from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A natural hot spring that intermittently ejects a column of water and steam into the air.
  • n. Chiefly British A gas-operated hot-water heater.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A boiling natural spring which throws forth at frequent intervals jets of water, mud etc., driven up by the expansive power of steam.
  • n. An instantaneous, and often dangerous, hot water heater using hot steam.
  • n. A domestic water boiler.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A boiling spring which throws forth at frequent intervals jets of water, mud, etc., driven up by the expansive power of steam.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A spouting hot spring; a hot spring which projects water, either periodically or irregularly, to some height in the air.
  • n. A gas-burning apparatus attached to a bath for the purpose of heating water for the bath.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a spring that discharges hot water and steam
  • v. to overflow like a geyser


After Icelandic Geysir, name of a hot spring of southwest Iceland, from geysa, to gush, from Old Norse.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From around 1755-1765, from the Icelandic proper name Geysir, which means and is the name of a hot spring in Iceland (Geysir’s English Wikipedia article). The word geysir literally means gusher, derived from the Icelandic verb geysa ("to gush"), descended from Old Norse geysa ("to gush"). (Wiktionary)



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  • I was tempted to complain about those two examples, mostly because I've never heard of either of them before. They seem to belong more to a sort of technical jargon than 'proper English'. I mean, everybody knows what a geyser is.

    On further thoughts, I decided that writing up a rant wasn't worth it. But there you have it, my rant unranted...

    April 19, 2010

  • All my sheep are grounded due to volcanic ash cloud :-(

    April 17, 2010

  • How about maedi, a viral disease of sheep.

    April 17, 2010

  • From the United States Geological Survey's Glossary of Glacier Terminology: jökulhlaup - Icelandic word meaning "a glacier outburst flood resulting from the failure of a glacier-ice-dam, glacier-sediment-dam, or from the melting of glacier ice by a volcanic eruption."

    April 17, 2010

  • It's been proposed that may be the only English word to have been imported from Icelandic. Can anyone think of any others?

    April 16, 2010