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Jun 11, 2007
This week's theme
Archaic words

This week's words
stalworth
selcouth
peradventure
dehort
latchet

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Are you one of those people who love antiques? You hang around yard sales on weekends for some rare item that might be up for sale. You stop at every antique mall on your way to grandpa's house. In a way, you love to travel back in time.

If you're one of those folks, consider this week's words as unpackng the antique trunk of the English language. Linguistically, they're called archaic terms. They were once everyday words, but today they reveal their age. They have an old-time appeal.

Not that these words show any wear and tear. They're still ready to serve, patiently waiting in the pages of dictionaries, even though labeled as senior citizens of the language. They haven't called it quits. They still have their shingles up. Verily, I urge you to become better acquainted with them.

stalworth

(STOL-wurth) Pronunciation Sound Clip

adjective: Stalwart: strong, dependable, firm.

[From Middle English, from Old English staelwierthe (serviceable), from stathol (support) + weorth (worth).]

"That the theorists were on the money speaks well for the power of scientific speculation and calculation and is a testament to the stalworth pundits of the last half century who nurtured a field."
Minas Kafatos and Andrew Michalitsianos; Supernova 1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud; Cambridge University Press; Jun 9, 1988.

X-Bonus

Be careful how you interpret the world: it is like that. -Erich Heller, essayist (1911-1990)

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