I receive Word of the Day emails from dictionary.com and the wordsmith; I write the words and their definitions in a small notebook I keep on the dining room table. Receiving the emails is an exercise to improve my vocabulary, but, unfortunately, my memory is weak, so I keep the notebook as an additional reference. I’ve been too busy this week to keep up with the daily emails, so I’ve been catching up with them this morning. The emails from dictionary.com include snips from newspaper and magazine articles, demonstrating how the word of the day is used in a sentence.
The word for April 17th was roister: To engage in boisterous merrymaking; to revel; to carouse. I was struck by the similarities between roister and boisterous (in meaning and in sound), and wondered why boisterous was never chopped down to boister and turned into an intransitive verb (tho, checking the online etymology dictionary, originally boisterous meant rough or coarse—not quite the same way it’s defined today). I moved to the examples of roister used in a sentence and there I saw a line by Michael Browning, a writer I’ve mentioned in this space before:
. . .the bullying, lying, lily-livered, lecherous, roistering, brandy-swigging, battle-fleeing, toad-eating Harry Paget Flashman, whose charming roguery has won him a worldwide following.
— Michael Browning, “Flashman’ Trio Fine Fun, Leaves Us Shouting ‘More!'” The Palm Beach Post September 24, 2000
This is the second time I’ve seen Michael’s writing referred to by Dictionary.com. His writing provided an example for the use of the word uxorious too. (My memory retained this one, thanks to seeing his name attached to it.)