June 02, 2013
brackish (adjective)
\BRAK-ish\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: somewhat salty
How do you use it?
The brackish water where the river meets the ocean is home to saltwater and freshwater fish.
Are you a word wiz?

What language do you think "brackish" comes from?

You're a word wiz worth your salt if you picked C. The oldest sense of "brackish" is "salty." "Salty" is also the meaning of the word's Dutch ancestor, "brac." A brackish liquid is a mixture of salt and fresh water. But since its earliest known English uses in the 1500s, people have also sometimes used "brackish" to describe other things that taste bad or are disgusting. Drinking salty water is no taste treat, and that may help explain why "brackish" was also used to mean "unpleasant to the taste" and "repulsive."
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