Tag Archives: Word Up


Interlocutor: a person who participates in a dialogue or takes part in a conversation; a talker, or a mediator between others.

Interlocutor comes from the Latin inter, meaning “between” and the Latin verb loquor, meaning “I speak”.

For example:

“After our difficult conversation, we thought it might be best to continue with the help of an interlocutor.”

“The Duke, acting as interlocutor, was speaking with the queen when the king entered the conversation.”


My girls and I were reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis when the word colloquialism popped up.  Here is the sentence:

“In my talks, I used all the contractions and colloquialisms I ordinarily use in conversation.”  – C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity. 

I asked my girls what the word colloquialism meant.

Here is my daughter’s guess:

Phrases and expressions used in normal conversation

She got it.  Here is Google’s definition:

a word or phrase that is not formal or literary, typically one used in ordinary or familiar conversation.

Colloquialism comes from the Latin prefix con, which became col before the letter l, and the Latin verb loquor, meaning, “I speak”.

Word Up: Live!

Happy Christmas, everyone! I hope yours was great.

Here’s a day after gift for any word lovers….

In order to motivate myself to rise early once again (I have let the habit go), I am teaching a live etymology class each weekday at 5 A.M. (central time zone).  Yes.  That is 5 A.M.  In the morning.   You do not have to come.  🙂

For the first few weeks (while I experiment) it is free to anyone who would like to join. Here is the link (Feel free to share it):   https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/regist…/8840669810217399041

The live class is available to anyone (while I experiment). Recordings, unfortunately, are only available to those who have subscribed to my site: www.dwanethomas.com

Here is the first class:

Want access to every class I teach (including this one)?  Click the blue button below: 

  • Billed once per month, 36 times

Add to Cart


Beyond Word Up….

I received this question:

I have a few of questions about Beyond Word Up:

Is it in the same format as Word Up?

How many lessons are there?

Since it’s not a live class, do you have to sign up for a year or just a couple months?

Here is my reply:

No. Unfortunately, it is not the same format as Word Up.  I wish it were.  Word Up was a lot of fun to create.  

The classes on my site are screen casts.  They’re not all that exciting.  Basically, the students simply see the word I am talking about on the screen in front of them.  Each class adds about 20 new words.  In this respect, the material is the same as Word Up, but the delivery is quite different.

There are 24 lessons.  This means that students would learn the history of and the etymology of about 500 words.

And, yes. I have set my site up in such a way that you can subscribe and cancel at anytime.


The Greek word, Λόγος (lógos) means: word.  

Sort of.

Logos is a bit complicated.  There is a lot to it.  It can mean any of the following:

1.  That which is said: word, sentence, speech, story, debate, utterance.

2.  That which is thought: reason, consideration, computation, reckoning.

3.  An account, explanation, or narrative.

4.  Subject matter.

From the Greek word λόγος, English gets a dump truck full of words.  Watch for these words in the days ahead.


Verbiculture: the production of words. 

Yep.  It’s really a word.

From Latin verbum (word) and the Latin verb colo, colere, colui, cultus: to live in, inhabit; till, cultivate, promote growth.

Verbiculture, which shows up in almost no dictionaries, was coined in 1873 by Coined by Fitzedward Hall, in “Modern English.  Mr. Hall was one of the early collaborators in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). 

Ironically, verbiculture, meaning, the production of words, has not caught on.

Men ever had, and ever will have leave,

To coin new words well suited to the age,

Words are like leaves, some wither every year,

And every year a younger race succeeds.

-Horace, Roman poet (65 BC)

Words from porto.

I am up late grading student homework right now.   In one class, the vocabulary class, I told the students to use English words that came from the Latin word Porto.   Porto means “I carry”.  

This student went above and beyond:

1.  The porter did not comport himself well, and, therefore lost his job.

2.  The portly man was difficult to transport.

3.  Portfolios are designed to make papers more portable.

4.  The colporteur attempted to export his ideas to others.

5.  At a Greek museum, it was purported that the rapporteur paid more attention to the amphora in his peripheral vision than he did to the important speech that he was supposed to be reporting.