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November 12, 2019

Word of the Day: Hard-boiled

2 CQ

Word of the Day : February 1, 2017

hard-boiled \HAHRD-BOYLD\ adjective


1 a : devoid of sentimentality : tough

b : of, relating to, or being a detective story featuring a tough unsentimental protagonist and a matter-of-fact attitude towards violence

2 : hardheaded, practical


The young tycoon proved that to be successful in the cutthroat world of business you need to occasionally put aside hard-boiled business practices and go with your gut instincts.

"The real attraction, as with previous books in the series, is [Tana] French's complex, deeply flawed detectives and her hard-boiled yet poetic way with words." — David Martindale, The Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram, 28 Sep. 2016

Did You Know?

As a writer of local color, Mark Twain often used colloquialisms and regionalisms that were unfamiliar to many of his readers. When some of these expressions eventually caught on in the language at large, they were traced back to Twain. For example, he is credited with the first printed use of blow up ("to lose self-control") in 1871, of slop ("effusive sentimentality") in 1866, and of the phrase sweat out ("to endure or wait through the course of") in 1876. Hard-boiled is documented as being first used by Twain in 1886 as an adjective meaning "emotionally hardened." Apparently, Twain and others saw the boiling of an egg to harden the white and yolk as a metaphor for other kinds of hardening.

Aired February 1, 2017

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