Word of the day

Otiose  (adj) serving no useful purpose, producing no result or effect; (rare) indolent, lazy, disinclined to exertion I came across otiose used in this review of David Crystal’s new book which he co-wrote with his wife Hilary. I always enjoy David Crystal’s books, I have since I first encountered him while studying linguistics at university, … More Word of the day

Word of the day

Clerestory (noun)  In architecture, a wall rising above adjacent rooftops and having windows admitting daylight to the interior. A common feature of Gothic and Romanesque cathedrals, a clerestory provides light and air to what otherwise may be dark spaces. A clerestory may also be a design feature of modern homes. Originating in the 14th / 15th century, from late Middle English. Norwich Cathedral, a view of … More Word of the day

Word of the day

Apotropaic (adj) preventing or intended to prevent evil The British Museum has this apotropaic wand, or magic knife, in its collection: (From Thebes, Egypt. Late Middle Kingdom, around 1750 BC) Usually made from hippopotamus ivory, these magic knives would have been used to offer protection from and ward off the evil spirits associated with the … More Word of the day