Word of the Day : June 24, 2019
contraption \kun-TRAP-shun\ noun
: device, gadget
Did You Know?
English has a number of words that can be used as general terms for mechanical or electronic devices, including gadget, gizmo, widget, and contraption. In addition to their meaning, these four words also have a couple of other things in common. First, they are all relative newcomers to the language. The oldest, contraption, entered the language in the early 1800s. Second, the origins of all four are a bit of a mystery. While widget is believed to be an alteration of gadget, the origins of gadget are unknown—it didn't appear in print until later in the 19th century, and it is believed to have been used earlier among sailors. Gizmo sprang into American English in the mid-20th century from origins unknown. The word contraption may be a blend of contrivance (which can be used as another synonym of gadget), trap, and invention.
Aired June 24, 2019
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