Let's let this thread load a little faster, by starting Mensopause IV (continued from here
MEANING: verb tr.: To reject, refuse, or disown.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin repudiare (to divorce, reject), from repudium (divorce). Earliest documented use: 1534.
- This whiskey isn't worth the glass it's served in.RECUDIATE
- Oh, and about that clump of grass I've been chewing on for the last half hour...PREPUDIATE
- My mind is made up, don't confuse me with facts !
MEANING: noun: Something (action, speech, etc.) designed to flatter, coax, or influence.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin blandiri (to flatter). Ultimately from the Indo-European root mel- (soft), which also gave us bland, melt, smelt, malt, mild, mulch, mollify, mollusk, emollient, enamel, smalto, and schmaltz. Earliest documented use: 1591.
BYLANDISHMENT - going by caravan, rather than by boat
BLONDISHMENT - lightening your hair
BLANDDISHMENT - the art of preparing tasteless food
MEANING: adjective: Deserving or causing disgrace or shame.
ETYMOLOGY: Via French, from Latin ignominia, from ig- (not) + nomen (name). Ultimately from the Indo-European root no-men- (name) which also gave us name, anonymous, noun, synonym, eponym, renown, nominate, misnomer, and moniker. Earliest documented use: 1530.
IGNOMANIOUS - compulsively proclaiming an all-pervading lack of knowledge
INNOMINIOUS - pertaining to a Disgraceful Act That Shall Not Be Named
PIGNOMINIOUS - (Sorry, I'm not going to get involved in a political discussion)
signominious- cringe worthy persistence of strange memory
"Freedom of any kind is the worst for creativity"
MEANING: adjective: 1. Irritable; cranky. 2. Unruly.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin fractus, past participle of frangere (to break). Ultimately from the Indo-European root bhreg- (to break), which also gave us break, breach, fraction, and fragile. Earliest documented use: 1725.
FURACTIOUS - belligerently working for PETA
PRACTIOUS - getting ready for Carnegie Hall
FRANCTIOUS - Sinatra is worried
Tractious-record breaking, best selling, running shoes.
Thoughts out to my daughter and her 5k today!
How'd the 5K go?
MEANING: noun: The process or the state of growing old.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin senescere (to grow old), from senex (old). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sen- (old), which is also the ancestor of senior, senate, senile, Spanish seńor, sir, sire, and surly (which is an alteration of sirly, as in sir-ly). Earliest documented use: 1695.
- the soul of wineSENESCIENCE
- expertise in geriatrics SENSCENCE
- the "curiously strong mint
" long before Altoids were invented...
She got first in age/women and fifth overall!
MEANING: noun: An instrument for detecting or measuring faint tremors caused by an earthquake.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek tromos (trembling). Earliest documented use: 1878.
TROMOMETIER - Shaker par excellence
TOROMOMETER - the number of your cows who have given birth to bulls
TROMBOMETER - how they found out exactly how many led the Big Parade
Mappenchance-plotting a course and taking a chance, everyday.
noun: A chance occurrence.
adjective: Resulting from chance.
ETYMOLOGY: Alteration of happenstance, a blend of happening + circumstance. Earliest documented use: 1847.
HOPPENCHANCE - What the frog took when he crossed the road
HAPPENCHANGE - I just found a quarter and a dime on the sidewalk
HA'PENCHANCE - Get yer raffle tickets here! Two for a penny!
MEANING: adjective: Swimming or floating.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin natare (to swim). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sna- (to swim or flow), which also gave us Sanskrit snan (bath). Earliest documented use: 1460.
NATACT - a kind of flea circus
NATHANT - turning into a Coney Island hot dog
NEATANT - my mother's sister has OCD
The most common trombometer reading is "Too loud; too many."
MEANING: noun: Juice; fluid.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin succus (juice). Earliest documented use: 1771.
YUCCUS - a single plant of the agave family, native to the warmer regions of America (more commonly referred to by its plural yucca)
SUCCES - almost-but-not-quite-complet achievement of a goal
SUNCUS - what the U-boat did to my destroyer
Fuccus-many happy returns and much good fortune
PRONUNCIATION: (NIT-ee GRIT-ee)
MEANING: noun: The essential, practical, or most important details.
ETYMOLOGY: Origin unknown. Earliest documented use: 1940.
NITTY-GRINTY - Ron Weasley is making baby-booties
WITTY-GRITTY - a rough sense of humor
NUTTY-GRITTY - There's sand in my Peanut Brittle !
