Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More

February 11, 2012

Word of the Day

  • catercorner
  • audio pronunciation
  • \KAT-ee-kor-ner\
  • DEFINITION

adverb or adjective

: in a diagonal or oblique position : kitty-corner
  • EXAMPLES

The café was catercorner to the salon, so after I got my hair cut I walked across the intersection to get some lunch.

"Also new to downtown is the Mars & Beyond exhibit in the Rialto building (catercorner from Sparkroot), which opened on October 22." -- From an article by Carolyn Classen in the Tucson Citizen, November 8, 2011

  • DID YOU KNOW?

"Catercorner" also has the variants "kitty-corner" and "catty-corner," but despite appearances, no cats were involved in the creation of this word. "Cater" derives from the Middle French noun "quatre" (or "catre"), which means "four." English speakers adopted the word to refer to the four-dotted side of a die -- a side important in several winning combinations in dice games. Perhaps because the four spots on a die can suggest an X, "cater" eventually came to be used dialectically with the meaning "diagonal" or "diagonally." This "cater" was combined with "corner" to form "catercorner."

Test Your Memory: What recent Word of the Day means "safecracker" or "robber"? The answer is ...

  • MORE WORDS OF THE DAY

Visit our archives to see previous selections ยป

  • FEATURED ITEM FROM OUR STORE
  • PODCAST

Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP

  • SUBSCRIBE

Subscribe to the Word of the Day e-mail

Manage Your Account