Alright, alright… technically I’ve cheated a bit by adding two words of the day in this, but it serves merely as a demonstration of the broad range of words available through the word-a-day email from dictionary.com.

Oh, and guess which one isn’t recognised by spellcheck?



short and stout.



1. a change or variation occurring in the course of something.
2. interchange or alternation, as of states or things.

Attempts at using these two properly (in one text!):

The penguin waddled warily in my direction. While most of the Eudyptula minor species were short but lithe, this particular specimen could only be described as fubsy. Pushing him down a hill would only result in him rolling perfectly, like a black and white not-so-fluffy beach ball.

That is, if you were cruel enough to shove a penguin down a slope. Still…wouldn’t it be hilarious?

Of course, being a penguin, Malin – named for his infrequent but remarkable demonstrations of intelligence – did not care to observe the vicissitude of the Antarctic seasons through the changes in temperature and weather as we did. He was only interested in the amount of fish readily available.

The following images are some of the results that came up when I typed the words into Google, looking for images to reflect their meaning.

  • fubsy:

Fubsy the clown doesn’t actually look fubsy at all!


Fubsy sloth in a bowl?


Cheeky, fubsy gnome up to no good.


A visual definition from Julie Rado

  • vicissitude:
download (1)

The vicissitude of seasons by Thomas Wright of Durham. Looks quite accurate!


Vicissitudes of a Rising Periodical – image borrowed from finedictionary.com


Underwater sculpture, part of Jason de Caires Taylor‘s work called Vicissitudes


A definition… of sorts. From johnsonsdictionaryonline.com


I’m thinking of establishing Word of the Day as a another regular feature. That is, using a ‘word of the day’ to write even just a sentence or two could be a way of writing a wee bit every day again… What do you think?

And you (whoever you are!) can try using them in a sentence as well!


3 thoughts on “#wordoftheday

  1. Vicissitudes – that definition they’ve given you is not really good enough. I can see that ‘vicissitudes’ would have originated in ‘change’ and ‘alteration’ and have been used in precisely that context by Milton and Newton; but today its meaning has undergone a subtle change and its almost invariably used to mean ‘trials and tribulations’ – ‘ups and downs’. It means more than just mutability- it’s a negative thing.

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