The following conversation occurred while I was driving my kids to school last week:
CJ (my daughter): Momma are you left-handed?
Me: Yes, I write with my left hand, but I also use my right hand to do other things. Did you know that people who can use both hands to do things, like write, are called ambidextrous.
CJ: Whoa. That’s a big word, Momma.
Me (half kidding): That’s the Word of the Day. Can you spell it?
I tell her the correct spelling, and we move on to another topic. The next morning my daughter asks, “What’s the Word of the Day, Momma?” I’m caught by surprise. I didn’t expect her to want to continue this little game. I think about it for a minute, decide to go through the alphabet, and then say, “bamboozle.” We discuss the meaning. She laughs and then attempts to spell it.
So now that I’ve started this little game with my daughter, and have to come up with a word of the day, I thought I’d share them here, as well. Here are the words she has learned so far:
am·bi·dex·trous adjective \ambiˈdekst(ə)rəs\: able to use both hands equally well. 1. Using both hands with equal ease. 2. Unusually skillful : versatile. 3. Characterized by duplicity : double-dealing.
bam·boo·zle verb \bamˈbo͞ozəl\: to trick or confuse (someone). 1. To deceive by underhanded methods : dupe, hoodwink. 2. To confuse, frustrate, or throw off thoroughly or completely <a quarterback bamboozled by an unexpected defense>.
ca·pri·cious adjective \kə-ˈpri-shəs, -ˈprē-\: 1. changing often and quickly; especially : often changing suddenly in mood or behavior. 2. Not logical or reasonable : based on an idea, desire, etc. that is not possible to predict.
di·aph·a·nous adjective \dī-ˈa-fə-nəs\: used to describe cloth that is very thin and light. 1. Characterized by such fineness of texture as to permit seeing through <diaphanous fabrics>. 2. Characterized by extreme delicacy of form : ethereal <painted diaphanous landscapes>. 3. Insubstantial, vague <had only a diaphanous hope of success>.
eclipse noun \i-ˈklips\: 1. an occasion when the sun looks like it is completely or partially covered with a dark circle because the moon is between the sun and the Earth. 2. An occasion when the moon looks like it is completely or partially covered with a dark circle because the Earth’s shadow is on it. 3. A loss of power, success, popularity, etc.
Last night, after we read a chapter of her book, she looked over at me and said, “What does ‘eclipse’ mean, again?”
I explained it to her and then said, “Make a ball with your fist and hold it up to the light. See how most of the light is blocked by your hand but you can still see a little bit of it around the edges?” She nodded. “That’s like an eclipse.”
She is certain to ask the word of the day when I pick her up from school, so here it is:
fick·le adjective \ˈfi-kəl\: 1. changing often. 2. changing opinions often.
I wonder if she will remember that I told her fickle was a synonym for capricious.
“Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.”