Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


About | Media | Search | Contact  


Today's Word

Yesterday's Word



Dec 23, 2018
This week’s theme
Words that aren’t what they appear to be

This week’s words

How popular are they?
Relative usage over time

AWADmail archives

Next week’s theme
No el

Send a gift that
keeps on giving,
all year long:
A gift subscription of A.Word.A.Day or the gift of books
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share

AWADmail Issue 860

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

Sponsor’s Message: Are you looking for a wicked smart way to one up your know-it-all in-laws and annoy the entire family this Christmas? Email of the Week winner, Vincent DeLuise (see below), as well as wordlovers near and far will love/hate playing our machiavellian game.

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

For the First Time in More Than 20 Years, Copyrighted Works Will Enter the Public Domain

Does Scrabble Need To Be Fixed?

From: William Pease (wpease sdsu.edu)
Subject: Dogmatic

Who was the wag who said, “My karma ran over your dogma”?

William Pease, San Diego, California

From: Jürgen Bast (jbast recht.jlug.de)
Subject: dogmatic

In academic legal discourse, the term dogmatic has a different meaning. Dogmatic is a particular approach to legal scholarship that aims at systematizing the law and providing coherence of its application by scientific means of interpretation (i.e., developing dogmatic concepts). It is the dominant approach in French and German legal scholarship. When communicating with colleagues from Anglo-Saxon academia, I use the equivalent term doctrinal in order to avoid the pejorative connotation of dogmatic.

Jürgen Bast, Giessen, Germany

From: Danny Chapman (rowlhouse googlemail.com)
Subject: dogmatic

There’s an excellent series of BBC radio programmes (probably only available in the UK) called The Boring Talks, which demonstrate that nothing is inherently boring. “Asterix Puns” is particularly appealing to Wordsmith readers, and tells how Asterix’s stubborn canine companion, Idéfix has been translated from French into the even punnier Dogmatix.

Danny Chapman, Oxford, UK

From: Judy Sabatino (memectp neo.rr.com)
Subject: dogmatic

I am of the opinion that to be dogmatic would be a catastrophic.

Judy Sabatino, Girard, Ohio

From: James Eng (jameseng hotmail.com)
Subject: sortilege

First “dogmatic”, describing the powers-that-be where I work. And now, “lustrate”, which coincides with this feeling I get that they’re trying to get rid of me. Yikes! Here’s to hoping that sortilege is just another interesting word you all have brought my way over the years -- and to me NOT becoming the next Andrew McCabe.

James Eng, Plainsboro, New Jersey

From: Ann Zelle (stargateaz aol.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--lustrate

Yes -- lustrate Trump and Facebook too.

Ann Zelle

From: John M Estill (jmestill gmail.com)
Subject: lustrate

Spanish has the term “lustro”, meaning “a period of five years”; the underlying Latin “lustrum” is said to mean an expiatory sacrifice performed every five years.

John Estill, Millersburg, Ohio

From: William Birnes (wjb1944 earthlink.net)
Subject: Leuk-

It also gives us leukemia, which is a lightening of the blood because the white blood cells overwhelm the red blood cells, or at least that’s what they thought.

Bill Birnes, New Hope, Pennsylvania

Email of the Week brought to you by The Official Old’s Cool Education -- Bone Up Now >

From: Vincent DeLuise (eyemusic73 gmail.com)
Subject: tourbillion

In horological parlance, a tourbillon is a complex watch mechanism. It is an addition to the mechanics of a watch escapement (the mechanism that clicks and locks each second to allow the timepiece to advance the time). It was patented by the French-Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet on June 26, 1801. A tourbillon counters the effects of gravity by mounting the escapement and balance wheel in a rotating cage, negating the effect of gravity when the escapement is stuck.

Vincent DeLuise, Waterbury, Connecticut

From: Jered L. Hock (jeredandelaine comcast.net)
Subject: tourbillion

One of my most pleasant summer memories is going to a busy ice cream place in Percé, Québec, and ordering cones of tourbillon de framboise, a vanilla ice cream with swirls of jammy raspberry syrup “whirlpooling” through it. It took me back to my childhood when we in northern PA slurped the same treat under the name of “raspberry revel”.

Jered L. Hock, Carlisle, Pennsylvania

From: Turner Hopkins (rogo1930 icloud.com)
Subject: antigodlin

Great word. I learned it as a boy back in the 1930s. It was always pronounced antigogling. I still use it frequently.

Turner Hopkins, Memphis, Tennessee

From: Denis Toll (denis.toll outlook.com)
Subject: antigodlin

Builders in the UK will often describe a doorframe, say, that’s antigodlin as being “pissed” by which they mean drunk. Of course, in the US this would mean annoyed, the British equivalent to that being “pissed off”.

Denis Toll, Aberdeen, Scotland

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: dogmatic and tourbillion

In this imagined pressroom scenario, dogged, yet much-maligned-by-Trump chief CNN White House reporter, Jim Acosta, poses what’s ostensibly a softball rhetorical query to Trump, knowing full well that the Dogmatist-in-Chief will come back with the highest letter grade possible... an A+, even though most Americans would be reluctant to give him even a passing grade. Trump virtually wrote the book on political “dogma” ... well... truth be told, a ghostwriter did. Believe me.

dogmatic tourbillion
In seeing the unfamiliar word “tourbillion” (“a whirlwind or whirlpool”), for the very first time, in this week’s AWAD, I immediately conjured up the now iconic ferocious cinematic tourbillion, i.e., the massive, terrifyingly destructive, pitch-black tornado that swept up ruby-slippered Dorothy and her trusty little pooch Toto from the cornfields of Kansas, transporting them to the enchanted, otherworldly Land of Oz, through the magic of the silver screen.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Anagrams of this week’s words

