Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Home

Today's Word

Subscribe

Archives



Feb 29, 2016
This week’s theme
Well-traveled words

This week’s words
personalty
truchman
popinjay
arsenious
brio

A bonus word on this leap day: bissextile
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

If you’ve ever felt exhausted after traveling, know that it’s in the word itself. The word ‘travel’ is ultimately the same word as ‘travail’.

Imagine the era when travel time was measured in months; there were no in-boat movies during the trip, and no Holiday Inns waiting at the destination. That’s if you reach the destination at all. Travel could be torture (travel/travail are from Latin trepaliare: to torture).

Yet travel can be rewarding. It enriches us, broadening our outlook. Words also travel, hopping across continents, across languages, enriching our vocabulary.

This week we’ll see five words that have traveled far and wide to reach us.

personalty

PRONUNCIATION:
(PUHR-suh-nuhl-tee)

MEANING:
noun: Personal property: movable property, as contrasted with real estate.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Anglo-French personalté, from Latin personalitas, from persona (mask, person), from Etruscan phersu, from Greek prosopa (face, mask). Earliest documented use: 1528.

USAGE:
“If the trustee had done his duty there would have been no land, there would have been a fund of personalty.”
F.W. Maitland; Equity; Cambridge University Press; 2011.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Animals cannot speak, but can you and I not speak for them and represent them? Let us all feel their silent cry of agony and let us all help that cry to be heard in the world. -Rukmini Devi Arundale, dancer and choreographer (29 Feb 1904-1986)

A.Word.A.Day by email:

Subscribe

"The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace."

The New York Times

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

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith