Quadrivial Quandary:  Logophiles, Rejoice!  Each day we give you four unusual words.  Can you fit them all in one illustrative sentence?

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The Quandary for today, Saturday, May 25, 2019, consists of:
  • gainpain
  • overt
  • disparage
  • titubation, n.
Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 7296 sentences — each one a surprise — to QQ's unique and growing library. Explore earlier Quandaries through our word list or the calendar below. View yesterday's QQ resolutions or pick a day at random.

Definitions Of Today's Words:

noun: 1. A long thick glove: gauntlet. 2. A hired soldier: mercenary.
  1. Open and not concealed or secret.

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for May 25, 2019 is:

disparage • \dih-SPAIR-ij\  • verb

1 : to depreciate by indirect means (such as invidious comparison) : to speak slightingly about

2 : to lower in rank or reputation : degrade


"In the early 1990s the president of newly independent Estonia gave a speech in Hamburg. In it, he disparaged the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states. A little-known Russian official was so outraged that he stormed out. It was Vladimir Putin." — The Economist, 2 Feb. 2019

"Despite his own military background, Jackson did not unnecessarily glorify war or disparage peace. In his farewell address, he wrote, ’It is unquestionably our true interest to cultivate the most friendly understanding with every nation and to avoid by every honorable means the calamities of war.’" — Jeff Taylor, The American Conservative, 1 Jan. 2019

Did you know?

In Middle English, to "disparage" someone meant causing that person to marry someone of inferior rank. Disparage derives from the Anglo-French word desparager, meaning "to marry below one’s class." Desparager, in turn, combines the negative prefix des- with parage (meaning "equality" or "lineage"), which itself comes from per, meaning "peer." The original "marriage" sense of disparage is now obsolete, but a closely-related sense (meaning "to lower in rank or reputation") survives in modern English. By the 16th century, English speakers (including William Shakespeare) were also using disparage to mean simply "to belittle."

OED Word of the Day: titubation, n. Unsteadiness of movement; staggering, reeling, lurching

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