Words of the Day: Aces (the flying kind), Acid Test, Acme

As a writer it’s important I have a large vocabulary, so I’ve decided to read through the dictionary. To keep me accountable, I will post my favorite words from each dictionary page. Definitions come from Webster’s New World Dictionary of American English, Third College Edition, 1988.

Bell P-39 Airacobra from WWII

Bell P-39 Airacobra from WWII

We’ve all seen an ace of spades or said “I aced that test” to announce a good grade, and we’ve seen movies where the combat pilot in his bomber jacket is referred to as “Ace.” But, in reference to the latter, did you know that “ace” (one definition anyway)  specifically refers to combat pilot who’s destroyed at least five enemy plans? I thought it was just a nickname for hotshot pilots!

Wikipedia actually has a list of WWII flying aces here.

Gold bars created by Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited

Gold bars created by Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited

The term “Acid test” (the final or most important test to prove the quality of something) originates from the testing of gold using acid. Gold, being a Noble Metal, doesn’t dissolve as readily in nitric acid as other metals do.

Acme isn’t just a company for supplying roadrunner-catching equipment, it’s genuine word for the highest point or the summit.