Word of the Day


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Origin of the word

The word tidings is derived in part from the Old Norse word ‘tiðendi’ meaning ‘news’. In English, the word comes from the Old English ‘tidan’ meaning ‘to happen’ and from the late Old English ‘tidung’ which means ‘occurrence, piece of news’. The word tidings dates back to about 1200.


Tidings is a noun that refers to making an announcement or delivering news. It can be considered a rather old-fashioned word and is most commonly heard in late December, around the Christmas holidays. The word tidings is used in many traditional holiday songs, poems and stories.

Charity cards are a common method of sending tidings to loved ones. Around the holidays, many organizations release collections of Christmas cards designed to help raise money to support charitable causes. However, the amount of the purchase price that actually goes to the charity can vary greatly.

Over the past several years, the Charities Advisory Trust has reported that in some cases as little as 3% of proceeds from the sale of charitable tidings goes back to the organizations the sales are meant to benefit. Many high street retailers carry charity cards, defending the low percentage they give to charities by stating that large sales volume results in sizable donations. Shoppers hoping to support a worthy cause by purchasing charity cards may have more impact in buying direct from organizations themselves.

According to Guardian Money, Card Aid donates 60% of the purchase price of its charity cards, while Cards for Good Causes donates 70% of its card sales to its affiliated organizations, including Save the Children and Cancer Research.

One charity card group stands head and shoulders above the rest, though. The Sreepur Village project, located in Bangladesh, is a refuge for destitute women and children. The charity helps fund itself through the production and sale of handmade cards, with 100% of the profits going back into programs and initiatives at Sreepur Village.


1. an old word meaning ‘news’
View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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