Word

SOS

The letters signified by the signal ( . . . --- . . . ) prescribed by the International Radiotelegraphic Convention of 1908 for use by ships in distress. SOS was chosen as the universal distress signal because this combination of three dots followed by three dashes followed by three dots (...---...), was easy to send and easily recognized, especially since they were usually sent as a nine-character signal, which stood out against the background of three-character Morse Code letters. The letters themselves are meaningless. SOS does not stand for Save Our Souls, Save Our Ship, Stop Other Signals, or Sure Of Sinking.

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Frigophobia

Fear of cold

November

From the Latin word novem, "nine," because this had been the ninth month of the early Roman calendar.

Plough Monday

The first Monday after Epiphany and Plough Sunday was so called because it was the day that men returned to their plough, or daily work, at the end of the Christmas holiday. It was customary for farm laborers to draw a plough through the village, soliciting money for a "plough-light," which was kept burning in the parish church all year. In some areas, the custom of blessing the plough is maintained.

Hygrophobia

Fear of dampness/moisture

Dendrophobia

Fear of trees

Aloof

A nautical word, from the old Dutchword loef, meaning to the windward.

Junk

Pieces of old cable or old cordage, used for making gaskets, mats, swabs, etc., and when picked to pieces, forming oakum for filling the seams of ships.

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