WBW #69

polyptoton (plural polyptota)

ORIGIN: Late Latin, from Greek polyptōton, neuter of polyptōtos using many cases of the same word, from poly- + ptōtos (from piptein to fall, influenced in meaning by Greek ptōsis case)

DEFINITION: the rhetorical repetition of a word in a different case, inflection, or voice in the same sentence

SENTENCE: The most common example I’ve seen of polyptoton in English is Tennyson’s “my own heart’s heart, and my ownest own.”

WHY IT’S INTERESTING: I happen to like words that originated from Greek, and this is no exception. The word also has a slightly odd pronunciation: the accent is on the third syllable, not the second.

WBW #68

ORIGIN: alteration of earlier bletherskate, from blether + skate (fish)


1: a blustering, talkative and often incompetent person

2: nonsense, blather

3: ruddy duck

SENTENCE: The worst kind of blatherskite is the one that follows you around all the time.

WHY IT’S INTERESTING: Fortunately, I don’t live around any blatherskites, but if I did, they’d probably drive me crazy.

Giving Back

Today, I learned about giving back, doing things for others–Project C.U.R.E., to be exact. (C.U.R.E. stands for Commission on Urgent Relief and Equipment.) How did I learn this? Well, my father and I went to the Covenant Children’s Hospital in Lubbock. We were there to pick up 90 boxes full of medical supplies, along with 43 individual bags containing one complete surgical kit each.

The work was laborious and took a few hours, but I’m glad that I’m able to help Project C.U.R.E.’s cause–to deliver medical supplies to developing countries. In fact, all of the boxes and bags just barely fit into the trailer we’re delivering them in!

We’re going to be delivering all of these supplies to the Project C.U.R.E. warehouse in Denver, Colorado. (We’re actually driving there right now, at the time of this writing.)

If you would like to learn more about Project C.U.R.E., please go to http://www.projectcure.com.

WBW #67


ORIGIN: intern + -ing

DEFINITION: present participle of intern (if you click the link, go to the second noun form of intern)

SENTENCE: The college graduate recently started interning for the position of assisting the IT department.

NOTE: This word was the winning word of the twelfth National Spelling Bee, which was won by Jean Trowbridge.

WBW #66


ORIGIN: Middle English


obsolete: intelligent

2: capable of being understood or comprehended

3 a: apprehensible by the intellect only: purely conceptual

3 b: relating to something that is beyond perception: supersensible, suprasensuous

SENTENCE: Intelligible writing is clear and not incomprehensible.

NOTE: This word was the winning word of the eleventh National Spelling Bee, which was won by Clara Mohler.