Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About | Media | Search | Contact  


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ


This week's theme
Fabric words used metaphorically

This week's words
tweedy
flannel
woolly
cotton
plushy

Discuss this week's words
on our bulletin board:
Wordsmith Talk
Discuss
Feedback
RSS/XML
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Clothing -- one of the three necessities in life. No wonder words about clothing and fabrics are woven into our language. There are numerous idioms: people are advised not to wash their dirty linen in public, even adults like to have their security blankets, though emperors often don't have clothes.

The word silken can be used to describe food and voice and touch; from woolgathering to cottonpickin', the list of idiomatic use of fabric words is a long one.

This week we'll look at five terms that make use of fabrics metaphorically.

tweedy

PRONUNCIATION:
(TWEE-dee)

MEANING:
adjective:
1. Academic or scholarly.
2. Informal; casual; outdoorsy.
3. Made of or resembling tweed.

ETYMOLOGY:
After tweed, a coarse woolen fabric made in twill weave, preferred in casual wear, for example by those in academia or in the country. The origin of the word tweed is not certain. It's probably an alteration of Scots tweel, influenced by the river Tweed that flows along the border between England and Scotland.

USAGE:
"Ramrod-tall, blue-eyed and aquiline, with a high forehead swept clear of thin, fair hair, [William Hurt] even looked clever, like a tweedy young professor of letters on secondment to Hollywood."
Jasper Rees; William Hurt is Back on Top of His Game; The Sunday Times (London, UK); May 3, 2009.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the same sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart. -H.L. Mencken, writer, editor, and critic (1880-1956)

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