Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About | Media | Search | Contact  


Home

Today's Word

Subscribe

Archives



Dec 7, 2020
This week’s theme
Words derived from metals

This week’s words
brazen
auricomous
philargyry
tinpot
lead balloon

brazen
A brazen die
Photo: Maksim/Wikimedia

Previous week’s theme
Illustrated words
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

If you have ever wondered whether the words mettle and metal have any connection, the answer is yes. Earlier, mettle was simply another spelling of the word metal, as in this line from 1672: “My sword, That is made of the mettle so fine.” Over time, mettle took on a metaphorical sense of character or temperament. This branching off happens more often than you’d think. The words discrete/discreet and flour/flower (literally, the finest part of meal; finest/prime part of a plant) are some examples.

Well, let’s put the pedal to the metal. This week we are going heavy metal. Not heavy metal as in rock music.* And not heavy metal as in the periodic table.* But heavy metal, as in this week it’s all about metal, from day one to day five.

*Though you might see both if you wait till Friday.

brazen

PRONUNCIATION:
(BRAY-zuhn)

MEANING:
adjective:1. Shamelessly bold.
 2. Made of or relating to brass.
verb tr.:To face an embarrassing or difficult situation in a shamelessly bold manner.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Old English braes (brass). Earliest documented use: 1000.

USAGE:
“[Trump] denied, despite hard evidence, that he ever supported the Iraq war. Pundits were dismayed. But his supporters love him all the more for his brazen adherence to the integrity of his ‘brand’ over minor details like the truth.”
Lee Siegel; The Selling of Donald J. Trump; The New York Times; Sep 10, 2016.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Changes and progress very rarely are gifts from above. They come out of struggles from below. -Noam Chomsky, linguistics professor and political activist (b. 7 Dec 1928)

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

© 1994-2021 Wordsmith