Word A Day – RAKE

13 06 2008

rake \reyk\


An agricultural implement with teeth or tines for gathering cut grass, hay, or the like or for smoothing the surface of the ground.
Any of various implements having a similar form, as a croupier’s implement for gathering in money on a gaming table.

To gather, draw, or remove with a rake
To clear, smooth, or prepare with a rake
To clear (a fire, embers, etc.) by stirring with a poker or the like.
To gather or collect abundantly (usually fol. by in)

Yeah, yeah, you know the word rake. It’s a thing; it’s an action. So by now, you’re trying to figure out why I chose this word as a Word A Day selection.

Well, here’s a meaning I don’t think you were too aware of.

rake \reyk\

A dissolute or profligate person, esp. a man who is licentious; roué.

Origin: rakehell


This video posted on Kinetik’s facebook prompted this word entry.

Increasing our vocabulary one day at a time.


Word A Day – CAJOLE

12 06 2008

cajole \kuh-JOHL\

To persuade with flattery, repeated appeals, or soothing words; to coax.

Cajole derives from Early Modern French cajoler, originally, “to chatter like a bird in a cage, to sing; hence, to amuse with idle talk, to flatter,” from Old French gaiole, jaiole, “a cage,” from Medieval Latin caveola, “a small cage,” from Latin cavea, “an enclosure, a den for animals, a bird cage,” from cavus, “hollow.” It is related to cave, cage and jail (British gaol).

Increasing our vocabulary one day at a time.


11 06 2008

quagmire \KWAG-myr; KWOG-\

1. Soft, wet, miry land that shakes or yields under the feet.
2. A difficult or precarious position or situation; a predicament.

Quagmire is from quag, a dialectical variant of quake (from Old English cwacian) + mire, from Old Norse myrr, “a swamp.”

Increasing our vocabulary one day at a time.


Glenn Quagmire


10 06 2008

congeries \KON-juh-reez\

A collection; an aggregation.

Congeries is from Latin congeries, “a heap, a mass,” from congerere, “to carry together, to bring together, to collect,” from com-, “with, together” + gerere, “to carry.” It is related to congest, “to overfill or overcrowd,” which derives from the past participle of congerere.

Increasing our vocabulary one day at a time.

Word A Day – LARGESS

9 06 2008

largess \lar-ZHES; lar-JES; LAR-jes\

1. Generous giving (as of gifts or money), often accompanied by condescension.
2. Gifts, money, or other valuables so given.
3. Generosity; liberality.

Largess is from Old French largesse, “largeness, generosity,” from large, from Latin largus, “plentiful, generous.”

Increasing our vocabulary one word at a time.


8 06 2008

intransigent \in-TRAN-suh-juhnt; -zuh-\


Refusing to compromise; uncompromising.

Intransigent is from French intransigeant, from Spanish intransigente, from in-, “not” (from Latin) + transigente, present participle of transigir, “to compromise,” from Latin transigere, “to come to an agreement,” from trans-, “across” + agere, “to drive.”

Increasing our vocabulary one word at a time.

Word A Day – MIASMA

7 06 2008

miasma \my-AZ-muh; mee-\

1. A vaporous exhalation (as of marshes or putrid matter) formerly thought to cause disease; broadly, a thick vaporous atmosphere or emanation.
2. A harmful or corrupting atmosphere or influence; also, an atmosphere that obscures; a fog.

Miasma comes from Greek miasma, “pollution,” from miainein, “to pollute.”

As in the Butler University campus.