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Susie Dent
That woman in Dictionary Corner
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Susie Dent 17h
Replying to @sankrant
This sense is in the Oxford English Dictionary, used from the 16th century as an allusion to a bay horse of medieval romances that had magic powers but which (through various events) came to be associated with blind foolishness. Chaucer wrote of ‘Bayard the blynde’.
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Susie Dent 18h
Word of the day is 'bayard' (16th century), beautifully defined as 'one blind to the light of knowledge, who has all the self-confidence of ignorance'.
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Susie Dent 22h
Replying to @LucyLambDrover
Ah thanks Lucy: it's my pinned tweet and is called Word Perfect.
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Susie Dent 22h
I put this under March in my book, but today feels like a day for it.
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Susie Dent Oct 19
I love podcasting. Have just been recording some episodes of with on the joy of learning foreign languages and how far they can take you in spirit as well as body. Links to follow this week. (Contains German, happily).
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Susie Dent Oct 19
Replying to @CarolynMillerTV
Thanks so much Carolyn: let me know what you think!
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Susie Dent Oct 19
Replying to @Herring1967
Just wait till you get to be the number one best seller in computer programming language, and cat and dog humour (I speak from today’s experience).
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Susie Dent Oct 19
Word of the day is 'pavonise' (19th century): to strut around like a peacock.
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Susie Dent Oct 18
Replying to @TheJasonBlight
Wow, thanks Jason.
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Susie Dent Oct 18
British English had this pronunciation in the 16th century too, following the pattern of B, C, D etc. In the end the British stuck closer to the Greek and Latin origins (and the later French zède) while American English kept with zee.
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Susie Dent Oct 18
Replying to @nytram1968
Thank you Martyn.
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Susie Dent Oct 18
Replying to @adammansb @theipaper
Thank you!
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Susie Dent Oct 18
Replying to @nytram1968
Yes!
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Susie Dent Oct 18
Replying to @JuliaBradbury
I didn’t deserve that intro but thank you x
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Susie Dent Oct 18
Replying to @HylandIan
Sorry.
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Susie Dent Oct 18
A smile from the dictionary if needed: ‘bags of mystery’ was Victorian slang for sausages, because you never quite know what’s in them. And ‘damfino’ was their semi-polite version of ‘damned if I know’. (There’s a lot more like this in my book, should you fancy it.)
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Susie Dent Oct 17
Replying to @tompeck
There were once a lot more 'mongers' - fleshmongers (butchers), haymongers, piemongers. Some stuck and some faded away. From the 16th century the word took a figurative/derogatory turn - priests were called holy water mongers, politicians were noisemongers, etc.
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Susie Dent Oct 17
I'd love to!
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Susie Dent Oct 17
Replying to @ConorHanratty
Thank you Conor.
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Susie Dent Oct 17
Love this story (from the Oxford Book of Theatrical Anecdotes, edited by ⁦⁩).
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