Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life. – Proverbs 4:13

Knowledge is the food of the soul. – Plato

A co-worker once told me that I value knowledge. Upon reflection, I think he’s right.

I hope you enjoy the words!


The Words

I generally select a word that I could not define upon seeing it (sometimes after reading the meaning or origin, I realize that I should have been able to guess the meaning). Words can come from my reading; however, most of the time they come from word-based calendars I get or online places.

Occasionally, I choose a word that I know but that has meanings I don’t know, or else has an interesting history. Once in a rare while, I post words that I happen to know but I don’t think is generally known.


The posts will contain a word, the pronunciation, the type of speech, and sometimes a comment about the word. After the word will be the definition for the previous day’s word, including when the word was first used in English, as well as the etymology. I normally document the ‘first used’ year into “early” (00-24), “mid” (25-74), and “late” (75-99) century (example: mid-1800s or late-1600s). On some occasions, I may use “very early” (00-09) or “very late” (90-99). When the ‘first used’ date is in the 1900s, I’ll provide the decade (for example, 1920s). On ever more rare occasions, I may provide a specific year; this practice is more common with recent years.

Another way to to this would be to edit the previous post with the definition the following day. If enough people want it done this way, I’ll change. Let me know.


I don’t really have a fixed set of rules; however, I don’t want to use symbols. My preference is to define words phonetically using smaller words; for example, dictionary would be DIK-shun-air-ee, using upper case for the emphasized syllable. Vowels are the difficult bit of pronunciation. It’s also complicated because English doesn’t just have ‘long’ and ‘short’ vowels (think of lake, father, and sat). I’m going to use “ay” for the long ‘a’ sound (as in lake), “ah” for the sound of the ‘a’ in “father”, and ‘a’ for the short ‘a’ (as in “sat”). For some people, ‘ay’ may look as if it should be pronounced with a long ‘i’ sound, but, for the time being, this is the best way to separate the various ‘a’ sounds.

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