Pitty-gritty - a horrible, toe-curling, leg cramp caused by dehydration and then you die
Blug- a contraction of big and lug, to haul ass long distances. Ex, It's the cops, let's Blug out of here!
MEANING: verb tr.: To obtain something by guile; to cheat, rob, snatch, steal, scam, or beg.
noun: A robbery, con, or theft.
ETYMOLOGY: Origin unknown. Earliest documented use: 1934.
BULAG - 1. Russian prison greeted with disfavor by audience; 2. a resident therein is not well-liked
BLA - dull on Twitter (saved a whole keystroke!)
BLAX - the second terminal at Los Angeles Airport
PRONUNCIATION: (FET-tid, FEE-TID)
MEANING: adjective: Having a strong unpleasant odor.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin fetere (to stink). Earliest documented use: 1599.
FATID - having strong sexual urges
FEATID - identify the heroic accomplishment
FETAD - covered with goat cheese
I tried to stay away. AWAD is terribly addicting.
Feetid- recognizable smell of a person's feet
Memory from childhood of me peaking over the end of the couch, investigating my father's smelly feet.
Growess- a lady-in-waiting to the Faerie Queen. Her main duty, and honor, cultivating the finest herbs and teas.
MEANING: noun: Superior skill, ability, strength, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: From Middle French prou (valiant), from Old English prud. Earliest documented use: 1300.
PRO-LESS - in favor of ding more with fewer resources
PROW-LESS - like the Andrea Doria after her encounter with Stockholm
PROWL-ESS - a hunting female, or "cougar"
MEANING: adjective: Well-deserved, appropriate.
ETYMOLOGY: From Middle English condigne, from Anglo French, from Latin condignus, from com- (completely) + dignus (worthy). Ultimately from Indo-European root dek- (to take, accept), which is the ancestor of other words such as dignity, discipline, doctor, decorate, docile, and deign. Earliest documented use: 1413.
CONSIGN - the convicted forger does it again
CONDIG - attempted escape ahead
CONDIN - the sound of a prison riot
Inmenuous- It's what's for dinner at a Tolkien themed restaurant called Middle Earth. The Hobbit has 7 courses and the Orc has but one, on a good day.
MEANING: adjective: Guileless; innocent; frank; naive.
ETYMOLOGY: The word literally means free-born. The earlier meaning of the word was noble or honorable as a free-born or native person was supposed to be. Over time the word shifted to its current meaning. From Latin ingenuus (native, free-born), from in- (into) + gignere (to beget). Earliest documented use: 1598. A related word is ingenue.
INGENUOUT - Get that sweet innocent little thing OFF my movie lot!
INTENUOUS - barely holding on
KINGENUOUS - monarch of the Enuous tribe
pecious- the sound made when one pees in the woods.
Speciout- a variant of peace out
MEANING: adjective: Superficially true, but actually wrong.
ETYMOLOGY: Originally, the word meant beautiful or pleasing to the sight. Over the centuries the meaning shifted to describe something that is deceptively appealing. The word is from Latin speciosus (fair, beautiful), from specere (to look). Ultimately from the Indo-European root spek- (to observe), which also gave us speculum, speciesism, soupcon, prospicient, perspicuous, omphaloskepsis, and conspectus. Earliest documented use: 1400.
SPECKOUS - teeny-weeny
SPECIOU - the dimensions of the Promissory Note
'SPICIOUS - worried that you have a 'terior motive
Purblond- a "dumb blond" joke book.
Burblind- a sauce made with margarine
1. Partially blind.
2. Lacking in understanding, insight, or vision.
ETYMOLOGY: From pure + blind, meaning completely blind. Over time, the sense shifted to partially blind. Earliest documented use: 1300.
PUB BLIND - I don't care which bar I patronize, as long as they don't run out
FUR BLIND - I can't see working for PETA
PUR BLAND - the cat is boring, but contented...
1. Spirited; full of courage, spunk, or energy.
2. Touchy, irritable, or ill-tempered.
ETYMOLOGY: From feist, variant of obsolete fist, short for fisting cur, a contemptuous term for a dog, from fist, from Middle English fisten (to break wind). The word fizzle is ultimately derived from the same source. Earliest documented use: 1896.
FISTY - truculent, pugnacious
FERSTY - Gimme a drink of water !
FEISTA - a dyslexic celebration in Tijuana
1. Excessively eager in offering unwanted or unneeded advice or help.
2. Acting in pompous or domineering manner, especially in trivial matters.
ETYMOLOGY: Earlier, someone officious was dutiful or helpful. Over time, the word acquired a negative sense. From Latin officiosus (dutiful), from officium (service). Earliest documented use: 1487.
