Word of the Week

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

My Word! – May 6

Zwitterion – May 6 Zwit-ter-ion Noun An ion holding both a positive and a negative charge Nope, not even gonna try. This one goes back to 1906 and comes from an Old German hybrid for two.  I just sort of liked the way it looked, and it does begin with z.

My Word! April 29

Yarborough Yar-ber-oh Noun A hand of cards in Bridge or Whist containing no Aces, face cards, or cards above a nine. Hilda was very unlucky at Bridge and once was dealt 5 yarboroughs in a row. This one goes back to only around 1900 when the second Earl of Yarborough was rumored to have bet…

My Word! – April 22

Xeric Zir-ick Adjective Characterized by or relating to only needing a small amount of moisture. Most so-called air plants can be categorized as xeric. While eventually tracing back to the Greek word xeros (meaning dry), this one only came to existence in 1926 when a bunch of botantists decided they needed a spiffy new word…

My Word!

TriphthongTrif-thongNouna phonological unit consisting of three successive vocalic sounds in one syllable; three vowel sounds pronounced as oneTechnically, the word hour contains a triphthong.First used in English in 1559, but no one recalls (or cares) why.

My Word! March 11

Scotoma Sco-to-ma Noun A spot in the visual field where vision is absent or impaired The presence of a scotoma may be a symptom  of glaucoma. This one was first found in English in 1822, but of course came from Latin, and they stole it from the Greek verb skotoun, meaning to darken.

My Word! March 4

Raad Ra-ad Noun An electric catfish Ralph was shocked when it turned out he had caught a raad. I am not quite sure where raad are found, but the name comes from the Arabic word ra”ad, meaning threatener or striker, which still strikes me as an odd term for a fish.