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Jan 31, 2011
This week's theme
Words derived from the names of places

This week's words
gasconade
milliner
helot
spartan
verdigris

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Do you wish to travel, but don't want TSA groping you or taking your unclothed picture? Well, you've come to the right place. With this week's words we'll take you to Europe. We'll explore words derived from the names of places, and the places we'll visit are Italy, Greece, and France. We'll even travel back in time and visit Ancient Greece, making three stops to pick up words along the way.

gasconade

PRONUNCIATION:
(gas-kuh-NAYD)

MEANING:
noun: Boastful talk.
verb intr.: To boast extravagantly.

ETYMOLOGY:
From French gasconnade, from gasconner (to boast), after Gascon, a native of the Gascony region in France. First recorded use: 1709.

NOTES:
Were people from Gascony full of boasts and bravado? Not necessarily. Historical rivalries lead one people to generalize others' names as having some shortcoming and some of those names become part of the language. Other examples of such words are solecism, Boeotian, and fescennine.

USAGE:
"Stanley Hauerwas's explanation is not appreciated in an era of instant broadcast and electronic gasconade."
Irony at UVa; The Richmond Times-Dispatch (Virginia); Aug 2, 2010.

See more usage examples of gasconade in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
We sometimes congratulate ourselves at the moment of waking from a troubled dream; it may be so the moment after death. -Nathaniel Hawthorne, writer (1804-1864)

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