Word Of The Day 4-7-2017




a curse of the evil eye, whereby all that the cursed looks upon will suffer bad luck.


  • If he who takes tobacco is not more to be feared than he who wears spectacles? and if spectacles, peruke, and snuff-box combined do not triple the force of the _jettatura?  The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 05, No. 32, June, 1860

  • Things have, indeed, somewhat changed since the days of Didymus, in this respect, that men are now thought to be more potent for evil _jettatura_ than women; but his general views still coincide with those entertained at the present time in Italy.  The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 05, No. 32, June, 1860

Word Of The Day 4-2-2017




Wandering over hills and mountains.


As headlong rolls the torrent of the hills
When wintry storms montivagent outpour
Their pluvious treasures from the deep purloined. 

J. F. Pennie, Rogvald: An Epic Poem, in Twelve Books, G. and W. B. Whittaker

Aircraft are all nubivagant, gorillas are all nemorivagant, and a holiday in Snowdonia could be described as a montivagant weekend.

Mark Forsyth, The Horologian: A Day’s Jaunt Through the Lost Words, Berkley (2012)


Mont-” meaning mountain.

-vagant” stems from Latin vagārī or Latin vagō, which means to wander. Same etymology as vagrant and vagabond.

Word Of The Day 3-11-2017


ob·nu·bi·late \äb-ˈnü-bə-ˌlāt, -ˈnyü-\
Popularity: Bottom 30% of word


1. To darken or obscure with clouds; becloud: a storm that obnubilated the sky.
2. To cause to be unable to think clearly; confuse: Superstition obnubilated their minds.
3. To make hard to understand or follow; obscure: an important idea that was obnubilated by poor writing.

Origin and Etymology

Latin obnubilatus, past participle of obnubilare, from ob- in the way + nubilare to be cloudy, from nubilus cloudy, from nubes cloud — more at ob-, nuance

First Known Use: 1583

Did You Know?

The meaning of obnubilate becomes clearer when you know that its ancestors are the Latin terms ob– (meaning “in the way”) and nubes (“cloud”). It’s a high-flown sounding word, which may be why it often turns up in texts by and about politicians. This has been true for a long time. In fact, when the U.S. Constitution was up for ratification, 18th-century Pennsylvania statesman James Wilson used obnubilate to calm fears that the president would have too much power: “Our first executive magistrate is not obnubilated behind the mysterious obscurity of counsellors…. He is the dignified, but accountable magistrate of a free and great people.”