Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for September 11, 2020 is:

ruddy • RUDD-ee  • adjective

1 : having a healthy reddish color

2 : red, reddish

3 British — used as an intensive


“There was a stout man with a ruddy complexion, a merchant probably, half asleep.” — Elif Shafak, The Architect’s Apprentice, 2014

“Lichen green and the reds of fired brick exude a splash of ruddy color on the exterior of Manchester State Park’s enclosed picnic area….” — Bob Smith, The Kitsap Daily News, 5 Nov. 2019

Did you know?

In Old English, there were two related words referring to red coloring: rēad and rudu. Rēad evolved into our present-day red. Rudu evolved into rud (a word now encountered only in dialect or archaic usage) and ruddy. Most often, ruddy is applied to the face when it has the red glow of good health or is red from a suffusion of blood from exercise or excitement. It is also used in the names of some birds, such as the American ruddy duck. In British English, ruddy is also used as a colorful euphemism for the sometimes offensive intensive bloody, as 20th-century English writer Sir Kingsley Amis illustrates in The Riverside Villas Murder: “Ruddy marvelous, the way these coppers’ minds work…. I take a swing at Chris Inman in public means I probably done him in.”

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