September 18, 2011
- diary (noun)
- What does it mean?
- : a daily record especially of personal experiences and thoughts; also : a book for keeping such a record
- How do you use it?
- Between 1942 and 1944, a teenaged girl named Anne Frank wrote a now world-famous diary describing how her family hid from the Nazis in a secret attic in an Amsterdam warehouse.
- Are you a word wiz?
People have long kept written accounts of daily life. Many are important sources of knowledge about the past. About when do you think English speakers began referring to this kind of daily record as a "diary"?You have something to write home about if you chose B! Written evidence of "diary" dates to the late 1500s, not too long after Leonardo da Vinci had recorded inventive ideas, sketches, and theories in his notebooks. A few other words related to written accounts of events also entered English in the late 1500s. "Page," meaning "the material printed or written on a page" or "a written record" is one. "Registry" -- a book in which things are recorded exactly and legally -- is another. And the compound verb "write down," meaning "to record in written form," also entered English in the late 1500s.