AERIE /EH.ree or EYE.ree/ n. the nest of an eagle or other bird of prey, typically situated high up in a tree or cliff
Like our old friend etui, AERIE is one of those little gems that turns up time and time again in crossword puzzles, Scrabble games, and spelling bees. It’s just one of those words the serious word buff must know.
Here are some clues you’ll be able to decode at lightning speed now you know this word…
- Lofty home
- Cliff dwelling
- Raptor’s roost
- Nursery for eaglets
- Tree house
- Cliff hangar?
Do you remember what a raptor is, or do you need a a quick recap? And that [Cliff hangar?] clue is a bit cute, don’t you think?
Aerie has a couple of handy variant spellings too (both allowed in Scrabble): EYRIE and EYRY. Each of these words allows you to dump an awkward combination, while scoring well in the process!
Not surprisingly, today’s word got me reading a little about nests. A particularly fruitful word I thought you might like to know about is the word NIDUS, which actually means ‘nest or breeding place’.
I say it is fruitful because, in addition to its plurals NIDI and NIDUSES, we get the following derivatives…
NIDE – v. to nest
NIDAL – adj. relating to a nest
NIDATE – v. to nest
NIDATION – n. the act of building a nest
NIDICOLOUS – adj. staying for longer than average in the nest
NIDIFY – v. to nest
NIDIFICATION – n. the act of nesting
NIDIFUGOUS – adj. leaving the nest soon after hatching
I challenge you to use at least one of these words today. If you have an older child still living under your roof, I thoroughly recommend nidicolous ;-)
P.S. If you’re a Collins/CSW/SOWPODS player, you can add NID, NIDIFICATE, and NIDULATION to your nidus list!
P.P.S. Yesterday I challenged you to find an anagram of PICTURES that contained the word ECRU, which was yesterday’s word of the day. The answer is … drumroll … PIECRUST.