BOFFICIOUS - superlative, even for Hollywood
OFDICIOUS - pertaining to fine foods
OFFICIOUT - the automatic summer-vacation email reply message
Shugger-mugger - one not allowed to take sweet syrup to make one's voice more pleasant.
PRONUNCIATION: (HUHG-uhr MUHG-uhr)
MEANING: noun: 1. Confusion. 2. Secrecy.
adjective: 1. Confused. 2. Secret.
verb tr., intr.: To keep secret or act in a secretive manner.
adverb: 1. Secretly. 2. Confusingly.
ETYMOLOGY: Of uncertain origin. Perhaps from reduplication of Middle English mokeren (to hoard or conceal). Earliest documented use: 1529.
- what the Malfoys objected to so ferventlyCHUGGER-MUGGER
- someone who goes through Toby Mugs of ale one after anotherHUNGER-MUGGER
- only a tiny fraction of Inner-City crime is done by this kind of perp
PS. For a really good read, enjoy Hugger-Mugger in the Louvre
(if the Seine ever subsides) by Elliott Paul. (See here
PRONUNCIATION: (AHR-guhl BAHR-guhl)
MEANING: noun: 1. A vigorous discussion or noisy dispute. 2. Nonsense.
ETYMOLOGY: From reduplication of argle, alteration of argue. Earliest documented use: 1872.
ARGYLE-BARGLE - got these socks at a really great price!
ANGLE-BANGLE - square bracelets
ARGLE-BURGLE - choke on a stolen Big Mac
Hoisty-toisty- hi hi hi Das Jodeln das macht Spaß der Weihnachtsmann
PRONUNCIATION: (HOI-tee TOI-tee)
MEANING: adjective: Haughty; pretentious; huffy.
ETYMOLOGY: From reduplication of hoit (to romp). Earliest documented use: 1668.
- language spoken by Cecil Bill on Kukla, Fran, and Ollie
(Kukla was the only one who could understand it) HOSTY-TOSTY
- giving your friends a warm welcomeHOITY-TORTY
- grounds for action in Brooklyn Children's Court
Hoisty-toisty- hi hi hi Das Jodeln das macht Spaß der Weihnachtsmann
What was that again about Frosty the Snowman?
MEANING: noun: A small bouquet of flowers. Also known as a posy or a nosegay.
ETYMOLOGY: Probably a reduplication of tussy (a small bunch of flowers). Earliest documented use: 1440.
TUSSLE-MUSSLE - what you strengthen with your Kegel exercises
THUSSIE-MUSSIE - therefore it's imperative not to miss this flick
TUSHIE-MUSSIE - baby needs a new diaper
Hussie-mussie - what I look like when I dress up for church
PRONUNCIATION: (HUHR-lee BUHR-lee)
MEANING: noun: Disorder; confusion; commotion; uproar.
adjective: Characterized by disorder, confusion, commotion, uproar, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: A reduplication of hurling, from hurl (to toss). Earliest documented use: 1440.
HARLY-BURLY - strapping young motorcyclist
HURLY-CURLY - throw ringlets
HOURLY-BURLY - Variety show starts every 60 minutes! Girls!
Surly-burly -a beer made with witches worts
MEANING: noun: A synonym.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek poikilos (various) + -onym (name). Earliest documented use: 1890.
PORCILONYM - a pig by any other name
POETILONYM - not only has the same meaning, but rhymes, too
POECILONOM - an internet troll / bully / "sock puppet" who hides his (or her) unpleasantness behind many different aliases
P.S. "Poikilocytosis" is the standard word in medicine to describe blood cells as being of various shapes.
Hephalism- belief in heffalumps, but not woozles
Kudos to Heffalumps !
MEANING: noun: Teetotalism: abstinence from alcohol.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek nephalios (sober). Earliest documented use: 1860.
NEPHELISM - the teachings of turbidity
CEPHALISM - it's all in your head
NEPALISM - Katmandu is the greatest !
MEANING: noun: Mithridatism: Successively decreased response to a drug or a toxin over time.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek tachy- (swift) + phylaxis (protection). Earliest documented use: 1911.
Tachyphylaxis I know; it's Mithraditism I never heard of before!
STACHYPHYLAXIS - takes longer and longer to accumulate chips at the poker table
PACHYPHYLAXIS - and the Elephant plants aren't growing very fast now, either
TACHYPHYTAXIS - fast plants that'll take you where you want to go, for a fee
Bachyphylaxis- general complacency when baroque, with inherent motivic passions
MEANING: noun: An atheist: a person who has no religious faith or belief in god(s).
adjective: Having no faith or belief.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin nullus (no) + fides (faith). Earliest documented use: 1564.
