A Word A Day


with Anu Garg




adjective: Superficially true, but actually wrong.


Originally, the word meant beautiful or pleasing to the sight. Over the centuries the meaning shifted to describe something that is deceptively appealing. The word is from Latin speciosus (fair, beautiful), from specere (to look). Ultimately from the Indo-European root spek- (to observe), which also gave us speculum, speciesism, soupcon,prospicient, perspicuous, omphaloskepsis, andconspectus. Earliest documented use: 1400.


“As always, exchange officials will make the final judgment and, we assume, reject specious claims.”
Health Care Caricature; The New York Times; Mar 22, 2014.

See more usage examples of specious in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.



There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don’t expect you to save the world, I do think it’s not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary, and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair, and disrespect. -Nikki Giovanni, poet and professor (b. 7 Jun 1943)

This week’s theme
Words that have changed

This week’s words

“All words are pegs to hang ideas on.” ~Beecher


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