Build your vocabulary with Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day! Each day a Merriam-Webster editor offers insight into a fascinating new word -- explaining its meaning, current use, and little-known details about its origin.
January 14th, 2016
Episode 423 of 765 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for January 14, 2016 is: brogue \BROHG\ noun 1 : a heavy shoe often with a hobnailed sole 2 : a stout oxford shoe with perforations and usually a wing tip Examples: "Canvas isn't the chosen medium of many shoemakers, so it was a bit exciting and a bit confusing when Toms Shoes, purveyors of the ever-casual espadrilles, announced its intention to make brogues." — Andrew Burmon, Men's Journal, 19 Aug. 2013 "The X-Men star, who played Jean Grey in the superhero movies, wore patent brogues, where the chunky style helped emphasise her slender legs which were encased in thick opaque tights." — Ciara Farmer, DailyMail.co.uk, 26 Nov. 2015 Did you know? Did you expect brogue to be defined as "an Irish accent"? You're probably not alone. Our definition is different because brogue has two homographs (words that are spelled—and in this case pronounced—the same but have different origins or parts of speech). Brogue the shoe comes from the Irish word bróg, which probably derives from an Old Norse term meaning "leg covering." Brogue the accent comes from a different Irish word, barróg, which means "accent" or "speech impediment."