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Feb 12, 2018
This week’s theme
People who became verbs

This week’s words
adonize
bogart
hooverize
molochize
napoleonize

adonize
Venus and Adonis (1729)
Art: François Lemoyne

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

In the Harry Potter series, once when the Weasley twins jump on their brooms and leave school early, other students talk about “doing a Weasley”. This name-verbing happens in real life too. “To Kanye” now is to interrupt someone in the middle of something important.

While none of the above examples have made it to the dictionary, many others have. This week we’ll see five such people who became verbs. To meet these personalities, we’ll visit the world of mythology, film, government, religion, and history.

Chances are you yourself have turned the name of someone around you into a verb. Share your examples below or email us at words@wordsmith.org.

adonize

PRONUNCIATION:
(AD-uh-nyz)

MEANING:
verb tr.: To make more attractive; to spruce up.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Adonis, a beautiful youth in Greek mythology, loved by Aphrodite. Adonis’s name has become a synonym for a very handsome young man. Earliest documented use: 1611.

USAGE:
“As before, the viscount had adonized himself. His nankeen trousers and deep green fustian coat covered a ruffled shirt and simple waistcoat.”
Jo Ann Ferguson; Rhyme and Reason; Zebra; 1997.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of kind. -Charles Darwin, naturalist and author (12 Feb 1809-1882) [Note: We have replaced the ATFT originally featured today. It was unsourced.]

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