NULLIFIEDIAN - the Democrat's view of the current Congress: undoes everything
NULLIFIDEAN - against the world governing body for chess (FIDE)
NULLIFINDIAN - the Pakistani worldview (NULL, IF INDIAN)
MEANING: noun: Spoonerism: The transposition of (usually) the initial sounds of words producing a humorous result.
For example, Runny Babbit instead of Bunny Rabbit.
ETYMOLOGY: Of uncertain origin. Perhaps from the name of a Polish count who was prone to this phenomenon. Earliest documented use: 1863.
MARROWSKA - Mrs Spooner
MARROWSKEY - what you use to enter The Marrows when they lock it
MORROWSKY - Sailors' Delight, if it's red
PRONUNCIATION: (VUHR-mil, -mayl)
MEANING: noun: 1. Vermilion color: bright orange-red. 2. Metal, such as silver, bronze, or copper that has been gilded.
adjective: Bright red in color.
ETYMOLOGY: The word is coined after insects (of genus Kermes) that are used to make red dye. From Latin vermiculus (little worm, kermes), diminutive of vermis (worm). Ultimately from Indo-European root wer- (to turn or bend), which also gave us wring, weird, writhe, worth, revert, universe, conversazione, divers, malversation, prosaic, versal, verso, and wroth. Earliest documented use: 1400
VERMEIN - rat meat with Chinese vegetables and noodles
OVERMEIL - where many a seduction takes place
VERMEIR - a Dutch painter of interior scenes of middle-class life, who went on to become Prime Minister of Israel
MEANING: noun: 1. Any of the various species of small dabbling ducks. 2. Greenish blue color.
adjective: Of greenish blue color.
ETYMOLOGY: From Middle English tele. The color is named after the patches of this shade on the teal. Earliest documented use: 1314.
TERL - hard work in Brooklyn
TU-AL - second-person-singular-familiar pronoun in Southern France
TEAU - a digit on your boyfriend's foot
MEANING: noun: A bright red color.
adjective: Of bright red color.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old French pouncel (poppy), diminutive of paon (peacock), from Latin pavo (peacock). Peacocks are not red, so why this word after a peacock? The poppy flower got this name because its vivid red color was compared to the bright colors of a peacock. A related word is pavonine. Earliest documented use: 1774.
SPONCEAU - the company that pays the bill for your TV program ("...and now, a word from our SPONCEAU...")
PONTEAU - a bridge over troubled waters (French)
PONCHEAU - a Villa in Chihuahua Province of northern Mexico
Might PONCHEAU have been the partner of CISCHEAU in the old Duncan Renaldo films?
Might PONCHEAU have been the partner of CISCHEAU in the old Duncan Renaldo films?
That was PANCHEAU.
(As was Villa, BTW.) This PONCHEAU used to keep us dry when it rained at camp...
Ponpeau- Quarles with Poe
Ponpeau- something fishy this way comes
PRONUNCIATION: (toap, rhymes with rope)
MEANING: noun: A brownish gray, similar to the color of moleskin.
adjective: Of a brownish gray color.
ETYMOLOGY: From French taupe (mole), from Latin talpa (mole). Earliest documented use: 1911.
TAURE- 1. ripped; 2. short for a French bull
UTAUPE - a very laid-back ideal society
TWUPE - a theater company led by a yellow canary with a speech impediment
MEANING: noun: 1. A reddish brown color. 2. A brown pigment originally made from the cuttlefish ink. 3. A drawing made with this pigment. 4. A monochrome photograph in this color.
adjective: Of a reddish-brown color.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin sepia (cuttlefish), from Greek sepia (cuttlefish). Earliest documented use: 1569.
SLEPIA - what the hypnotist tells you you are getting
SEMPIA - Marine Corps mascot. (Probably a dog, I think)
SE3PIA - a female multilingual droid
PRONUNCIATION: (NAY-vuh-ree, NAYV-ree)
MEANING: noun: Dishonest dealing or an instance of this.
ETYMOLOGY: From knave, from Old English cnafa (boy, servant). Earliest documented use: 1528.
NAVERY - the part of the ritual that takes place in the main central part of the church
KNIVERY - the art of using sharpened blades
KONAVERY - extreme coffee from Hawaii, grown on the slopes of Mauna Loa
MEANING: adjective: Extremely angry.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old English wrath. Ultimately from Indo-European root wer- (to turn or bend), which is also the progenitor of words such as wring, weird, writhe, worth, revert, and universe. Earliest documented use: 893.
