oxymoron

Pronounced: ok-see-MORE-on, noun

Notes: I think everyone knows this word, but I find the plural form interesting, as well as the background


Yesterday’s word

The word quoin is “one of the keystones forming a wall; a cornerstone”

First usage

This word came into English in the mid-1500s

Background / Comments

I didn’t recognize this word at first, but now that I think about, I may have run across this word! There is a novel by Agatha Christie called Murder in Mesopotamia, and I think that is where I ran across the word. If I am remembering correctly, a quoin was involved. I don’t have the book handy, so I could be wrong about that. Note that our word can also be spelled coign or coigne. The reason our word is pronounced “coin” is because the word is a variant of coin (coin is about 200 years older than quoin). The word comes from the Middle English word coyne/coygne, which is turn came from Anglo-French, which came from the Middle French word coin/coigne (wedge, corner, die), which came from the Latin word cuneus (wedge).

Published by Richard

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

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