Word of the Day : June 9, 2017


verb SKWIN-ee


: to look or peer with eyes partly closed : squint

Did You Know?

"I remember thine eyes well enough. Dost thou squiny at me?" So asks Shakespeare's mad King Lear of blind Gloucester, marking the first known use of the verb squinny. It is likely that Shakespeare formed the word from an earlier English word squin, meaning "with the eye directed to one side." Shakespeare also uses the more familiar squint in King Lear: "This is the foul fiend Flibbertigibbet.… He gives the web and the pin, / squints the eye … mildews the white wheat, / and hurts the poor creature of earth." Although this is not the first known use of the verb squint, it is the first known use of the verb's transitive sense.


"Larkin had sat in the same place, squinnying at the little house, feeling anxious." — Andrew Motion, Granta, Autumn 1992

"EV Crowe's new play, The Sewing Group, is a sly thing. It begins in Shaker-like simplicity. Three women in long black dresses stitch in a plain wooden room. Two of them squinny with suspicion at the third." — Susannah Clapp, The Guardian (UK), 20 Nov. 2016

Test Your Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks to complete an adjective that is used to describe wild irrational staring: w _ _ le _ _ d.



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