bedizen's Word of the Day



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The Word of the Day for July 20 is:

bedizen \bih-DYE-zun or bih-DIH-zun\ (verb)
: to dress or adorn gaudily

Example sentence:
"Bedizened in diamonds -- rings, stickpins, belt buckle --
he would show up at the track in a sunburst yellow suit . . ."
(Joseph Epstein, _Commentary_, January 1972)

Did you know?
"Bedizen" doesn't have the flashy history you might expect
-- its roots lie in the rather quiet art of spinning thread. In
times past, the spinning process began with the placement of
fibers (such as flax) on an implement called a "distaff"; the
fibers were then drawn out from the distaff and twisted into
thread. "Bedizen" descends from the verb "disen," which meant
"to dress a distaff with flax." The spelling of "disen"
eventually became "dizen," and its meaning expanded to cover
the "dressing up" of things other than distaffs. In the mid-
17th century, English speakers began using "bedizen" with the
same meaning.

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