Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for August 26, 2020 is:
testimonial tess-tuh-MOH-nee-ul noun
1 a : a statement testifying to benefits received
b : a character reference : letter of recommendation
2 : an expression of appreciation : tribute
“According to research from UPS, … 40% [of Millennials] refer to online reviews and testimonials before purchasing a product….” — Bill McLoughlin, Furniture Today, 9 Dec. 2019
“Members of the Emerson College Student Union rallied behind a pass/fail policy in a list of demands that included eight pages of student testimonials. Many described difficult home situations, illnesses, financial struggles, and general anxiety that impacts their academic performance.” — Diti Kohli, The Boston Globe, 27 Mar. 2020
Did you know?
In 1639, Scottish poet William Drummond responded to the politics of his day with a facetious set of new laws, including one stipulating that “no man wear a … periwig, unless he have a testimonial from a town-clerk, that he is either bald, sickly, or asham’d of white hairs.” Testimonials take different forms, but always, like in Drummond’s faux law, they provide affirmation or evidence. (Testimonial traces to Latin testimonium, meaning “evidence” or “witness.”) In the 19th century, testimonial developed a new use, referring to a tribute—that is, a gift presented as a public expression of appreciation. Today, testimonial is most often used to refer to a statement that endorses a product or service.