Sutler (SUT-luhr) noun
A merchant who follows an army to sell provisions to the soldiers.
[From obsolete Dutch soeteler, from soetelen (to do menial work).]
Maraj was a bit disappointed to learn that sasparilla was a type of liquor served at saloons in the Old West that now days was a light, root-beer type beverage favored by children. As she sat on a stool in the soda shop wasting her time sipping on a very large glass of the stuff, she overheard two older women near the window sharing stories about ancestors who lived in Tombstone during the boomtown years of the early 1880’s.
“My great-grandfather retired here and his grave is over on Boot Hill,” said one of the women, proudly. “Before that he was a sutler with pots and pans on his wagon, and traveled constantly.”
Maraj couldn’t figure out how anyone traveling with pots and pans could be subtler than anyone else. – N
Calced (kalst) adjective
[From Latin calceus (shoe).]
While she waited for the Calced Venice sales associate to find haute couture clogs in her size, Maraj glanced at the sports section of a local paper laying open on the leather sofa. The headline “Wimbledon Men’s Seed Report” naturally caught her eye.
She wondered how sperm count could have anything to do with tennis. Maybe it was a new kind of drug test. – N
Along with countless other people the world over, I enjoy my subscription to A. Word. A. Day. that results in a daily email message with interesting, sometimes completely unknown-to-me words, along with pronounciation guide, etymology typical usage and more.
The New York Times hailed AWADmail as: "The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace."
One day way back when, I decided that for learning, it would be helpful and fun to use the words AWAD sent to me in a sentence or two. Of course I found myself going beyond that and using them in not-so-obvious ways that entertained my friends as well as myself. Sometimes I use words incorrectly on purpose. But if you know the meaning, you get the joke. It is kind of a backward way of doing things, but that's creativity, right?
The first character inspired by AWAD was Maraj (not her real name.) She has quite a few fans. At the encouragement of several persistent friends, I decided it was time to share her and the others with my new friends here at OS, and begin on the first day of 2010.
I'm offering vocabulary words I received from AWAD and what I wrote to practice using them. Tell me this isn't a much more fun way to work on improving one's vocabulary. Enjoy. Maraj and more will be back – and check out www.wordsmith.org to sign up for the free subscription. They don't know me, but for fun tell them I sent you. Like OS, it can be addictive. -- Natalie