Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Word usage

Doing the crossword today, I am across the clue "Marriageable" - which turned out to be NUBILE. According to the Wordbook (Princeton University) dictionary nubile is an adjective meaning "of girls or women who are eligible to marry". This is not the meaning I had ascribed to "nubile" - I had thought of this as "buxom" - as in healthily plump and vigorous with pleasing curves. But apparently not so either - according to Wordbook, in 1973 nubile was first used in sense of "sexually attractive". As the Readers Digest used to say, and probably still does, "it pays to increase your wordpower".

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