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# Word for the Day

“deliberately rude”   churlish   A churlish person is one whose middle name might as well be Rude. He’s the one who was never taught to mind his manners and avoid telling vulgar jokes at the dinner table.   Churlish has its origins in late Old English, but its modern-day meaning of “deliberately rude” developed in the 14th century.…

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# Word for the Day

Showy, bright and definitely tacky… gaudy   Something that’s gaudy is showy, bright and definitely tacky. So think twice about that gaudy rainbow-colored suit and shiny gold shoes ensemble.   Gaudy is an adjective that means “ostentatious” — in other words, flashy and in your face, and not in a good way. Someone in a gaudy outfit is probably trying…

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# Word for the Day

Peaceful or Happy… halcyon   An old man watching his grandchildren play might look back fondly on his halcyon days, remembering the peaceful, happy time of his youth.   The word halcyon comes from a story in Greek mythology about the halcyon bird, which had the power to calm the rough ocean waves every December so she could nest. Like those…

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# Word for the Day

Someone or something that is romantic and unrealistic   quixotic   Use quixotic for someone or something that is romantic and unrealistic, or possessed by almost impossible hopes. Your quixotic task is easy to understand, if difficult to achieve: establish world peace.   What a wonderful word quixotic is! While it is most often used to mean equally impractical and idealistic,…

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# Word for the Day

Used to introduce a logical conclusion hence   Hence means “for this reason,” or “therefore.” One Hollywood starlet is a huge fan of tiny dogs, hence the Pomeranian puppy peeking out of her purse.   Hence not only means “therefore.” It can also mean forward from this time. Nine months hence, a baby that has just been conceived will…

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# Word for the Day

Another way to emphatically say “unfortunately.” alas   Alas is another way to emphatically say “unfortunately.” Perhaps you meant to finish up all your homework last night, but alas, your favorite television show wound up getting your undivided attention instead.   Letting out a breathy alas in the middle of your sentence may sound dramatic or old fashioned, but…

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# Word for the Day

When your opinions are in conflict… discordant   If you believe that movies should entertain, but your friend insists that movies should inspire, then the two of you hold discordant views on the purpose of movies. That means your opinions are in conflict.   You can see the word discord in discordant. Discord is tension felt between people who strongly disagree about…