No, the Word of the Day isn’t “Discontinuation.” We’re discontinuing the Word of the Day. Our reasons are twofold:

First, it isn’t our content. We’ve never claimed it was our content, but it’s a little nonsensical for us to slap a website’s feature on our blog every day. It’s their feature. For the record, if you want to keep receiving Words of the Day, sign up for the email system on (left side of the page).

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If you’re interested in vocabulary, we’d recommend victoriousvocabulary, wordthink,, and the Merriam-Webster Word of the Day.

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The Team

sciamachy \ sahy-AM-uh-kee \, noun:

  1. an act or instance of fighting a shadow or an imaginary enemy.
No, our man walks out of choice, and walks because only on foot can he engage in the sciamachy  essential to his trade: fencing with the shadows of hat brims, gun muzzles and arms flung across brickwork by the beams of Kliegs.
Will Self, Walking to Hollywood: Memories of Before the Fall , 2010
It further tends to leave the self in disarray, without an orientation. And it risks remaining wastefully engaged in psychological sciamachy a struggle with shadows or imaginary enemies.
Eric Sigg, The American T.S. Eliot: A Study of the Early Writings , 1989
Sciamachy  is derived from the Greek skiamakhia , which translates literally to "fighting in the shade,” giving name to the practice in ancient Greece of instructors teaching in shaded public places, such as porches and groves.


malinger muh-LING-ger verb:

1. to pretend illness, especially in order to shirk one’s duty, avoid work, etc.

Because he twice slapped battle-stressed soldiers in Sicily who, he thought, were merely malingering, he was denied a major command in the Normandy landings.

— Bernard Knox, “Scorched Earth,” The New York Times, 1999

It is impossible to determine exactly what inspired Mary’s various symptoms, but her own and other family members’ letters suggest that her suffering may have been a combination of hypochondria, conscious histrionics and malingering, and unconscious rebellion against her father.

—Caroline Fraser, God’s Perfect Child: Living and Dying in the Christian Science Church, 1999

Malinger  derives from French malingre"sickly," perhaps from Old French mal"badly" + heingre"lean, thin.”


columbine \KOL-uhm-bahyn, -bin, adjective:

1. dovelike; dove-colored.
2. of a dove.

For it is not possible to join serpentine wisdom with columbine innocency, except men know exactly all the conditions of the serpent: his baseness and going upon his belly, his volubility and lubricity, his envy and sting, and the rest; that is, all forms and natures of evil …
— Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning, 1605
Com forth now with thyne eyen columbyn. / How fairer been thy brestes than is wyn.
— Geoffrey Chaucer, “The Merchant’s Tale,” The Canterbury Tales, 1387–1400

Columbine is derived from the Latin columba meaning “dove.” The columbine flower was so named because of its resemblance to a cluster of doves.


razz \raz, verb:

1. Slang. to deride; make fun of; tease.

1. raspberry; any sign or expression of dislike or derision.

They razz each other over every play, throw stuff across the room, and laugh deep belly laughs over cutting remarks.
— Elsa Kok Colopy, 99 Ways to Fight Worry and Stress, 2009
He wouldn’t have razzed just me. He would have razzed my Abstract Expressionist pals, too, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko and Terry Kitchen and so on …
— Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard: A Novel, 1987

Razz is a shortened variant of raspberry, a colloquialism for a rude sound used to express mockery or contempt. It entered English in the early to mid-1900s.


toothsome \TOOTH-suhm, adjective:

1. pleasing to the taste; palatable: a toothsome dish.
2. pleasing or desirable, as fame or power.
3. voluptuous; sexually alluring: a toothsome blonde.

It was filled with friandises, with luscious and toothsome bits—the finest of fruits, pates, a rare bottle or two, delicious syrups, and bonbons in abundance.
— Kate Chopin, The Awakening, 1899
Strictly judged, most modern poems are but larger or smaller lumps of sugar, or slices of toothsome sweet cake—even the banqueters dwelling on those glucose flavors as a main part of the dish.
— Walt Whitman, “An Old Man’s Rejoinder,” 1890

Toothsome entered English in the 1560, joining the word tooth, denoting “sense, liking,” with the adjective-forming suffix –some.


Salchow \SAL-kou, noun:

Ice Skating. a jump in which the skater leaps from the back inside edge of one skate, making one full rotation of the body in the air, and lands on the back outside edge of the other skate.

When she cinches the double salchow, the crowd cheers even louder than before.
— Carlin Flora, “Call of the Ice,” Psychology Today, 2006
Landing a difficult quadruple salchow-triple toe loop combination and attempting two additional quads, Goebel showed enough improved artistry from a year ago to win his first national title.
— Jere Longman, “Figure Skating: Kwan and Goebel Surmount Stumbles,” The New York Times, 2001

Salchow entered English courtesy of Swedish figure skater Ulrich Salchow, who invented the jump and first performed it in 1909.


moiety \MOI-i-tee, noun:

1. a half.
2. an indefinite portion, part, or share.
3. Anthropology. one of two units into which a tribe or community is divided on the basis of unilineal descent.

Tom divided the cake and Becky ate with good appetite, while Tom nibbled at his moiety.
— Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, 1876
Poor Federigo, although his necessity was extreme and his grief great, remembering his former inordinate expenses, a moietywhereof would now have stood him in some stead, yet he had a heart as free and forward as ever, not a jot dejected in his mind, though utterly overthrown by fortune.
— Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375), “The Falcon,” Little Masterpieces of Fiction, 1905

Moiety comes from Old French meitiet, from Late Latin medietas, from Latin medius, “middle.”


bestiary \BES-chee-er-ee, BEES-, noun:

a collection of moralized fables, especially as written in the Middle Ages, about actual or mythical animals.

It was pieced together into no named pattern native to this country, not star flower or flying bird of churn dasher or poplar leaf, but was some entirely made-up bestiary or zodiac of half-visionary creatures.
— Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain, 1997
An inexperienced heraldist resembles a medieval traveler who brings back from the East the faunal fantasies influenced by the domestic bestiary he possessed all along rather than by the results of direct zoological exploration.
— Vladamir Nabokov, Speak, Memory, 1951

Bestiary is from the Latin bestiaries meaning “a fighter against beasts in the public entertainments.” It entered English in the 1620s.


august \aw-GUHST, adjective:

1. venerable; eminent: an august personage.
2. inspiring reverence or admiration; of supreme dignity or grandeur; majestic: an august performance of a religious drama.

Lafayette spoke, and bade farewell to Lamarque: it was a touching and august moment,—all heads were uncovered, and all hearts beat.
— Victor Hugo, Les Misérables (in translation), 1862
Now, deserted by his monarch, far from home, trapped in the Poder Tower laboratory as the chief alchemist involved in the longevity elixir, this august gentleman had to use all his ingenuity and cunning to simply save his own life.
— Frances Sherwood, The Book of Splendor, 2003

August comes from the Latin augustus meaning “venerable, noble.” It entered English in the 1660s.