Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About | Media | Search | Contact  


Home

Today's Word

Subscribe

Archives



Jun 18, 2018
This week’s theme
Coined words

This week’s words
kinesics
agnostic
googol
inscape
blurb

kinesics
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

People claim that Shakespeare coined thousands of words. It’s erroneous to say Shakespeare must have coined a word because the first citation we have is from his work.

Shakespeare wrote plays for people from all walks of life. These plays were written to be watched. While reading, one has the luxury of going back and re-reading to try to understand a new word from the context. Not so, in a performance.

What has happened is that the Bard’s works have survived far better than a love letter or a pamphlet by a man on the street. To summarize, first documented use doesn’t necessarily mean a first use of the word. It may not even be the first documented use of the word. It’s just that that’s the earliest we have unearthed, so far.

That said, there are some words whose coiners we know about. This week we’ll see five such words.

kinesics

PRONUNCIATION:
(kuh/ky-NEE-siks/ziks)

MEANING:
noun: The study of body movements, such as gestures or facial expressions, as a form of communication.

ETYMOLOGY:
Coined by the anthropologist Ray Birdwhistell (1918-1994). From Greek kinesis (motion), from kinein (to move). Earliest documented use: 1952.

USAGE:
“And she asked herself the big question: What did the kinesics reveal? Was Edwin Sharp telling the truth?”
Jeffery Deaver; XO: A Kathryn Dance Novel; Pocket Books; 2012.

See more usage examples of kinesics in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The problem with being sure that God is on your side is that you can't change your mind, because God sure isn't going to change His. -Roger Ebert, film-critic (18 Jun 1942-2013)

We need your help

Help us continue to spread the magic of words to readers everywhere

Donate

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2018 Wordsmith