The host of the radio show jokingly introduced the pundit as "a soothsayer of the old-fashioned sort, possessed of a mystical ability to predict the winner of any election."
"New York Fashion Week kicks off Thursday, which means hundreds of women will trot about the city in weather-inappropriate shoes, and fashion soothsayers will scrutinize every stitch on the catwalks to make their trend predictions." From an article by Christopher Muther in The Boston Globe, February 6, 2014
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The origins of today's word are straightforward: a "soothsayer" is someone who says sooth. You may, however, find that less than enlightening! "Sooth" is an archaic word meaning "truth" or "reality" that dates from Old English and was used until about the first half of the 17th century. (It is believed to share an ancestor with words suggesting truthfulness and reality in Old Norse, Greek, Old High German, Sanskrit, Latin, and Gothic languages.) "Soothsayer" itself has been documented in print as far back as the 14th century. Today, it is also a moniker of the insect the mantis, whose name means "prophet" in Greek.
Test Your Memory: What is the meaning of "pusillanimous," our Word of the Day from February 1? The answer is
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