Friday, July 1, 2016

Word of the day: tarmac

The word is — cough — in the air. But where does it come from? The Oxford English Dictionary has it:

ˈTarmac, n .
A kind of tar macadam consisting of iron slag impregnated with tar and creosote; also designating a surface made of tar macadam. Now freq. with lower-case initial. the tarmac (colloq.), the airfield or runway.

A proprietary name in the United Kingdom.
Proprietary, capitalized: huh. The Dictionary’s earliest citation is from 1903.

[Context: Bill Clinton’s confab with Loretta Lynch as their planes were parked on the you-know-what. I’m surprised to see that tarmac is missing from the list of trending words at Merriam-Webster.]

comments: 2

The Crow said...

The tarmac is the name we called the drill field at boot camp back in 1969 at Bainbridge, Maryland. The field was about 100 yards square, a piece of Hell on earth. When I revisited NRTC Bainbridge a few years ago, the place was in ruins...except the tarmac.

Michael Leddy said...

I can sort of imagine it, especially in hot weather.