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Nov 20, 2022
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Words for people

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AWADmail Issue 1064

A Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Other Tidbits about Words and Language

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From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Interesting stories from the Net

Scrabble Adds 500 New Playable Words

This 2,000-Year-Old Inscription Changes Our Understanding of the Basque Language

From: Phyllis Charnyllis (charnyllis nyc.rr.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--malcontent

I always thought The Malcontents would be a great band name! Didn’t know, though, until the Internet, that there was a ‘60s band with that name: video, (2 min.).

Phyllis Charney, New York, New York

From: Andrew Pressburger (andpress sympatico.ca)
Subject: malcontent

Without malcontents there would be no revolutions. And without revolutions, there would be no progress.

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada

From: David Bryant (david davidcbryant.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--fanboy

Interestingly, “fanboys” is a mnemonic device to help one recall the seven coordinating conjunctions: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, & so.

David Bryant, Canyon Lake, Texas

Email of the Week -- Brought to you buy One Up! -- The perfect (blue)stocking stuffer!

From: Davide Migliaccio (dcmiglia gmail.com)
Subject: Thaumaturge

In Terry Pratchett’s marvelous Discworld series, the “thaum” is the basic unit of magic, which is the general subject matter at the school for wizards, Unseen University (UU). Studies there have broken down the thaum into “resons” (literally, thing-ies), which are made up of five known flavors: up, down, sideways, sεx appeal, and peppermint. Under the leadership of Ponder Stibbons, Head of Inadvisedly Applied Magic at UU, students use the Thaumic Reactor to split the thaum and generate massive amounts of energy, enough to send the whole university to the moon, or to create a universe.

Pratchett is a master of language; res is Latin for “thing”. And the wizards of Unseen University, headed mainly by Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully, are but a few of his many great characters. I agree with the critic who called Sir Terry the modern-day Dickens.

Davide C. Migliaccio, Colorado Springs, Colorado

From: AL Roberts (aroberts arts.ucla.edu)
Subject: Achebe’s Thought for Today

The world is like a Mask dancing. If you want to see it well, you do not stand in one place. -Chinua Achebe, writer and professor (16 Nov 1930-2013)

Thaumaturge that he was, when Chinua Achebe suggested that multiple viewpoints are necessary to view anything as dynamic as a masked performance, he (deliberately?) omitted that many aspects of masquerade are NOT meant to be seen clearly, hence choreographies too complex to catch as they kick up dust, sumptuous swirling costuming, events held in poor light or none at all, and the like. After all, in the religious circumstances of which Achebe was thinking, the (almost always male) dancer “is not himself,” to quote Africanist art historian Herbert Cole, and is an otherwise ethereal spirit or divinity. What one sees -- even from multiple vantage points -- is only the superficial and not the deeply esoteric, in other words.

AL Roberts, Los Angeles, California

From: Mark E. Watson (mark.e.watson altria.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--temporizer

The spelling needs updating, at least in the USA, to trumporizer based on a certain person’s proclivity to file seemingly frivolous lawsuits just to delay actions.

Mark E. Watson, Mechanicsville, Virginia

From: Sally Lovejoy (slovejoy99 gmail.com)
Subject: casuist

This might apply to several members of SCOTUS.

Sally Lovejoy, Santa Cruz, California

Big Bang Query
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: fanboy and malcontent

TV’s The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper, IQ of 187, Caltech theoretical physicist, and perpetual pain-in-the-butt to his brainiac colleagues, is the quintessential fanboy. He’s enamored with almost the entire legion of DC and Marvel Comics superheroes. Oh, and we can’t overlook his passion for Star Wars and Star Trek. Sheldon often wears a variety of superhero shirts. It’s a tossup if he favors his Green Lantern shirts over his Iron Man’s. Note: “Bazinga” is Sheldon’s trademark exclamation when he thinks he’s told a zinger joke or outwitted one of his colleagues.

Malcontent Extraordinaire
It could be argued that Trump is a perpetual malcontent. Clearly, misery loves company. Those who don’t pledge loyalty to him, or deviate from his doctrine of hate, prevaricate, and obfuscate, are “lοsers” in his view. He’s constantly grousing, especially post midterms, where the Dems have secured their majority in the Senate, while the GOP has managed to eke out a very slim majority in the House. To add insult to injury, most of the GOP candidates he’d backed, lost.
Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California


This week’s theme: Words for people
1. Malcontent
2. Fanboy
3. Thaumaturge
4. Temporizer
5. Casuist
= 1. Resentful, mean
2. Fame zealot
3. Witch doctor
4. See time postponer tarry
5. Weak sophist, humbug
     1. Malcontent
2. Fanboy
3. Thaumaturge
4. Temporizer
5. Casuist
= 1. Fret
2. Stan
3. Re: magician mum
4. Lazybones’ output? Rot!
5. Cheat
     This week’s theme: Words for people
1. Malcontent
2. Fanboy
3. Thaumaturge
4. Temporizer
5. Casuist
= 1. The upset defeatest
2. Zealous fan
3. Miracle worker
4. Might try, but not now
5. Shape compromise
--Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz) -Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com) -Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)

Make your own anagrams and animations.



