Today’s Best Word Ever is quidnunc: gossipmonger, busybody.

A nosy noun, from Latin, quid and nunc, ”what” and “now.” First known use: 1709. Quidnunc has a long and toothsome list of synonyms and related words: blabbermouth, buttinsky, gossip, tale-tellar, nosypants, snitch, stool pigeon, kibbitzer, nosey parker, tattletale, scandalmonger, yenta…

Once again, the nosy neighbor quidnuncs 
left Nora in a school bus stop funk…

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    Today’s Best Word Ever should be OOPS, for posting two “O” words in a row, but it’s peccadillo: a slight offense.

    A noun, from Spanish pecadillo, the diminutive of pecado, “sin,” from Latin peccatum, from neuter of peccatus, past participle of peccare, “to err, to sin.” First known use:1600.

    “It was just a dozen mini glazed!” the accused doughnut thief argued with the interviewing officer. “Fault me with a peccadillo—don’t charge me with grand larceny!”

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      Today’s Best Word Ever is mandament: command, order.

      An authoritative noun, from Latin mandare, “to command,” + E -ment. Mandare: “to order, commit to one’s charge,” literally, “to give into one’s hand,” probably from Latin, manus, “hand,” + dare, “to give.”

      Mom was adamant about good manners; “Say please and thank you,” “Use your napkin,” and “Hold the door open for others” became known in the household as Mom’s Mandaments.

      Thumbnail for version as of 23:38, 19 October 2007

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        Today’s Best Word Ever is inurbanity: the lack of refinement, courtesy.

        A noun, from Latin inurbanus, in- + urbanus, “belonging to the city,” “refined.” “Urbanity,” 1530s, from French urbanité, 14th century, or directly from Latin urbanitas, from urbanus.

        Miss Aubergine Crumpett wept graceful tears into her lavender-scented hankie. “The first luncheon of The Crumpett School of Comportment was a calamity: my students remain coarse and rude and marked by inurbanity!” 

        Thumbnail for version as of 16:56, 10 October 2009

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          Today’s Best Word Ever is gracility: slenderness; gracefulness.

          A noun, from Latin gracilis, “slender, thin; plain, simple.” First known use, 1623.

          We watched her scale the rocky cliff with a mountain goat’s agility, marveling—as she waved triumphantly from the summit—at her parkour practitioner’s gracility.


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            Today’s Best Word Ever is erubescent: reddening.

            A flushing, blushing adjective, from Latin erubescent-, erubescens, present participle of erubescere, “to grow red.”
             He handed her the flowers—“just because”—and she turned as erubescent as the pink roses in the bouquet.

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              Today’s Best Word Ever is vulpine: fox-like, foxy, cunning, crafty.

              An adjective, Middle English, 1620s, from Latin vulpinus, “pertaining to a fox,” from vulpes, “fox.”

              Roxy moved with vulpine grace among the bleating crowd—a sharp-toothed grin for every mommy in the gym—her target the PTO presidency.

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                Today’s Best Word Ever is trilemma: a quandary involving the struggle to determine which one of three courses to take.

                A noun, tri + lemma,  from Latin, or Greek, tria  “three,” combined with Greek lemma “something received or taken; an argument; something taken for granted”; 1560s, first used mathematically.

                Carol could not solve her brewing latte trilemma: tall, grande, or venti? 


                Once you’ve decided, would you care for a slice of Snowy Day Bundt Cake to enjoy with your java?

                Is that here or to go?


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                  Today’s Best Word Ever is singultus: hiccup.

                  A noun with medical overtones, from the Latin,  meaning “a sob, a speech broken by sobs.” More familiar to us, “hiccup,” stems from hickop (1570s), a word intended to imitate a hiccup’s sound. According to the Online Etymology Dictionaryælfsogoða is an Old English word for hiccup, because hiccups were thought to be caused by elves.

                  Eglantine guzzled the enchanted eggnog, gasped, and topped it with a spectacular sparkle dust singultus.

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