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Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for October 10, 2019 is:

blandish • BLAN-dish  • verb

1 : to coax with flattery : cajole

2 : to act or speak in a flattering or coaxing manner


“… and all that was left of Pym, it seemed to me, as I wove my lies and blandished, and perjured myself before one kangaroo court after another, was a failing con man tottering on the last legs of his credibility.” — John Le Carré, A Perfect Spy, 1986

“What happened, and what few expected, was the birth of open-access journals that will take just about any paper, for a fee…. They send blandishing emails to scientists, inviting them to publish with them.” — Gina Kolata, The New York Times, 30 Oct. 2017

Did you know?

The word blandish has been a part of the English language since at least the 14th century with virtually no change in its meaning. It ultimately derives from blandus, a Latin word meaning “mild” or “flattering.” One of the earliest known uses of blandish can be found in the sacred writings of Richard Rolle de Hampole, an English hermit and mystic, who cautioned against “the dragon that blandishes with the head and smites with the tail.” Although blandish might not exactly be suggestive of dullness, it was the “mild” sense of blandus that gave us our adjective bland, which has a lesser-known sense meaning “smooth and soothing in manner or quality.”

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