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Sep 25, 2020
This week’s theme
Shirts & pants

This week’s words
fancy-pants
shirtsleeve
trouser role
brownshirt
seat-of-the-pants

Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner flight deck
Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner flight deck, built in 2011
Photo: Alex Beltyukov / Wikimedia

Blériot XI
Blériot XI, built in 1909
Photo: J.Klank / Wikimedia

This week’s comments
AWADmail 952

Next week’s theme
Rivers
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

seat-of-the-pants

PRONUNCIATION:
(see-tuhv-thuh-PANTS)

MEANING:
adjective:
1. Using experience, instinct, or guesswork as opposed to methodical planning.
2. Done without instruments.

ETYMOLOGY:
The term has its origin in aviation. Before modern instruments, a pilot flew a plane based on how it felt. For example, in fog or clouds, in the absence of instrumentation one could tell whether the plane was climbing or diving by how heavy one feels in the seat. Seat of the pants is the area where one sits, i.e. the buttocks. Earliest documented use: 1929.

USAGE:
“In a sprint race, he likely wouldn’t do all that well against seat-of-the-pants racers. But make it a test of endurance, which 500 miles most definitely is, and a calm/steady approach could prove to be the right way.”
Norris McDonald; Methodical Racer Kellett Takes Aim at Indy 500; Toronto Star (Canada); Aug 22, 2020.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I will not play at tug o' war. / I'd rather play at hug o' war, / Where everyone hugs instead of tugs. -Shel Silverstein, writer (25 Sep 1930-1999)

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