolized were the chameleons. That really took the onus off of what I looked like, and what a beautiful woman is supposed to look like.” — Connie Britton, quoted in The New York Times, 15 Dec. 2016.

Did You Know?

Understanding the etymology of onus is not at all burdensome; it’s as simple as knowing that English borrowed the word—spelling, meaning, and all—from Latin in the 17th century. We can also add that it’s a distant relative of the Sanskrit word for “cart” (a vehicle that carries a burden). English isn’t exactly loaded with derivatives of Latin onus, but the root did give us onerous (“troublesome”) and exonerate (“to clear from accusation or blame”—thus, “to unburden”). Additionally, our legal language has onus probandi, which is often shortened to onus. It means “burden of proof“—that is, the obligation of proving a disputed assertion in a court of law.