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daft: Silly, foolish or stupid. Dialect England and Scotland. From Old English “gedaefte”=meek and innocent. “Innocent” can mean “foolish.”

dappled: Mark with rounded spots or cloudy patches of different color or shade. Origin uncertain, possibly Old Norse “depill”=a spot.

dark: Absent of light, or of skin, opposite of fair. From Old English “deorc”=without light -as of the night.

daub: Put paint or a soft substance on something haphazardly. From Latin “dealbare”=to whitewash/plaster < “de”=down + “albare”=to whiten.

dawn: Period when the sun rises in the morning. From Old English “dagung”= becoming day (”dag”=day); back-formed from later “dawning.”

decorate: To add ornaments or anything to improve appearance. From Latin “decorare”=to beautify, adorn < “decus”=honor, embellishment.

defalcate: Take property entrusted to one’s care fraudulently. From Latin “defalcare”=to lop off < “de”=off + “falx”=a sickle.

delude: Mislead or make someone believe something untrue. From Latin “deludere”=to mock < “de-“=down/fully + “ludere”=to play.

delusion: False belief about yourself or situation you are in. From Latin “deludere”=to deceive < “de”=down + “ludere”=to play.

demon: Evil supernatural being, a tormentor. From Greek “daimon”=spirit, guide, lesser god.

demur: Take exception to; to make an objection. Old French “demorer” < Latin “demorari”=to delay < “de”=completely + “mora”=pause.

denial: Refusal to satisfy a request or desire. From Latin “denegare” < “de-”=away + “negare”=refuse or say no.

deride: To laugh at in contempt or scorn. Old French “derire” < Latin “deridere”=to laugh, scorn, scoff < “de-“=put down + “ridere”=to laugh.

describe: Say what something is like by giving details about it. From Latin “describo”=I copy off < “de-“=off +”scribere”=to write.

desire: To long or hope for strongly. From Old French “desirer” < Latin “de-“=from/of + “sidus”=heavenly body.

despise: To view with contempt or look down on. From Old French “despire” < Latin “despicere”=to look down < “de-“=down + “specere”=to look.

destruction: Act or process of destroying something or of being destroyed. From Latin “de-“=opposite + “struere”=to build + “-ion”=state of.

dextrophobia: Fear of things on the right side of the body. From Latin “dextro”=right + Greek “phobia”=fear.

dictionary: Collection of words with definitions, sometimes with etymologies. From Latin “dictionarius”=related to words < “dictio”=word.

digress: To turn aside from the main topic of discussion. From Latin “digredi” < “dis”=aside + “gradi”=to step or walk.

dilatory: Slow to do something, or causing delay. From Latin “dilatorius”=a delayer > “differre”=to defer or put off until later.

dinghy: Small boat carried on or towed behind a larger boat as alifeboat, or a small sailboat. From Hindi “dingi”=small boat.

dirty: (a) Foul, unclean or sullied. (b) Morally unclean or smutty. From Middle English “drit”=excrement.

disciple: Believer/follower of a great teacher/leader. From Old English “discipul” < Latin “discipulus”=pupil < “dis”=apart + “capere”=take

disorder: State of disorganization, untidiness, or mess. From Latin “dis-“=not/take away + “ordinare”=to regulate.

disparate: Fundamentally different or distinct in quality. From Latin “disparare”=to separate < “dis”=apart + “parare”=to prepare

diverse: Different in character or quality; varied. From Latin “diversus”=turned different ways < “dis-“=aside + “vertere”=to turn.

doggerel: Comic verse of irregular measure. Uncertain origin ?c17th “dog-rime”=bad or spurious rhymes < Old English “docga”=dog

doldrums: Listless, depressed, stuck in a rut. Also area near the equator where sailing ships were becalmed. From Old English “dol”=dull.

dollar: Unit of currency used in the USA. From Low German “daler” < shortened “Joachimstaler”=gulden (coin) from Joachimsthal in Bohemia.

dominion: Power or right to rule over people. From Latin “dominionem”=ownership < “dominus”=lord, master + “ionem”=suffix for “condition of.”

donation: Something you give to a person or an organization in order to help them. From Latin “donare”=to present < “donum”=gift.

dork: Slang for person who is stupid, clumsy, or socially inept (1972). Alteration of “dick,” slang for “penis.”

doze: To fall into a light sleep, usually used with “off.” Thought to be from Old Norse “dusa”=rest.

dragon: Mythical fire-breathing winged reptile. From Latin “draconem”=serpent < Greek “drako”=serpent, seafish < “derkesthai”=to see clearly.

dream: Thoughts and images in the mind during sleep. Middle English “drem” and same root as Old Norse “draum and Old High German “traum.”

dreck: Something worthless or useless. From Yiddish “drek”=rubbish < Old English “threak” < possibly Greek “scat”=dung.

drivel: Speech judged to be useless or meaningless. From Old English “dreflian”=to drool from the mouth or nose.

dross: Something worthless or useless. Originally used for the scum thrown off by smelting metals. From Old English “dros”=dregs.

dupe: To delude or trick someone. From Latin “upupa”=hoopoe – a crested bird with a curved beak and reputed to be very stupid.

dysphemism: Harsh word used instead of a one e.g. “kill” for “beat” in “Our team will kill yours.” From Greek “dys”=bad + “pheme”=speaking.

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