roister-doister

Pronounced: ROY-stir doy-stir, noun/adj

Notes: I didn’t know this word


Yesterday’s word

The word deflagrate means “to burn rapidly with intense heat and sparks being given off; to cause to burn in such a manner”

Background / Comments

This word has Latin roots; the main word comes from flagrare (to burn) with the prefix de-, which means “down” or “away” (instead of negation, like I had thought). From the Latin flagrare, we get “flagrant” and “conflagration”. Our word is most commonly found in the field of explosives to describe the burning of fuel accelerated by the expansion of gasses under the pressure of containment, thus causing the containing vessel to break apart. In the same way that deflagrate is an intense fire; detonate, based on the Latin tonare (thunder) is a louder explosion. Deflagrate is an older word than detonate.

First usage

The word showed up in the mid-1700s.


Rejected word

I rejected canary because most people know the definitions, but the various definitions have an interesting background: The first meaning was the bright yellow bird; it was named for the “Canary Islands” (which were supposedly named for the large dogs there: Canariae Insulae [in Latin], literally “the island of the dogs”). The second meaning was the shade of yellow named after the birds. Next came the meaning of a singer, from the bird’s singing. Finally, the “informer” meaning comes because an informer “sings”.

Published by Richard

Christian, lover-of-knowledge, Texan, and other things.

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