Dictionary definitions and etymology illustrated from contemporary and classical literature (selected from 'A Book for Today').
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Scintilla: Scintilla is not surprisingly etymologically related to scintillate. How could this be since scintilla mean a small amount or iota, while scintillate means bright or brilliant? The answer lies in the Latin; both derive from the Latin for spark and scintilla can mean spark and scintillate can mean give off sparks. As with many words, today's meanings have evolved from a metaphoric use of the original words. Scintilla from the small size of a spark, and scintillate from its light.
He would get a fresh credit card without as scintilla of debt on it.