What is the Word of the Day?
By Johnathan Kaye for Sussex Online Speakers
A lot of the Toastmasters experience is about learning. Since my passion is etymology, it makes sense that my favourite aspect of that learning is language.
When, at the start of each meeting, the Toastmaster introduces their "supporting cast", and the Grammarian steps up, I am all ears. I wait in anticipation for them to get to the good stuff: the Word of the Day.
The Word of the Day can be topical, in line with current events or a meeting's theme; or it can be challenging, forcing people to really think about what they want to say; or they can be off-the-wall, strange, and unusual.
Some of my favourites:
From Middle French genereux, and its source, Latin generōsus (“of noble birth”, “Superior”), from genus (“race, stock”), which itself stems from the Proto-Indo-European *ǵenh₁- (“to produce, beget”).
Examples of usage are:
Noble in behaviour or actions; principled, not petty; kind, magnanimous. [from 16th c.]
Willing to give and share unsparingly; showing a readiness to give more (especially money) than is expected or needed. [from 17th c.]
Large, more than ample, copious. [from 17th c.]
Intense and eager enjoyment, interest, or approval
"Her energy and enthusiasm for life"
Enthusiasm: Possessed by a god’s essence
Enthuse: Possessed by a god
Enthusiast: a zealot, one who believes themselves possessed of divine revelations.
Enthusiastic: pertaining to irrational delusion in religion
From Old English: Hearm + Gleo, (meaning “a positive feeling gained from another’s suffering”);
Middle-English: Armglee (“laughing at the butt of the joke”);
‘I had an armgly feeling.’
‘He smiled armgly at the joke.’