Good morning! This week, Wordsmith introduces (or reintroduces) us to words with food-related origins. Enjoy!

bouillabaisse (boo-yuh-BAYS, BOO-yuh-bays, BOOL-yuh-bays, bool-yuh-BAYS)

1. a rich and spicy fish stew or soup
2. a mixture of incongruous things

From French bouillabaisse, from Provençal bouiabaisso, from Latin bullire (to boil) + bassus (low). Earliest documented use: 1855

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“Though he was born and raised in Southern California, Kish has an odd, almost foreign-sounding accent — a bouillabaisse of Canadian, British, and relaxed Los Angeleno.”
Michael Finkel; The Blind Man Who Taught Himself To See; Men’s Journal (New York); Mar 2011

cherry-pick (CHER-ee-pik)

verb transitive: to pick in a highly selective manner. Example, to cherry-pick data to suit a hypothesis

From the idea of picking the best cherries from a tree. Earliest documented use: 1966

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“Inevitably, there will be factions that cherry-pick findings from our study to bolster their agendas.”
Michael Casserly; A Cap on the Amount of Testing Time is the Wrong Answer for Schools; The Washington Post; Oct 30, 2015.

rechauffe (ray-sho-FAY)

noun: 1. warmed leftover food
2. rehash: old reworked material

From French réchauffé (reheated, rehashed), from chauffer (to warm), from Latin calefacere (to make warm), from calere (to be hot) + facere (to make). Other (some hot, some not) words derived from the Latin root calere are chafe, nonchalant, calefacient, and chauffeur (literally, a stoker, who warmed up the engine in early steam-driven cars). Earliest documented use: 1778

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“Lines like that inspire forgiveness for what is essentially sitcom rechauffe.”
Choice; Sunday Times (London, UK); Jun 29, 2014.

saccharine (SAK-uh-rin, -REEN, -ruhn, -ryn)

adjective: excessively sweet, sentimental, or ingratiating

From Latin saccharum (sugar), from Greek sakkharon, from Sanskrit sarkara (gravel, sugar). Earliest documented use: 1674

Notes (from Wordsmith)
The name of the synthetic sweetening compound, saccharin, is derived from the same Latin word as today’s term. The compound was first produced in 1879, but the usage of the word saccharine goes much earlier. For example, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in 1841:
“One might find argument for optimism in the abundant flow of this saccharine element of pleasure in every suburb and extremity of the good world.”

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“The most preposterous notion that Homo sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.”
Robert A. Heinlein; Time Enough for Love; Putnam; 1973

farrago (fuh-RAH-goh)

noun: a confused mixture

From Latin farrago (mixed fodder). Ultimately from the Indo-European root bhares- (barley), which also gave us barn, barley, and farina. Earliest documented use: 1637

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“Max Landis’s script cobbles together a farrago of cod* psychology and makeshift backstory to prop up a plot that never finds any cohesive direction.”
Donald Clarke; Creaking at the Seams; Irish Times (Dublin) Dec 4, 2015.
* not genuine

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