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January 20, 2020

Word of the Day: Livelong

1 CQ

Word of the Day : April 11, 2017

livelong \LIV-lawng\ adjective


: whole, entire


The farmhands worked hard all the livelong day and finally fell into their beds, exhausted, well past sundown.

"They were part of a research study that showed how standing in the classroom (and not sitting all the livelong day) can help reduce body mass index…." — Leslie Barker, The Dallas Morning News, 30 Aug. 2016

Did You Know?

"I've been workin' on the railroad, all the livelong day." So goes the American folk standard, and nowadays when we encounter the word livelong, it is typically in the phrase "all the livelong day" or something similar. Although we don't see livelong much in prose anymore, poets still love the word, possibly for its two distinct, alliterative syllables. Despite the resemblance, livelong does not mean the same thing as lifelong (as in "a lifelong friend"). In fact, the words are not closely related: the live in livelong derives from lef, a Middle English word meaning "dear or beloved."

Aired April 11, 2017

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