Tag Archives: English-language lover

Muggle, n.4 : Oxford English Dictionary

J.K. Rowling - Borders books

An Example of a Muggle, a rather superior Muggle with a gift for story-telling.

Today’s OED Word-of-the-Day is “Muggle,” as in, “Whoa! Look at all those Muggles queueing up! Wonder what they’re all waiting for!”

Muggle, n.4 : Oxford English Dictionary.

The OED defines Muggle as, “In the fiction of J. K. Rowling: a person who possesses no magical powers. Hence in allusive and extended uses: a person who lacks a particular skill or skills, or who is regarded as inferior in some way.”

(Please note: the links eventually expire for unsubscribed users. They appear to be “good” for a day or two.)

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maleficium, n. : Oxford English Dictionary

Faust, by RembrandtAnd today’s OED Word-of-the-Day, in honor (or honour!) of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry:

maleficium, n. : Oxford English Dictionary. (Plural maleficia.)

The OED informs us the English “maleficium” comes from the classical Latin, maleficium, meaning evil deed, injury, sorcery.

The first definition offered for the English “maleficium” is: “An act of witchcraft performed with the intention of causing damage or injury; the resultant harm; (also) the power of Satan (rare). Now hist.”

Definition 1.b. is: “A potion or poison, used esp. in witchcraft.”

There are some great examples of the use of maleficium over the years. Drop by the OED in the next day or so to see the full entry.

In the meantime avoid any Death Eaters or other perpetrators of maleficia!

(Please note: the links eventually expire for unsubscribed users. They appear to be “good” for a day or two.)

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The Oxford English Dictionary offers its Word-of-the-Day via both email and rss feed.

Here’s the link for their rss feed: http://www.oed.com/rss/wordoftheday

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philosophers’ stone, n. : Oxford English Dictionary

Nicholas FlamelAnd today’s word of the day from the OED: philosophers’ stone, n. : Oxford English Dictionary.

The OED defines the “philosophers’ stone” as: A mythical solid substance, supposed to change any metal into gold or silver and (according to some) to cure all wounds and diseases and prolong life indefinitely.

I didn’t realise a few days ago when their word of the day was “owl” that the OED was beginning a run of Harry Potter-themed words. I look forward to seeing what tomorrow’s word is!

(Please note: the links eventually expire for unsubscribed users. They appear to be “good” for a day or two.)

Steven Fry on Language

Stephen Fry Podcast, Illustrated

Saw this over on the Petulant Poetess LJ, and had to pass on the pleasure!

*ETA* If you want to hear — or read — more Stephen Fry, check out his website, which includes a blog and podcasts for download:

The New Adventures of Mr Stephen Fry.