EROTH - my retirement account is completely online
OWROTH - ...and it lost a lot of its value yesterday :-(
WROT - past tense of WRIT
noun: A knot on a tree or in wood.
ETYMOLOGY: From Middle English knarre. Earliest documented use: 1250.
EKNAR - capital city of the fictitious land of Fthon
KNEAR - not kdistant; opposite of KFAR
KNER - a short person genuflecting
Wrisk- La Conquête du Monde, a strategy game with a wrinkle.
MEANING: verb tr., intr.: To sprain or wrench.
ETYMOLOGY: From Middle Low German wricken (to sprain). Earliest documented use: 1305.
OWRICK - that guy from Casablanca hurt me !
WROCK - past tense of "wreck"
WOICK - gainful employment in Brooklyn
1. Relating to a gnome (an aphorism or a pithy saying).
2. Puzzling, ambiguous, or incomprehensible yet seemingly profound.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek gnome (judgment, opinion), from gignoskein (to know). Ultimately from the Indo-European root gno- (to know), which also gave us knowledge, prognosis, ignore, narrate, normal, and gnomon. Earliest documented use: 1815.
NOMIC - They can't hear me, how do I turn this thing on? (pron. "no-mike")
MNOMIC - memorable
GONOMIC - who'd'a thunk it?
...and speaking of gnomes, have you come across this
The week is over, so I guess we're done with the Silent Letters theme.
Pity. I was waiting for the word to be PSITTICOSIS, also known as Parrot Fever.
Then we could have the letter changed be Greek PSI, and make
PSI --> MU: MUTTICOSIS = Mixed-Breed-Dog Fever, or
PSI --> OMEGA: OMEGATTICOSIS = "I can't even imagine such a terrible plague," or...
Opportunity squandered. Rats.
Ginomic- a card game where the rummy is silent
Brobative- brother baiting
PRONUNCIATION: (PRO-buh-tiv, PROB-uh-)
MEANING: adjective: Serving to test something or providing a proof.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin probare (to test or prove), from probus (upright, good). Ultimately from the Indo-European root per- (forward), which also gave us paramount, prime, proton, prow, German Frau (woman), and Hindi purana (old). Earliest documented use: 1453.
PROM-BAT-IVE - they're going to use this on the pinata at the Senior dance !
PRO-BATH-IVE - ...and don't you forget to wash behind your ears, either
POO-BA-TIVE - given to pompous and grandiose statements about yourself
Cobbery- corny themed open mic night
Sobbery- crocodile tear factory
Nobbery- easy to turn door faktory
MEANING: noun: The use of a public office for private gain.
ETYMOLOGY: From jobber (wholesaler; one who does odd jobs), from job, of unknown origin. Earliest documented use: 1769.
JOBERY - faithful victimness
JOBEERY - Wallace's little sister
JOBBERYL - No. 2 on the jeweler's To-do list, right after Job Amethyst and before Job Citrine
MEANING: adjective: Appearing as such; supposed.
ETYMOLOGY: From French ostensible, from Latin ostendere (to show, stretch out), from ob- (in front of) + tendere (to stretch). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ten- (to stretch), which also gave us tense, tenet, tendon, tent, tenor, tender, pretend, extend, tenure, tetanus, hypotenuse, pertinacious, detente, countenance, distend, extenuate, tenable, tenuous, abstentious, and impertinent. Earliest documented use: 1743.
adjective: Appearing as such; supposed.
ETYMOLOGY: From French ostensible, from Latin ostendere (to show, stretch out), from ob- (in front of) + tendere (to stretch). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ten- (to stretch), which also gave us tense, tenet, tendon, tent, tenor, tender, pretend, extend, tenure, tetanus, hypotenuse, pertinacious, detente, countenance, distend, extenuate, tenable, tenuous, abstentious, and impertinent. Earliest documented use: 1743.
OSENSIBLE - Irish pragmatism
OSTEN SABLE - a small carnivore found in the forests, flat lands and mountainous areas of east Asia.
OSTENS BIBLE - Holy Writ owned by the author of Jane Eyre
Osensible- modern day comedy of manners written by, A Chick
MEANING: noun: A place of worship.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin fanum (temple). Earliest documented use: 1400s.
FANNE - a devotee of women's sports
FAUNE - a girl Bambi
NANE - Sodium Neonide; an inert salt. Doesn't dissolve, doesn't react, doesn't taste, just sits in the bottom of the water-filled beaker and waits. Sort of an anti-Rice-Krispies.
