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Nov 1, 2021
This week’s theme
There’s a word for it

This week’s words
charientism
oracy
haecceity
balter
caducous

Previous week’s theme
Words coined after fairy tales and folktales
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

We have a new ocean on the Earth. No, we didn’t get more water from the Amazon (or order it from Amazon.com) to build this fifth ocean. It’s just that the National Geographic Society has recognized a new ocean, called the Southern Ocean, around Antarctica, because it is a distinct body of water with its unique characteristics.

So it goes with words. Most things or ideas or concepts have been around for a long time. Sometimes we coin words for them. Eventually, lexicographers add it to their dictionaries. This week we’ll feature five such words.

What are some of the things and ideas for which we don’t have a word, but we should? Post it below or email us at words@wordsmith.org. Include your location (city, state).

On to today’s word. Here’s an example of charientism. The story goes that Benjamin Disraeli or William Gladstone or someone, on receiving a book from an author, sent this response:
Thanks for sending your book. I shall lose no time in reading it.

What charientisms have you heard or come up with? Post it below or write to us at words@wordsmith.org. (Please share only original charientisms. Skip the ones you read somewhere -- we shall lose no time in reading them). As always, include your location (city, state).

charientism

PRONUNCIATION:
(KAR-ee-uhn-tiz-uhm)

MEANING:
noun: An insult disguised as a jest or a compliment.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin charientismus, from Greek kharientismos (gracefulness of style). Earliest documented use: 1589.

USAGE:
“Bryant, ever the master of charientism, cheerfully waved the thought away.”
Christopher Fowler; Bryant & May: The Lonely Hour; Bantam; 2019.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The wisest man is he who does not fancy that he is so at all. -Nicolas Boileau-Despreaux, poet and critic (1 Nov 1636-1711)

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