Hat Trick

Third Time Lucky Word of the Day: hat trick

This compound denoting a sequence of three like successes in a sport was originally applied to the retiring of three batsmen with three consecutive balls by a bowler in cricket. These days, it can denote a felicitous threesome of just about any kind, and it is in that spirit that we recognize it, on the day of the first of three triple conjunctions of Jupiter and Neptune in 2009; the others will occur in July and December.

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pullulation

It would be hard to find a more elegant variation for spread, but that’s one of the things that pullulation means: the rapid or uncontrolled spreading of something. Probably owing to its length and its many synonyms in English, it doesn’t get much exercise these days — which means you can shock and amaze your friends with it when the moment arises.

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