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: cuspidor

cuspidor (KUHS-pi-dawr) - n., a spittoon.



Thanks, Wikimedia!

Or spitoon, if you prefer that spelling -- a receptacle for spit, especially from chewing tobacco, so as to not spit on the floor or street. James Joyce claimed that cuspidor is the most beautiful word in English. It is, actually, the older word for the utensil, spittoon having been coined around 1823 while cuspidor was borrowed around 1735 from Portuguese cuspidouro, place for spitting, from cuspir, to spit, from Latin conspuere, from com-, here an intensifier + spuere, to spit -- so a cognate of spew.

It was an ordinary outer office, with a railing of spindles separating the telephone switchboard and two typewriter desks from two public settles and a brass cuspidor.

---L.
Tags: c, noun, portuguese
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