1. dogmatic
2. lustrate
3. tourbillion
4. antigodlin
5. aggrate
= 1. a bit too moral
2. clear it
3. grand gust
4. go in a tilt
5. indulge
     1. dogmatic
2. lustrate
3. tourbillion
4. antigodlin
5. aggrate
= 1. citing bigot
2. remit
3. tornado; alt. gust
4. diagonal
5. allure
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com) -Robert Jordan, Lampang, Thailand (alfiesdad ymail.com)

From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Limericks

Anu’s right! The words we keep choosing
Like “dogmatic” sounds like we’re misusing.
And if in Poland there’s Poles,
Why in Holland no Holes?
I give up, it’s too damn confusing.
-Joe Budd Stevens, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (joebuddstevens gmail.com)

Thomas Edison was truly ecstatic,
but for Watson the results were traumatic,
for he’d heavily bet
there’d be no robot pet.
“Eureka!” Tom cried. It’s “Dogmatic”.
-Duncan C. Turner, Seattle, Washington (dturner badgleymullins.com)

I’m correct, you’re off-track, he’s erratic.
I’m persuasive, you’re hyped, he’s fanatic.
But we’re all three the same!
Conjugation’s the game:
I hold firm, you’re cocksure, he’s dogmatic.
-David Goldberg, Pinckney, Michigan (goldberg wccnet.edu)

It’s only the truly dogmatic
Who would still deny changes climatic.
While inland we roast,
To stay dry near the coast
We’ll need ladders to climb to the attic.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Manchester United is in straits,
As José Mourinho it lustrates.
A new manager will
For the players instil
A new zeal -- to bring fans to the gates!
-Monica Broom, Morogoro, Tanzania (monicabroom2015 gmail.com)

If you’d bet some money on it,
Most of you find the perfect fit
Is planning his fate
To quickly lustrate
A leader who isn’t worth ....!
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

Forty-five’s every bonehead decision
calls to mind Twenty-five’s great provision
that lets Congress lustrate
him and thereby frustrate
further danger, defeats, and division.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

Said Putin to Trump on a lunch date,
“My opponents een Russia I lustrate.”
“Oh, Vlad, you’re the champ,”
Answered Donald, “At camp
I just wish I’d had you for a bunk mate.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

In the White House there is a tourbillion.
In size, it’s up to Godzillian.
It’s created by Trumpkins
And more greedy bumpkins
Not happy with merely ten million.
-Glenn Ickler, Hopedale, Massachusetts (glennwriter verizon.net)

Medusa, caught in a tourbillion,
cried out, “I will pay you four million
bucks, even five --
if you can revive
what’s left of my tresses reptilian!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

I know a Brazilian named Jillian,
Who says when skin feels crocodilian
She’ll quickly withdraw
To a nearby spa
And soak in a heated tourbillion.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Said Mattis to Kelly, “Civilians
Could never withstand such tourbillions.”
McMaster agreed,
Adding, “Now we’ve been freed
From the world’s biggest stage as vaudevillians.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

The White House Donald’s remodelin’.
He’s turning it antigodlin.
I don’t really drink,
But right now I think
Some whiskey I must be toddlin’.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

They say when God created my face
he must have, in great pain, grimaced.
My lopsided grin,
the antigodlin chin,
point to the dictum: man’s made in God’s image.
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

With a gift card from He-Man’s Boutique,
He spied a shirt truly unique.
So the surly old Lummox
Sucked in his stomach
And admired his antigodlin physique.
-Gayle Tremblay, Saint John, Canada (gayletremblay hotmail.com)

The plain truth’s we’re in bed with a liar.
We’ve erected our own funeral pyre.
The land is maudlin
And antigodlin
As we enter this trance-dance with fire.
-Charles Harp, Victoria, Canada (texzenpro yahoo.com)

“This Khashoggi is so antigodlin,
I must chat with my bro,” said bin Salman.
“From my capital arid,
I’ll WhatsApp with Jared;
He’ll surely agree, ‘No more coddlin’.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

The suave suitor, he tried to aggrate
All the ladies who’d stand there and wait.
He would woo them for hours
With sweet bonbons and flow’rs,
‘Twas indeed a most sought-after date.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

To reassure him that he’s great
His sycophants gladly aggrate.
They’ll bow to the donkey,
Say “The media are wonky,”
Til’ the people will show him the gate.
-Lou Gottlieb, Hubbard, Oregon (gottlieb wbcable.net)

Most often the joys of Christmas aggrate;
Even after, when bliss tends to abate;
Only a devil
Would care to cavil,
And those we deem to be ingrate.
-Marcia Sinclair, Newmarket, Canada (marciasinclair rogers.com)

He was called Alexander the Great,
But his missus was hard to aggrate.
“No more worlds?” she’d complain,
“On your shirt there’s a stain,
And you’re home from your conquest so late!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

To aggrate this golden-haired child
Who creates tourbillions quite wild,
The Repubs antogodlin
And dogmatically maudlin
Won’t lustrate him for fear he’ll get riled.
-Florence Ames, Hopedale, Massachusetts (florenceames yahoo.com)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: Puns which ARE what they appear to be... corny

When it sheds, a dogmatic up your furniture.

After his first time the boy asked, “How did my lustrate?”

Our trip through Le Louvre was “un tourbillion belief!”

They are so fat, I don’t know how uncle and antigodlin thru the door!

You’d think this AWAD would yield aggrate pun. Nope.

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Every noon as the clock hands arrive at twelve, / I want to tie the two arms together, / And walk out of the bank carrying time in bags. -Robert Bly, poet (b. 23 Dec 1926)

We need your help

Help us continue to spread the magic of words to readers everywhere


Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2024 Wordsmith