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Sep 26, 2022
This week’s theme
Words to describe people

This week’s words
timeserver
sandboy
musicaster
grumbletonian
logodaedalist

timeserver
I made an NTP joke once. The timing was perfect.
(NTP = Network Time Protocol)
Image: me.me

Previous week’s theme
Words made with combining forms
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

In a few weeks the world population is going to hit eight billion. In some countries they are worried about negative population growth. In others how to grow sustainably. Around here we have a much bigger worry.

What words would one use to call all those people?

Little by little the ocean is filled and a word at a time we fill our wordstock. This week we dipped our pail in the dictionary and brought out five colorful words to describe people.

What words do you use to call people in your life or people in public life? Share below or email us at words@wordsmith.org. Please include your location (city, state). Thank you.

timeserver

PRONUNCIATION:
(TYM-suhr-vuhr)

MEANING:
noun:
1. One who makes little effort at work, such as while waiting to retire or find another job.
2. One who changes views to conform to prevailing circumstances.
3. A computer that transmits precise time information on a network.

ETYMOLOGY:
From time, from Old English tima (time) + server, from Latin servire (to serve), from servus (slave). Earliest documented use: 1566.

NOTES:
Imagine a time when a human did the job of giving correct time (what a computer does now). In this job, instead of being a conscientious worker, this person was lackadaisical. What would you call them? A timeserver in more ways than one. A timeserver timeserver.

USAGE:
“He was a timeserver, awaiting the oncoming pension with all the anticipation of a hitchhiker at a truck stop.”
Ian Rankin; A Question of Blood; Orion; 2003.

“You believe in nothing firm or fixed. You are a timeserver.”
Alasdair Gray; Poor Things; Bloomsbury; 1992.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Half of the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm but the harm does not interest them. -T.S. Eliot, poet (26 Sep 1888-1965)

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