Word of the Day : September 29, 2013


adverb or preposition bih-TWIKST


: between


"Whatever Prabal Gurung thinks about when he is designing … he always views those inspirations from the New York crossroads betwixt uptown and downtown, historically the great divide of American fashion." - From an article by Mark Holgate in Vogue, November 2010

"The film hops back and forth from Clark's grown-up life and his Smallville, Kansas, upbringing…. Superman wrestles with his allegiances, but the quandaries of a superpowered man betwixt worlds doesn't have any real resonance." - From a film review by Jake Coyle in Ventura County Star (California), August 8, 2013

Did You Know?

"Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean; and so betwixt the two of them, they licked the platter clean." Perhaps you've always said "and so between the two of them" when reciting the tale of Jack Sprat and his wife. That's fine. "Betwixt" and "between" have similar origins: they both come from a combination of "be-" and related Old English roots. Both words appeared before the 12th century, but use of "betwixt" dropped off considerably toward the end of the 1600s. It survived in the phrase "betwixt and between" ("neither one thing nor the other"), which took on a life of its own in the 18th century. Nowadays "betwixt" is uncommon, but it isn't archaic; it's simply used more consciously than "between."

Test Your Memory

What is the meaning of "drub," our Word of the Day from August 31? The answer is …


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