Arble- a proposal made modest with less garble
MEANING: adjective: Suitable for farming.
noun: Land thats suitable for farming.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin arare (to plow). Earliest documented use: 1400.
OARABLE - can be rowed
AXABLE - no need to spare that tree, Woodman!
ARABILE - what you read in the Damascus Times
1. Unequivocal, especially in refusing to run for an office.
2. Brutally thorough, especially in defeating someone.
ETYMOLOGY: After William Tecumseh Sherman, Union general in the American Civil War. Earliest documented use: 1918.
NOTES: The Union general William Tecumseh Sherman didnt mince words. When he was being considered as a presidential candidate, he said, I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected. Since then, a categorical statement, especially a denial, is called Shermanesque. Reporters ask politicians if their announcement not to run for an office is Shermanesque to confirm whether they really mean it.
Sherman also didnt beat around the bush when it came to military campaigns. His soldiers destroyed infrastructure, farms, etc. in their wake. So the term Shermanesque is also used to refer to a scorched-earth approach.
SHORMANESQUE - like a sailor on leave
SHERPANESQUE - like a Himalayan mountain-climbing guide
SHEMANESQUE - in-your-face transgender
Hermanesque- Like the 5th Earl of Shroudshire, lovable, good-natured, clumsy, buffoon.
Carpettagger- 1001 of 1001 games, the carpettagger tries to take possession of the lamp before the sultan can make three wishes and vanish. If the sultan vanishes three more wishes are granted.
...a CARPETBLAGGER ? (see the Word
for just this past May 31)
MEANING: An opportunistic outsider, especially a political candidate who contests election in an area while having little connection to it.
ETYMOLOGY: In the US, the term was applied to a Northerner who went to the South after the Civil War during the Reconstruction era. Such a person typically carried his belongings in a bag made of old carpet. Earliest documented use: 1868.
- Well, my
oriental rug is 36 by 48 feet, and 3500 years old, and sold at auction for $350,000!CARETBAGGER
- packager of insert marksCARPE.BAGGER
- Seize the kid who puts your groceries into the sack!
1. The exchanging of favors, especially by legislators by voting for each others legislation.
2. A sport in which two players stand on a floating log and try to knock each other off by spinning the log with their feet.
ETYMOLOGY: From the former practice of neighbors helping each other move logs by rolling them. Earliest documented use: 1792.
LAGROLLING - robbing a convict
LOWROLLING - like a mist (see also FOGROLLING)
LOGROWLING - noise made by a wary grizzly bear
Lolrolling- laughing out loud while rolling down a hill.
PRONUNCIATION: (DOG [h]wis-uhl)
MEANING: noun: A coded message that appears innocuous to the general public, but that has an additional interpretation meant to appeal to the target audience, for example, to racists.
adjective: Relating to such a message.
ETYMOLOGY: From the allusion to a dog whistle whose high-pitched sound is inaudible to humans but can be heard by dogs. Earliest documented use: 1995.
DAG-WHISTLE - how Blondie tells her husband that dinner's ready
DOG-WHITTLE - what woodcarvers do in their spare time
DO-WHISTLE - what your hairdresser uses to let you know your styling is finished
Dog-thistle- flowering plant with a rough bark stem
Surffrage- roar of a dark wild beast (Triton after being run off the wave by a merman)
MEANING: noun: The right to vote; also, the exercise of such a right.
ETYMOLOGY: From French suffrage, from Latin suffragium (voting tablet, right to vote). Ultimately from the Indo-European root bhreg- (to break), which also gave us break, breach, fraction, fragile, fractal, infringe, irrefragable, and fractious. Suffrage? Because a broken piece of tile was used as a ballot in the past. Earliest documented use: 1380.
SCUFFRAGE - You stepped on my blue suede shoes! Why you little...you'll pay for that!
SURFRAGE - the waves are very angry today
SUFFERAGE - having to make a painful choice in an election
MEANING: adjective: Even-tempered: calm and composed in all circumstances.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin aequus (equal, even) + animus (mind, spirit). Earliest documented use: 1656.
E-QUASI-MOUS - a small electronic pseudo-rodent
EQUANIMBUS - nothing but clouds to be seen in every direction
EQUINIMOUS - the Unknown Horseman
MEANING: adjective: Sullen; silent; depressed.
ETYMOLOGY: From mump (grimace), perhaps of imitative origin. Earliest documented use: 1721.
