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Word Of The Week

Aplomb
noun
1. Self-confidence or assurance, especially when in a demanding situation. “Diana passed the test with aplomb”

In the 19th century, English speakers borrowed “aplomb,” meaning “composure,” from French. “Aplomb” can also mean “perpendicularity” in French and comes from the phrase “a plomb,” meaning “perpendicularly” or literally “according to the plummet.” A plummet is a lead weight that is attached to a line and used to determine vertical alignment. Not surprisingly, “aplomb” and English words like “plumber” and the verb “plumb” (“to measure depth” and “to explore critically and minutely”) ultimately trace back to the Latin word for lead, “plumbum.”

Etymology:

Late 18th century (in the sense ‘perpendicularity, steadiness’): from French, from à plomb‘according to a plumb line’.

Foreign Translations:
1. French: aplomb
1. German: Gelassenheit
1. Spanish: aplomo
1. Italian: appiombo