MLA Gold Award Site

Excerpt from A Word A Day by Anu Garg, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

A Word A Day

A Romp through Some of the Most Unusual and Intriguing Words in English

by Anu Garg

A Word A Day
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Jan 2003, 224 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Discover the Theme I

It is human nature to find patterns in things where there might be none, whether it is in the shape of clouds or in the arrangement of sand, in a chain of events, or in the digits of pi. Or in a list of words. What unites these words here in a common thread? You find out! Don your word-sleuth hat and discover the theme that weaves these words. Each word is another piece of the puzzle. Answer at the end of the chapter.



 

tessera (TESS-er-a) noun, plural tesserae
noun
A small piece of stone, glass, etc. used in making mosaic pattern.

This word comes to us from Greek tesseres, meaning "four," as in four corners of a piece used to create a mosaic pattern. From Latin, from Greek, neuter of tesseres, variant of tessares (four).

  • The kings delighted in playing chess on a giant checkerboard made of thousands of black and white tesserae, with live animals and people dressed as chess pieces standing on it for hours.



hypolimnion (hip-o-LIMN-ee-on)
noun
The lower layer of water in a lake that is stagnant and remains at a constant temperature.

From Greek hypo- (under) + limnion, diminutive of limne (lake, pool).

  • The cruise ship Sultanic hit the iceberg and soon it was resting among the hypolimnion layers of the lake.



decerebrate (de-CER-uh-brayt)
verb
To remove the cerebrum

noun
One who is devoid of intelligence or reason.
From Latin cerebrum (brain).

  • When Dr. Braegen decerebrated his third patient in a botched brain operation, his surgery privileges were taken away and practice limited to treating toe-nail fungus.



homonym (HOM-uh-nim)
noun
A word that is the same in spelling and pronunciation as another word but different in meaning. For example, quail (the bird) and quail (to lose heart.)
From Latin homonymum, from Greek homonumon, from neuter of homonumos (homonymous).

  • When the animal refused to come out of the cage in the middle of the circus, the animal-trainer didn't miss the opportunity to make wordplay with homonyms, "Please bear with me while I get the bear out."



extravasate (ik-STRAV-uh-sayt)
verb tr
To force to come out of a vessel, such as blood from blood vessels to surrounding tissues or lava from underground.
verb intr
To pour forth.
From Latin combining form extra- (outside, beyond) + vas (vessel) + -ate.

  • Unhappy at his wife's complaints that he squeezes the tube in the middle, Johann bought a rolling pin to extravasate the last remaining atoms of the toothpaste out.



Solution:

Of course, there was a pattern in those seemingly random words. All of these words can be typed on a standard QWERTY keyboard using only one hand - either left or right. Try it. Here are some other words that fall in this category:

  • Left hand only: abstract, reverberate.
  • Right hand only: lollipop, lollop, minikin, minimum, opinion.

Copyright 2003 by Anu Garg and Stuti Garg. All rights reserved. Reproduced by permission of the author.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Victoria
by Daisy Goodwin

"A hit…The research is impeccable, the attention to detail, perfect." - The Sunday Mirror (UK)

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
    by Kathleen Rooney

    "Effervescent with verve, wit, and heart" - Booklist, starred review

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win No Man's Land

No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien

Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.

Enter

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Ruler of the Night
    Ruler of the Night
    by David Morrell
    Amateur sleuth Thomas De Quincey is back in a mystery set in Victorian England. This time, he and ...
  • Book Jacket: A List of Cages
    A List of Cages
    by Robin Roe
    Robin Roe has written one helluva young adult debut novel. Alternating first person narratives by a ...
  • Book Jacket: Homesick for Another World
    Homesick for Another World
    by Ottessa Moshfegh
    The frizzy, freaky, funky, and frazzled all pile on in this much anticipated short story collection ...

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H W S W T Devil S H A L S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.