Word of the Day : May 8, 2011


noun AP-ul-sawss


1 : a relish or dessert made of apples stewed to a pulp and sweetened

2 : bunkum, nonsense

Did You Know?

English offers a smorgasbord of words for "nonsense," some of which are better known as words for food. We have "baloney," "spinach," "rhubarb," and "toffee," not to mention "full of beans." And if none of those offerings are to your taste, you can say "that's pure banana oil!" Seemingly innocuous "applesauce" was first introduced to this menu back in the early 20th century. Back then, there may have been some bias against the real stuff. Poet Wallace Stevens’s turn-of-the-century description of a meal consisting of "some unnameable smathering of greasy fritters . . . and of course the inevictable applesauce" shows a lack of respect that must have been shared by others.


"All I ever have handed me is a lot of applesauce from the numerous friends who drink my drinks and eat my provender." -- Theodor Geisel, in a letter, circa 1927

"I suppose that the disdain is for Hornby's vernacular style (conversational, casual, and thoughtful but not 'written'), his unashamed populism, and his sweet but flawed characters. To this attitude I say: applesauce." -- From a review by Adam Woog in The Seattle Times, October 2, 2009

Name That Synonym

What word for nonsense begins with "t" and has 3-syllables, the last of which rhymes with "lot"? The answer is ...


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