Friday, August 24, 2012

Word of the Day 8/24/2012

Never-Never Land (noun) : an ideal or imaginary place

Examples: Lester seems to think he lives in some kind of never-never land where people don't have to accept responsibility for their actions. "China's pride of ownership is all too familiar to most Taiwanese, who are constantly bombarded by Beijing's assertions that they live in a political never-never land, lacking all the elementary accouterments of statehood." — From an Associated Press article by Annie Huang, February 16, 2012

Did You Know?: The phrase "never-never land" is linked to Peter Pan, although it did not originate with that creation of the Scottish playwright Sir James Barrie. In Barrie's original 1904 play, Peter befriends the real-world children of the Darling family and spirits them off for a visit to Never Land, where children can fly and never have to become adults. Then, in his 1908 sequel When Wendy Grew Up, Barrie changed the name to Never Never Land, and subsequent versions of the earlier play incorporated that change. People had been using "never-never land" for a place that was overly idealistic or romantic since at least 1900, but the influence of Peter Pan on the word's popularity and staying-power cannot be discounted.

*Ok, I knew this one... but I love how it's in Merriam-Webster's dictionary!!*

Monday, August 13, 2012

Word of the Day 8/13/2012

A-Go-Go (adjective)
1 : of, relating to, or being a disco or the music or dances performed there : go-go
2 : being in a whirl of motion
3 : being up-to-date — often used postpositively

Examples: The shop is chock-full of the latest in fashionable home decor—it's decorating trends a-go-go. "All of the major plot points are either utterly predictable or thoroughly explained by one of the characters, and that becomes kind of a drag after a while. Nonetheless, there's tons of suspense, monsters-a-go-go and strong performances from the whole cast." — From a film review by Alonso Duralde on, June 4, 2012

Did You Know?: The English word "a-go-go" has two functions. It's an adjective, as we've defined it above, but it's also a noun referring to a nightclub for dancing to popular music—that is, a disco. Both the noun and the first meaning of the adjective betray the word's origins: it's from the name of a Parisian discotheque—the Whisky à Gogo, which translates to "whiskey galore." The French club, which opened in 1947 or possibly 1948, predated the American discos that have also used the name, but the American versions undoubtedly had much to do with spreading the term "a-go-go" in English: the most famous of these, the still-operating Whisky a Go Go on Los Angeles' Sunset Strip, opened in 1964, the year before our earliest evidence of the generic use of either the noun or the adjective "a-go-go."