Wednesday, July 20, 2011

LOGOMACH

TileHead’s Word of the Day for 20 July 2011

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LOGOMACH  (n. pl. - S)

Definition(s):
  1. (n.) one given to arguing about words

Useful information for game players:
  • Front hooks: (none)
  • Back hooks: -S, -Y
  • Anagrams: (none)
  • Longer extensions: -IES
  • Wraparounds: (none)
  • Other Spellings: (none)
  • Related Forms: LOGOMACHY (n.)

Epilogue:
With a straightforward derivation from Greek logos (“word”) and machia (“battle, fight”), a LOGOMACH is literally one who argues or fights about words.  You might say that Scrabble players engage in playful LOGOMACHY: “a battle of words” or, as it sometimes defined, “a game involving words.” 

LOGOMACHY was also the appropriate name of a game, first manufactured in 1874 and popular well into the early 1900s, in which players spelled words with lettered cards.  Indeed, many such word-forming games played with cards (or dice) were popular in the years leading up to Alfred Butts’ invention of our favorite word game.  Butts had called his game Lexico or Criss Cross Words.  It was James Brunot who came up with the name Scrabble, made several key changes to it, and helped popularize and improve manufacture of it.

This week’s theme: Words starting with the letter L

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