Set 41 – Five New Words for Feb 10

Theme – Words from Royalty

1. interregnum

MEANING:
noun: The period between the end of a reign and the beginning of the next; a time when there is no ruler.

USAGE:
“Janet Yellen was acting chairwoman during the weekend interregnum.”

2. basilic

MEANING:
adjective: Kingly; royal.

NOTES:
Many things are named after this kingly word: plants, animals, architecture, and more. Basil, the aromatic herb of the mint family, is named so because it was used in royal preparations for medicine, bath, etc. A large vein of the upper arm is called the basilic vein due to its supposed importance. The basilisk lizard (and the legendary reptile) are named for their crown-like crest. In ancient Rome, a basilica was a large public court building and the word began to be applied to churches of the same form.

USAGE:
“The fair Prince Filiberto solemnly approached the Pope. … ‘Are You quite good now?’ the boy continued, with great black basilic eyes.”

3. kingdom come

MEANING:
noun:
1. The next world; heaven.
2. A place or future time very remote; the end of time.

USAGE:
“Television channels have found a lazy template, putting out one or the other opinion poll every week and discussing it till kingdom come.”

4. royal road

MEANING:
noun: An easy way to achieve something.

ETYMOLOGY:
According to the philosopher Proclus, when King Ptolemy asked for an easy way to learn, Euclid replied that there is no royal road to geometry. Royal Road was a highway in ancient Persia. Earliest documented use: 1793.

USAGE:
“Although no royal road for malaria control exists, research can provide solutions.”

5. kingmaker

MEANING:
noun: A person or organization having great power and influence in the selection of a candidate for an important position.

ETYMOLOGY:
The term was originally applied to Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, as “Warwick the Kingmaker” during the Wars of the Roses. Earliest documented use: 1595.

USAGE:
“In recruiting them for SNL, Lorne Michaels has played kingmaker to some of US comedy’s biggest names. ‘Think the Godfather with a whoopee cushion’, one critic wrote.”

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