Word of the Week

An unusual word is taught every week, complete with pronunciation and definition.

My Word! September 25

Ultramarine Ul-tra-ma-rine Noun A vivid blue colour or a pigment made from lapis lazuli   The Illuminator was very careful when using ultramarine as it was a costly pigment. First known use of the word as a noun goes back to 1598!  I am sure they stole it from Latin somehow.

My Word! March 20

Tenebrific ten·​e·​brif·​ic Adjective Gloomy Causing gloom or darkness Soldiers from World War I recounted the horrors of spending months on end in the tenebrific trenches on the Western front. The first documented use of the word was in 1785 when the word was politely borrowed from the New Latin word Tenebrae, meaning darkness.

My Word! January 9

Jejune Ji-jun Adjective   devoid of significance or interest, dull juvenile or puerile lacking nutritive value   Rice cakes, even with chocolate frosting, may be filling, but they still make for a jejune meal.   This one made its way into English sometime in the 1600s, coming from the Latin word jejunus, which means “empty of…

My Word! December 19

Gibbous Gib-bous Adjective marked by convexity or swelling of the moon or a planet : seen with more than half but not all of the apparent disk illuminated having a hump   Camels are gibbous.   The adjective gibbous has its origins in the Latin noun gibbus, meaning “hump.” It was adopted into Middle English to describe rounded, convex things. While it…

My Word! November 7

Aioli Ai-o-li Noun A mayonnaise flavored with garlic and sometimes other flavors as well. Aioli seems to have become the new salsa in the condiment world. While this one can be traced to 1846 coming from the Occitan words  ai (garlic) and oli ( oil).

My Word! July 4

Initiative  In-i-ti-a-tive Noun an introductory step energy or aptitude displayed in initiation of action, enterprise   the right to initiate legislative action; a procedure enabling a specified number of voters by petition to propose a law and secure its submission to the electorate or to the legislature for approval    Many believe the Battle of Bunker Hill was the initiative of…