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lexical pursuit

  • another name for pink eye is conjunctivitis
  • guacamole is from Nahuatl ahuacamolli 'avocado sauce or stew'
  • cochineal 'red dye' comes from Spanish cochinilla, a term for the dye and insect from whose dried body it is made
  • the poppy was first recorded in English around 700, from Latin papaver, which may be related to Latin papula, 'papule,' as the flower contains rounded capsules which contain many small round seeds
  • swidden is an area cleared for cultivation by the slash-and-burn method
  • translucent means light passes through but without clarity; transparent means light passes through with clarity
  • your annulary is your ring finger

buy the book! Lexical Pursuit is a collection of a-really-interesting-thing-you-probably-do-not-know about thousands and thousands of words. The tidbits include word history and etymology, unusual or lost or uncommon words, grammar and usage, word trivia, differences between confusable words, and how words are formed.