- having swollen, inflamed parotids (and testicles, too, if you're unlucky)MUMFISH
- head of the Piscatorial schoolGUMPISH
- heavily wooded, like a Forrest (or like Andy
if you insist)
MEANING: adjective: Feeling remorse or guilt.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin compungere (to prick hard), from com- (intensive prefix) + pungere (to prick). Ultimately from the Indo-European root peuk- (to prick), which is also the source of point, puncture, pungent, punctual, poignant, pounce, poniard, impugn, oppugn, and pugnacious. Earliest documented use: 1616.
COMPUNCTIOLUS - a teeny weeny bit of regret
COMPUNCTIOU - I feel bad about giving you this promissory note, 'cause I know I have no intention to pay it
"COMPUNCHIOUS" - said the Masochist; and the Sadist said, "No!"
PRONUNCIATION: (vy-TOO-puhr-uh-tiv, -TYOO-, vi-)
MEANING: adjective: Criticizing bitterly, scathing, abusive.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin vituperare (to blame), from vitium (fault) + parare (to make or prepare). Earliest documented use: 1727.
AVITUPERATIVE - Angry Birds
VI-TUBER-ATIVE - six sweet potatoes
VOTUPERATIVE - the current Presidential election cycle
MEANING: adjective: Clever, creative, inventive.
ETYMOLOGY: Via French from Latin ingeniosus (clever, talented, full of intellect), from ingenium (inborn talent), from gignere (to beget). Earliest documented use: 1483. Dont confuse ingenious with ingenuous even though both words are from the same root.
PINGENIOUS - bowling champion
INGE.NOUS - our Willliam, the French playwright (Picnic, Splendor in the Grass, Bus Stop, Come Bac, Little Sheba, and others)
ING-ENVIOUS - jealous of participles
MEANING: verb tr.: To make false statements about someone maliciously.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin calumniari (to accuse falsely). Earliest documented use: 1554.
CALUMNIASE - the enzyme that dissolves malicious falsehoods
COLUMNIATE - arguing about whether pillars are Ionic or Corinthian (or maybe Doric)
ALUMNIATE - what the graduates did at their big Reunion
MEANING: verb tr.: To regard as worthless.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin flocci, from floccus (tuft of wool) + pendere (to weigh or consider). Earliest documented use: 1548. A related word is floccinaucinihilipilification.
FLACCIPEND - hanging limply, like a flag in still air
FLOCKIPEND - just waiting for my sheep to come in
FLOCCITEND - ...I shall not want...
MEANING: verb tr.: 1. To free from blame. 2. To release from a task or obligation.
ETYMOLOGY: from Latin ex- (from) + onus (burden), which also gave English onus and onerous. Earliest documented use: 1524.
EXOPERATE - I hear they kicked the surgeon off the hospital staff
EXOVERATE - I divorced him 'cause he was much too heavy
EXFONERATE - that's what I used to pay for my land line
MEANING: verb tr., intr.: To botch or bungle, especially to make a poor shot in golf; noun: A botched attempt at something.
ETYMOLOGY: Perhaps from German dialect fuseln (to work badly). Earliest documented use: 1857.
FOZZLE - a prehistoric animal or plant remnant, preserved in stone
FLOOZLE - a diminutive woman of loose moral character
FFOOZLE - like a Heffalump, only much, much louder
Fonzle- a gift from 'The Fonz'
MEANING: verb tr.: To gain the favor of someone; to appease.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin propitiare (to make favorable, to appease). Ultimately from the Indo-European root pet- (to rush, fly) which also gave us feather, pin, impetus, pinnacle, helicopter, propitious, lepidopterology, peripeteia, petulant, and pteridology. Earliest documented use: 1583.
PREPITIATE - payment in advance
PROPITIRATE - 1. people who are in favor of aggressive attack dogs make me angry
2. Ditto people who don't appreciate seedless fruit
PROFITIATE - ...said the baker who enjoyed too much of his own creations
1. An expert.
2. A bungler.
ETYMOLOGY: From dab (an expert) + -ster (denoting a person engaged in some activity; originally a feminine suffix, also used as a diminutive and derogatory suffix). Earliest documented use: 1708.
Note: The first sense is more popular in the UK, while the second in the US.
ABSTER - sit-ups champion
DbSTER - Dolby employee
DABITER - mosquito responsible for spreading disease in New York City
Salud days- days of health
PRONUNCIATION: (SAL-uhd dayz)
1. A period of youthful innocence and inexperience.
2. A period of great success: heyday.
ETYMOLOGY: The earliest documented use of the term is from Shakespeares Antony and Cleopatra (1616). Cleopatra, now in love with Antony, explains her previous admiration for Julius Caesar with these words:
My salad days,
When I was green in judgment, cold in blood,
To say as I said then.
