Good morning and happy Monday. This week, Wordsmith will be giving us synonyms “that say the same thing, but in a softer, more oblique way.”

sternutate (stuhr-NOO-tayt, -NYOO-)

verb intransitive: to sneeze

noun: 1. something that soothes or comforts
2. a medicine that relieves pain

From Latin sternuere (to sneeze). Earliest documented use: 1745.

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“He sternutated. That broke the spell.”
Avram Davidson; The Island Under the Earth; Ace; 1969.

*This entry has been updated to reflect a typo edit that incorrectly spelled “sternulate”

For some reason the Word of the Day wasn’t delivered to my email this morning, so I’m glad they post it on their website – I’ll try to get to the bottom of the problem.

eruct (i-RUKT)

verb transitive, intransitive: 1. to belch: to expel gases from the stomach through the mouth
2. to emit violently, fumes from a volcano, for example

From Latin eructare (to vomit, belch, discharge). Ultimately from the Indo-European root reug- (to vomit, to belch, smoke, cloud), which also gave us reek and German rauchen (to smoke). Earliest documented use: 1666

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“When cars behind start flashing and beeping, and he realises that we’re eructing huge clouds of choking black smoke as we chug and jerk along, we are forced to pull over.”
Lucy Caldwell; The Story So Far…; The Independent (London, UK); May 29, 2007.

I can’t believe I’m writing this on my blog…

flatulate (FLACH-uh-layt)

verb intransitive: to pass intestinal gas from the anus

From Latin flare (to blow). Earliest documented use: 1805

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“Greg writes: I think that a gentleman should never flatulate in front of his lady. But my girlfriend believes it is a showing of trust and affection.”
John Hodgman; The One-Page Magazine; The New York Times Magazine; Apr 28, 2013.

ingurgitate (in-GUHR-ji-tayt)

verb transitive: to swallow greedily or in large amounts

From Latin gurgitare (to flood), from gurges (whirlpool). Earliest documented use: 1570

Days on which I forget or don’t have time to eat breakfast, I ingurgitate my lunch, which makes me feel terrible and still hungry.

nictitate (NIK-ti-tayt)

verb intransitive: to wink or blink

From Latin nictitare, frequentative of nictare (to wink). Earliest documented use: 1822

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“‘So why don’t we tell each other tonight? I’ll be playin’ at a tango bar.’ He nictitated.”
Isabella and Irena de Wardin; The Humming Bird; Xlibris; 2012.

2 thoughts on “Word of the Day: 11/2/15 – 11/6/2015”

  1. You have introduced confusion between sternuTate and steruLate here. I was trying to find the meaning of the latter and google directed me here

    1. Hi Leo,
      Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately this is a typo on my part – the word should be sternutate. I’m happy to read that Google directed you here, but apologize that the direction was to confusion. In my quick search for sterulate I came up empty, have you had better luck?
      Thank you for reading!

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