Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote in 1word1day,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day
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Thursday word: zyzzyva

zyzzyva (ZIZ-uh-vuh) - n., any of various South American weevils of the genus Zyzzyva, often destructive to plants.


The weevils themselves are not very interesting, but the word for them is: it was coined in 1922 by Thomas Casey, the first person to describe the genus in a scholarly paper. No one knows where he got it, though, as there's nothing like it in Latin, Greek, or the local Brazilian languages where it's found -- and it is widely believed he coined it entirely to make it the last word in the dictionary, which it often is. As such, it has another meaning, by way of a metaphoric extension: the last word in a conversation or argument, which even can be used as a verb, to have the last word.

I hate it when you zyzzyva me then flounce out of the room.

ETA: Plus a big thank you to brendala for filling for me while I was gone. It's good to be back.

---L.
Tags: made-up, noun, z
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