Word of The Day for Tuesday, July 5, 2011


fro•ward (FROH-werd, FROH-erd)  adj

willfully contrary; not easily managed

frowardness noun; frowardly adverb

1150–1200; O.E. fromweard "turned from or away," from from + -weard; opposite of toward, it renders L. pervertus in early translations of the Psalms, and also meant "about to depart, departing," and "doomed to die"

Synonyms: adverse, balky, contrary, headstrong, insubmissive, obstinate, refractory, stubborn, unyielding, antagonistic, antipodal, antipodean, contradictory, contrariant, contumacious, discordant, dissentient, opposed, ornery, recusant
Related Words: afterward, toward, backward, awkward, steward, forward, untoward

Sentence Examples:
• "Tell your sister for me," I recall his saying, "what a kind, good, and deserving man I am. How I love little children and [with a dry chuckle] elderly spinsters. Relate how I was born of rich yet honest parents, was reared in the 'nurture and admonition of the Lord,' and, according to the bent of a froward youth, have stumbled along to become the cynosure of a ribald age." - Eugene Field, A Study In Heredity And Contradictions, Slason Thompson

• The froward fellow put his fingers to his lips, as the little children do to blow a kiss, and when his eyes fell on that wench's, meseemed that this was not the first time they had met. - Margery, by Georg Ebers

• It may suffice to touch very slightly on some other arguments, which it would hardly be right to leave altogether unnoticed: one of these (the justice of which, however denied by superficial moralists, parents of strict principles can abundantly testify) may be drawn from the perverse and froward dispositions perceivable in children, which it is the business and sometimes the ineffectual attempt of education to reform.  - A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians, in the Middle and Higher Classes in this Country, Contrasted with Real Christianity, William Wilberforce

Sources: Dictionary.com, Online Etymology

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

Word of The Day for Monday, July 4, 2011


on•o•mas•tics (on-uh-MAS-tiks)  n

1. the study of the origin, history, and use of proper names
2. the system underlying the formation and use of words especially for proper names or of words used in a specialized field

onomastician noun; onomastic adjective

1936; from Fr. onomastique, from Gk. onomastikos "of or belonging to naming," from onomastos "named," verbal adj. of onomazein "to name," from onoma "name"

Related Words: onomatopoeia, anonymous, eponymous, synonym, homonym

Sentence Examples:
• Essentially we can identify two periods in the development of onomastics in the GDR. ... In the first period the basis was established for the mining of knowledge; in this period, the methodological bases of interdisciplinary research in the field of onomastics and the history of settlement were generally firmly established, and a major part of the material basis for analysis was processed. - Le nom propre au carrefour des études humaines et des sciences, Jean-Claude Boulanger

• The first inventory of Greek names is that of W. Pape and G. Besnlser. ...  This work remains a useful catalogue of literary names, but its utility is limited by the fact that it includes on inscriptions listed in CIG and no names attested in papyri. ... Fortunately, many other onomastic reference aids have been published over the past century. - An introduction to Greek epigraphy of the Hellenistic and Roman, Bradley Hudson McLean

• Of the other names, Shellu, Kushshu, Ḥuluḳḳu, and Zinu seem to be Semitic; at any rate they occur frequently, or in cognate forms, well known among the Assyrians and Babylonians. The others are all very unfamiliar. We are as yet so imperfectly acquainted with the onomastics of the nations surrounding the Semites that it is hazardous to attempt to locate these people. Supposing them to be all of one race, they may belong to a colony settled near Sippara, but the whole style of the language is so unlike the Sippara documents that we can hardly suppose that to be the case.  - Babylonian and Assyrian Laws, Contracts and Letters, C. H. W. Johns


Onomastics or onomatology is the study of proper names of all kinds and the origins of names. ... Toponymy or toponomastics, the study of place names, is one of the principal branches of onomastics. Anthroponomastics is the study of personal names.

Sources: Merriam-Webster, Dictionary.com, Online Etymology

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

Word of The Day for Sunday, July 3, 2011


des•ul•tor•y (DES-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee)  adj

1. having no set plan; haphazard or random; lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order
2. moving or jumping from one thing to another; digressing from or unconnected with the main subject
desultoriness noun;  desultorily adverb

1580s; from L. desultorius, adj. form of desultor "hasty, casual, superficial," lit. a noun meaning "a rider in the circus who jumps from one horse to another while they are in gallop," from desul-, stem of desilire "jump down," from de- "down" + salire "to jump, leap"; sense of "irregular, without aim or method" is c.1740

Synonyms: aimless, chance, chaotic, deviating, erratic, haphazard, orderless, rambling, unmethodical, unstable, unsystematic
Related Words: salient, salacious, saute, resilience, consilience, assail, assault, insult

Sentence Examples:
• The Devil's Dictionary was begun in a weekly paper in 1881, and was continued in a desultory way at long intervals until 1906. - The Devil's Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce

• If she had appeared to be catching a train, he might have inferred that he had come on her in the act of transition between one and another of the country-houses which disputed her presence after the close of the Newport season; but her desultory air perplexed him. She stood apart from the crowd, letting it drift by her to the platform or the street, and wearing an air of irresolution which might, as he surmised, be the mask of a very definite purpose. - House of Mirth, Edith Wharton

• His measured, springless walk was the walk of the skilled countryman as distinct from the desultory shamble of the general labourer; while in the turn and plant of each foot there was, further, a dogged and cynical indifference personal to himself, showing its presence even in the regularly interchanging fustian folds, now in the left leg, now in the right, as he paced along. - The Mayor of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy

Sources: Free Dictionary, Dictionary.com, Online Etymology

Word-E: A Word-A-Day