Word of the Day : February 28, 2012


adjective LIV-lawng


: whole, entire

Did You Know?

"I've been workin' on the railroad, all the livelong day." So goes the American folk standard, and nowadays when we encounter the word "livelong" it is typically in the phrase "all the livelong day" or something similar. Although we don't see "livelong" much in prose anymore poets still love the word, possibly for its two distinct, alliterative syllables. Despite the resemblance, "livelong" does not mean the same thing as "lifelong" (as in "a lifelong friend"). In fact, the words are not closely related: the "live" in "livelong" derives from "lef," a Middle English word meaning "dear or beloved."


They worked hard all the livelong day and finally fell into their beds, exhausted, well past sundown.

"The sass and vigour of American politics and attendant media coverage is a thing to behold. All you have to do is turn on the darn TV and there it is … playing out in late-night shows, in prime time and all the livelong day on the all-news channels." -- From an article by John Doyle in The Globe and Mail (Toronto), November 9, 2011

Test Your Memory

What word completes this sentence from a recent Word of the Day piece: "The play opens with the heroine's lover awakening her with a sweet __________"? The answer is ...


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