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Feb 25, 2019
This week’s theme
Tosspot words

This week’s words
catchall
pinchpenny
scrapegut
rakehell
do-all

catchall
All-cat catch-all

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

You might find a person who is a know-nothing and someone who is a do-nothing. That’s OK, as long as a know-nothing is also a do-nothing. The problem begins when know-nothings reach someplace and start doing something. And they often believe they have cure-alls.

But enough about stable geniuses of the world! Instead, let’s talk about something more productive.

How many tosspot words did you catch above? Tosspots are words coined by combining a verb and a noun. Some examples: spitfire, shunpike, and scofflaw.
Important: The noun has to be the object of the verb. So shuteye is a tosspot word, but shut-in is not.

This week we’ll feature five tosspot words. What tosspot words have you come up with? Share them below or email us at words@wordsmith.org.

catchall

PRONUNCIATION:
(KACH-al)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A bag or another receptacle for holding odds and ends.
2. Something that covers a wide variety of situations.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Old Northern French cachier (to chase), from Latin capitare (to try to catch), frequentative of capere (to take) + Old English eall (all). Earliest documented use: 1838.

USAGE:
“‘Dysfunctional’ is one of those eminently useful modern words that serves as a catchall for so many otherwise complicated issues.”
Carrie Vaughn; Low Midnight; Tor; 2014.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The pain passes but the beauty remains. -Pierre-Auguste Renoir, artist [responding to Matisse on why he painted in spite of his painful arthritis] (25 Feb 1841-1919)

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