08 April 2008


Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 07, 2008 is:

luftmensch • \LOOFT-mensh (the "OO" is as in "foot")\ • noun
: an impractical contemplative person having no definite business or income

Example sentence:
I worry that my nephew, who has several advanced degrees but no practical skills, will be a luftmensch all his life.

Did you know?
Are you someone who always seems to have your head in the clouds? Do you have trouble getting down to the lowly business of earning a living? If so, you may deserve to be labeled a "luftmensch." That airy appellation is an adaptation of the Yiddish "luftmentsh," which breaks down into "luft" (a Germanic root meaning "air" that is also related to the English words "loft" and "lofty") plus "mentsh," meaning "human being." "Luftmensch" was first introduced to English prose in 1907, when Israel Zangwill wrote, "The word 'Luftmensch' flew into Barstein's mind. Nehemiah was not an earth-man. . .. He was an air-man, floating on facile wings."

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