Golden rules advocate, “Don’t resent,
But be kind to Madame Malcontent!”
This is all well and good,
And I probably should ...
Ah, but sometimes such rules can be bent.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

“I hope you will pardon me, please,
‘cause I’m going to leave you, Louise,”
says the old malcontent.
“Your bold talcum scent
is causing too many a sneeze!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Malcontents I prefer to ignore,
For their constant complaints are a bore.
If I happen to see
Such a kvetch on TV --
Well, now that’s what the mute button’s for.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

The C-suite felt a contrary breeze,
when the standard raise failed to appease;
Most staff were on fire;
The malcontents’ ire
forced Management down to its knees.
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

I’ve a neighbor who definitely
Is a malcontent; every time she
Approaches at lunch
Abruptly, the bunch
Tends to get up, abandoning me!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

“Are you angry, upset, malcontent?
Come to town for a real rad event!”
Said the tweet. “On Jan 6
The election we’ll fix
With the riot your Prez shall foment!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


He jumped in the dumpster and hid.
The star saw him, and opened its lid.
Said she to the fanboy,
“Don’t do that again, boy.
or you will be sorry you did!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

With Cher is the fanboy obsessed;
He thinks she is simply the best.
To her concerts he’ll go,
And devotion he’ll show --
In outfits like hers he’ll be dressed.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“Oy gevalt, will you look at that tan goy?
Of the beaches in France I’m a fanboy!”
Squealed young Moishe. His father
Said, “Shikses? Don’t bother!
Shut up and just play with your sand toy.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


“’Scuse me, Thaumaturge - word in your ear.
Might you turn this ‘ere water ter beer?
Times is ‘ard, no mistake,
But me thirst I mus’ slake,
Or I’ll get tired of livin’, I fear.”
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

“These spells that you have now and then,”
says the doc,”are evading our ken.
There perhaps will emerge
some wise thaumaturge
who’ll restore your good health once again.”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

“Dear Abby, I need some advice.
My boyfriend has strayed on me -- twice!”
“Dear Reader, just splurge
On a good thaumaturge;
A love potion alone should suffice.”
-Sara Hutchinson, New Castle, Delaware (sarahutch2003 yahoo.com)

Republican leaders agree:
“A thaumaturge we need to see!
He’d make Trump disappear,
An event we would cheer --
How happy DeSantis would be!”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

He fiddled with locks as a kid,
To learn all the secrets he hid.
Ehrich Weiss would emerge,
World famous thaumaturge.
As Houdini, we know he did.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Possessed by an old showman’s urge,
Donald thinks he’s a great thaumaturge:
“Though we lost due to Mitch,
Folks, I’ve still got the itch,
And I’ll conjure a ‘uge pollin’ surge!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


“Don’t put off till tomorrow...” Wise ways;
Still the staunch temporizer delays.
‘Left alone, I’ve no doubt,
Problems sort themselves out --
I can often ignore them for days.’
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

Delay and delay and delay!
She’s grown fairly used to his way.
But the old temporizer
perhaps will surprise ‘er,
arriving on time some fine day!
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Temporizers could drive one insane,
For each choice they must make gives them pain.
Which bagel to get?
These poor guys will fret,
One with sesame seeds or just plain?
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

We never get anything done!
All because of that sun-of-a-gun!
He’s no supervisor,
Just a damn temporizer.
“Tomorrow,” he says ... yeah, like fun!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

Said Donald, “I’m no temporizer;
I’ll announce, and spew lies like a geyser.
As Prez, checks I’ll kite,
And they cannot indict;
It’s as good as a vaccine from Pfizer.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


The casuist cleverly spoke,
Persuading some ignorant folk.
His arguments, though,
I happen to know
Were nothing but mirrors and smoke.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“As the best of all music it’s jazz you list?
Your reasoning makes you a casuist,”
Sniffed the stuffy professor.
“Than Mozart it’s lesser,
And certainly never would dazzle Liszt.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


The nor-malcontent of the newspaper was replaced by parody pieces for the April Fools Day issue.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“I shall make Malcontent by bringing him Macbeth’s head,” said Macduff.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

At the concert, a roadie would fanboy George to cool him off between songs.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“With the use of a fanboy-ling temperatures would be less uncomfortable, Your Highness,” advised Cleopatra’s vizier.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Thaumaturge-id prose isn’t for everyone, Ah still won both a Nobel Prahz and a Pulitzer,” said William Faulkner.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Send in that girl from the agency to take some dictation,” said the CEO, and thought, “I must have that temporizer so blue I could go swimming in them.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

See-Saw Runoff
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: See-Saw Runoff

Consolidating full-control of the Senate for the Dems rests on the outcome of the Georgia Dec 6 runoff election, pitting Democrat incumbent, Rev. Raphael Warnock, against former NFL footballer, Republican Herschel Walker. Here, I’ve pictured Warnock and Walker seesawing atop the cast-bronze Statue of Freedom that crowns the Capitol dome. You could say this 20-foot statue is a symbolic mini-sister to our Statue of Liberty.
Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

If you want a symbolic gesture, don’t burn the flag, wash it. -Norman Thomas, socialist and social reformer (20 Nov 1884-1968)

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