Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for May 1, 2020 is:

appellation • ap-uh-LAY-shun  • noun

1 : an identifying name or title : designation

2 : a geographical name (as of a region, village, or vineyard) under which a winegrower is authorized to identify and market wine

3 archaic : the act of calling by a name


“Mr. Bling is the preferred appellation of Mauricio Benitez, a Colombian artist who has made portraits of Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, and several of the Kardashians and whose preferred medium is Swarovski crystals.” — Amanda Whiting, The Washingtonian, 22 Dec. 2019

“The late Gary Andrus, founder of Pine Ridge, was wise enough over the years to purchase vineyards in several appellations of Napa Valley.” — Tom Hyland, Forbes, 9 Mar. 2020

Did you know?

Ask a Frenchman named Jacques his name, and you may very well get the reply, “Je m’appelle Jacques.” The French verb appeler means “to call (by a name),” so Jacques’ answer literally translates to “I call myself Jacques.” Knowing the function of appeler makes it easy to remember that appellation refers to the name or title by which something is called or known. Appeler and appellation also share a common ancestor: Latin appellāre, meaning “to call upon, name, or designate,” formed by combining the prefix ad- (“to”) with another verb, pellere (“to beat against, push, or strike”). Appellāre is also the root of English’s appeal (by way of Anglo-French and Middle English), as well as appellate, which is used to indicate a court where appeals are heard.


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