Did You Know?
Osculate comes from the Latin noun osculum, meaning "kiss" or "little mouth." It was included in a dictionary of "hard" words in 1656, but we have no evidence that anyone actually used it until the 19th century—except for scientists who used it differently to mean "to have contact with." Today, osculate is used in geometry for the action of a pair of curves or surfaces that touch so that they have a common tangent at the point of contact. When osculate is used to mean "kiss," the context is typically humorous.
"One thing I forgot to ask the guy in the bar: When his significant other ended their relationship, did she at least osculate him goodbye?" — Mike Royko, "Love Lost in Lingo," 3 June 1981
"Attorney Dan Bailey was the officiant-with-a-sense-of-humor, advising the groom, 'You may now osculate your bride.'" — Business Observer (Sarasota, Florida), 24 May 2012
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What former Word of the Day is based on the Latin verb liquēre, meaning "to be fluid," and is used to refer to the softening or liquefying of mushrooms as they age?VIEW THE ANSWER
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