Word of the Day: 10/19/15 – 10/23/2015

Good morning and happy Monday. My mind is still reeling from the game last night – comically reeling. Go Pats!

This week, Wordsmith is featuring “colorful” words that have made it to the English language by ways of the Dutch; I hope you enjoy the words as much as I do!

hogen-mogen (HOH-guhn-moh-guhn)

noun: a person having or affecting high power
adjective: powerful; grand

From Dutch hoogmogend (all powerful), from Hooge en Mogende (high and mighty), honorific for addressing States General (legislature) of the Netherlands.
Earliest documented use: 1639.

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“She’s all grand hogen-mogen one minute and a flirting flibbergib the next.”
Peter S. Beagle; Tamsin; Penguin; 1999.

toenadering (TOO-nah-duhr-ing)

noun: establishing or reestablishing of cordial relations, especially between nations

From Dutch toenadering (advance, approach), from toe (to) + nader (closer). Earliest documented use: 1920

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“The party and the labour federation may seem to be on the same page in opposing e-tolling, but don’t hold your breath for a toenadering even on this front.”
Cosatu and DA Lock Horns; The Argus (Cape Town, South Africa); Mar 17, 2012.

poppycock (POP-ee-kok)

noun: nonsense

From Dutch dialect pappekak (soft dung) or poppekak (doll’s excrement). Ultimately from the Indo-European root kakka-/kaka- (to defecate) which also gave us cacophony, cacography, and cucking stool. Earliest documented use: 1852

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“The idea that what we do in the ballot box does not affect our daily lives is pure poppycock.”
Brian Greenspun; Hearing from the Greatest Generation; McClatchy-Tribune Business News (Washington, DC); Apr 13, 2014.

sooterkin (SOO-tuhr-kin)

noun: 1. a sweetheart or mistress
2. an afterbirth formerly believed to be gotten by Dutch women by warming themselves on stoves
3. something imperfect or unsuccessful

Apparently from Dutch zoet (sweet). Earliest documented use: 1530

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“sooterkin, my twin
how oft I see you in dark corners of this room
so like our early home, a hot dark womb”
Alison Calder; Wolf Tree; Coteau Books; 2007.

brabble (BRAB-uhl)

verb intransitive: to argue over petty matters

From Middle Dutch brabbelen (to quarrel or jabber). Earliest documented use: 1500

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“One can’t help but compare Sr. Toni’s written brabbling on the one hand, with the actual deeds of the brave Christian women who put their lives on the line in Afghanistan on the other hand.”
Joseph P. Zwack; Transfer of Power Not Peaceful; Telegraph-Herald (Dubuque, Iowa); Jan 17, 2002.

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