Today’s word of the day is indicia, a plural noun meaning “identifying marks” or “indications.” It’s a favorite of legal minds: “If the defendant is dishonorable, it can take advantage of this window by doing everything possible to cover its tracks; documents will be shredded, electronic evidence will be scrubbed, and any other indicia of wrongdoing will disappear.” It’s from the Latin plural of indicium, a notice, information, discovery, sign, mark, token.
Today’s word of the day is pluck. Naturally, if we’re going to choose a word that seems so ordinary, we’re going to tell you about a meaning that isn’t. This pluck is the heart, liver, windpipe, and lungs of a sheep, ox, or other animal used as butchers’ meat. It’s also used figuratively or humorously for similar parts of a human being, especially when talking about “having the pluck” or “being plucky,” meaning, “showing courage and spirit in trying circumstances” or “being bold or brave.” In other words, “having the guts or the stomach to do something” or “showing intestinal fortitude.”
Why doesn’t anyone ever say, “He has the belly button to do what’s right?”
Today’s word of the day is sumph, a Scots and English dialect word meaning “dunce or blockhead.” Such a person is sumphish and practices sumphishness. Other lesser-known terms meaning “dunce or blockhead” are boodle, cabbage-head, clodpoll, dizzard, duncepoll, funge, gaby, goff, gomerel, grouthead, groutnoll, leatherhead, loggerhead, niddy, and pigsconce.
Today’s word of the day is warkamoowee, a canoe with outriggers, formerly used at Point de Galle on the southern end of Sri Lanka.
Today’s word of the day is wattle, a fleshy, wrinkled, often brightly colored fold of skin hanging from the neck or throat, characteristic of certain birds, such as chickens or turkeys, and some lizards, especially lounge lizards.
Ah, there’s nothing like dusting off an old derogation. Today’s word of the day is papelard, “a dissembler; a flatterer; a hypocrite.” It’s been little used in English since Chaucer put it to work, but it’s been slightly more common in French, from which it comes. The noun for what a papelard practices, papelardie, means “hypocrisy” or pope-holy, another obscure and disused term.
Today’s word of the day is cashew, the kidney-shaped seed of a tropical American evergreen tree, Anacardium occidentale.
This is the fruit that contains the nut. Photo by Joao Vicente, used under a Creative Commons license.