Word of the Day: Youthquake
What I think it means: This is another weird one. I have no idea what it’s supposed to mean unless you take the two separate words mashed together at face value that it refers to a riot of youths, or some sort of youth disruption.
What it actually means: A shift in cultural norms influenced by the values, tastes, and mores of young people. Hunh. Well, I can see how it would equate to that. Though, I feel like a quake doesn’t quite equate to something as gradual as a shift.
Word of the Day: Phreaker
What I think it means: This one’s a weird one that I’ve never heard before in my life. The spelling sounds like a mixture of freak and beaker, but I’m sure it has nothing to do with that. My guess would be it’s some sort of slang for a club kid…or a lightbulb.
What it actually means: One who gains illegal access to the telephone system. Hunh, interesting. Apparently the ph- beginning refers to the phone. And I guess the -eaker could refer to breaker, or the -ker reminds me a bit of hacker. I highly doubt I’ll use this word though.
Word of the Day: Arduous
What I think it means: Well, I know this one, so it’s not going to be a shocking result. Arduous refers to difficult–strenuous would be a smashing synonym.
What it actually means: Demanding great effort or labor; difficult. I will say, this word is well worth putting in your arsenal, because arduous gets a lot of use. It’s not just a tough task, it’s an arduous one–the implication is more dramatic and therefore evokes more of a feeling.
Word of the Day: Expeditious
What I think it means: In a quick, efficient manner. Going on the word expedite here. However, another thought sprung to mind that’d be fun–if you took the alternate root of the word and took in the direction of expedition, it could be an enterprising/adventuring person. I know that’s not the meaning of the word, but I enjoy seeing where my brain takes me.
What it actually means: Marked or acting with prompt efficiency. I knew this one already, but I think it’s a fun word worth revisiting. This one has gotten plenty of mileage in personal usage as well, though more in formal papers than fiction writing.
Word of the Day: Piebald
What I think it means: Hm. I’ve heard this countless times regarding piebald mares in stories, but I’ve never actually taken the time to understand what exactly it meant. My guess would be short haired, although I believe that’s a guess based on the root word of bald.
What it actually means: Well, I was off the mark. Apparently it means patches of black and white or other colors; parti-colored. Glad I know now though! Though I don’t think I’ll have much opportunity to use it apart from animal descriptions, at least I’ll utilize it correctly!
Word of the Day: Bucolic
What I think it means: Peaceful and idyllic–to be fair, I’m familiar with this one.
What it actually means: of, pertaining to, or suggesting an idyllic rural life.
Yeah, while this is a familiar word, I don’t really write too many bucolic scenes, since my top preference is for gritty urban fantasy.
Word of the Day: Sudser
What I think it means: Old time word for a barkeep–I’ve heard ale referred to as suds before.
What it actually means: Any movie, play, or the like that’s designed to invoke a tearful response.
I’m still going to use master of the suds at some point instead of barkeep, even if this weird word refers to the lather of a soap opera rather than dispensing dew.