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.
May 31st, 2016
Episode 541 of 689 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 31, 2016 is: tousle \TOW-zul\ verb : to make untidy : dishevel, rumple Examples: The cats got into a loud scuffle, tousling the clean sheets that Hugh had just put on the bed. "In person, removed from the dank interiors he typically haunts on 'Game of Thrones,' Mr. Rheon's face is more cherubic than demonic, with a rakish scruff and artfully tousled hair that gets more so as he runs his hands through it in conversation." — Jeremy Egner, The New York Times, 20 Apr. 2016 Did you know? Tousle is a word that has been through what linguists call a "functional shift." That's a fancy way of saying it was originally one part of speech, then gradually came to have an additional function. Tousle started out as a verb back in the 15th century. By the late 19th century, it was also being used as a noun meaning "a tangled mass (as of hair)." Etymologists connect the word to an Old High German word meaning "to pull to pieces."
Have you trembled ‘round the campfire as the ghost stories are told? Do tales of horrors wrought by nature and beyond strike fear in your soul? Is it best when you are afraid to turn out the light? Thrill to stories that strike at your deepest fears, as host Stephen Kilpatrick brings the best of horror fiction to your ears and your mind, read to you by the most chilling narrators that podcasting has to offer. <br /> <br /> Podcasting the finest in genre fiction, Tales to Terrify is where the depths of horror reveal the truths of good, evil, and the human spirit in the District of Wonders podcast network. Like all shows in the District of Wonders, Tales to Terrify is supported by a welcoming community of dedicated fans and contributors. Subscribe today, and begin your journey through the spine-tingling depths of storytelling.<br /> <br /> Everyone has a story in the District of Wonders. Come and find yours.