Titivate is the word today. I got this one from one of the Words By Bob readers. She said the word was used in a television. She thinks it was used incorrectly, and the interviewer was looking for the word tittilate.
Here are some definitions of titivate:
To make small improvements or alteration to (one’s appearance etc.)
to add some finishing touches to.
to make smart or spruce
Synonyms for titivate include beautify, deck out, embellish, gussy up, prettify, smarten and spiff up
The word comes from a modification of earlier spelling– tidivate . It may come from the word tidy and-vate. Some suggest it follows the pattern of words like cultivate and renovate
Alternate spellings are tidivate, tiddivate or tittivate
Posted in Use the right words, Word origins
Tagged alter appearance, beautify, deck out, definition of titivate, embellish, gussy up, make small improvements, make smart, meaning of titivate, prettify, spiff up, spruce up, tiddivate, tidivate, tittivate
Lemniscate is not a term most of us use but we have seen the figure the term represents.
A lemniscate is a figure-eight shaped curve. Many, like me, refer to it as the infinity symbol.
The label lemniscate makes sence because it comes from the Latin word lemniscatus—meaning decorated with ribbons. This in turn relates to the Greek Island of Lemnos. On this island, ribbons were worn as decorations. Some think the word derives from the wool that the ribbons were made of.
The first usage of the word leminscate was in about 1781.
New Latin lemniscata, from feminine of Latin lemniscatus with hanging ribbons, from lemniscus
Carhawk or car-hawk is the word for today.
This word comes to me because I heard it talked about on a podcast I listened to yesterday called A Way With Words. If you are into words–a word nerd–like I am, I suggest you give it a listen.
The other factor that made carhawk relevant is that it has snowed here in Colorado every day for the past few days. Additionally, the temperature has been below zero when we wake up in the morning.
Carhawk is a play on words for the term Mohawk–as in Mohawk haircut. As you may know, this Native American-style haircut is basically a strip of hair down the middle of the head, with the rest shaved.
It refers to how your car looks after you wipe the snow from the windshield. On some cars, like my van, it is next to impossible to reach the center of the glass.
This strip of snow that remains is a carhawk.
I submit that it could also be called a snowhawk.