SALAD DRYS - what you use to blot the water off the lettuce after you wash it
SALSA D-DAYS - we bring out the spicy dip every June 6
USA LAD DAYS - when the United States Mens' Olympic squad does something noteworthy
1. Immeasurably deep.
2. Shallow; superficial.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old English deop (deep) + laes (less). Earliest documented use: 1619.
DEPTHELESS - a mildly successful Elf King; he succeeded his father, Dep the Great
DEPATHLESS - having new walkways in the previously impenetrable jungle
ADEPTHLESS - igly skilled (ADEPT, H-less)
1. An alcoholic drink diluted with water.
2. A strong alcoholic drink.
ETYMOLOGY: After Old Grog, nickname of Admiral Edward Vernon (1684-1757), who ordered diluted rum to be served to his sailors. The admiral earned the nickname from his habit of wearing a grogram cloak. Grogram is a coarse fabric of silk, wool, mohair, or a blend of them. The word grogram is from French gros grain (large grain or texture). Earliest documented use: 1770.
...and of course that's the origin of the word "groggy" !
GROW the seventh line of chairs in an auditorium, right behind Row F but in front of Row H
AROG The Green Bay Packers nickname for their first-string quarterback
GROP past tense of GRIP
"...adieu with good grace to my morals, my morals
1. Full of pithy expressions.
2. Full of pompous moralizing.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin sententia (opinion), from sentire (to feel or to have an opinion). Some other words derived from the same root are: sense, sentence, sentiment, sentinel, assent, consent, dissent, and resent. Earliest documented use: 1440.
SENSENTIOUS - needing a strong breath lozenge of the 50s, (mint or licorice flavored)
SENTENCIOUS - having a subject and a verb and various other objects and clauses and phrases, and capable of being diagrammed
ENTENTIOUS - diplomatically understanding and cooperative, to mutual advantage
1. A dish made of rice, herbs, spices, vegetables, and meat.
2. A heterogeneous mixture.
ETYMOLOGY: From Louisiana French, from Provençal jambalaia. Earliest documented use: 1872.
LAMBALAYA - mutton lasagna
SAMBALAYA - a spicy Brazilian dance
JAMALAYA - Frau Merkel, do you know what country has Kuala Lampur as its capital?
Farrasinous- a dinosaur from the late hypotenuse period, known for terrorizing it's victims with post nasal drip torture
MEANING: adjective: Heterogeneous; having a mix of random things.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin farrago (mixed fodder), from far/farr (corn or spelt). Ultimately from the Indo-European root bhares- (barley), which also gave us barn, barley, farina, and farrago. Earliest documented use: 1616.
FARRAGINUS - a sentry's slurred-together challenge; un-compressed, it expands "are ya fer or agin us?"
BARRAGINOUS - continuously bombarding, like a fusillade
EARRAGINOUS - stroking the pinna to arouse libidinous feelings
MEANING: noun: Something accepted without question. Usually used in the phrase to drink the kool-aid: to accept something unquestioningly or to demonstrate unquestioning loyalty.
ETYMOLOGY: From Kool-Aid, a powdered flavored drink introduced in 1927. It was earlier known as Kool-Ade, from respelling of cool + -ade (a fruit drink, as in lemonade). Earliest documented use: 1927.
NOTES: Jim Jones was the leader of a cult named Peoples Temple in Jonestown, Guyana. In 1978, he had more than 900 of his followers killed in a murder-suicide by drinking Kool-Aid laced with cyanide. This event gave birth to the figure of speech to drink the kool-aid.
TOOL-AID - the start of the Stanley company of New Britain, CT
BOOLA ID - the sex drive of a Yale student
KOOKLA ID - how you prove you're not Fran or Ollie
1. A highly seasoned stew of meat, vegetables, etc.
2. A mixture of disparate elements.
ETYMOLOGY: From French ragoût, from ragouter (to revive the taste), from re- (again) + a-/ad (to) + gout (taste), from Latin gustus (taste). Ultimately from the Indo-European root geus- (to taste or choose), which also gave us choice, choose, gusto, disgust, degust, and pregustator. Earliest documented use: 1652.
RANGOUT - 1) a spicy stew from the Burmese capital (well, the capital from 1852 to 2005, anyway)
2) what gunshots occasionally did
ORAGOUT - inflammatory arthritis of the temporo-mandibular joint
FRAGOUT - what the disgruntled private did to his hated Drill Sergeant
Immolate- the technical term for, "My, what big teeth you have."
Immolate- slang term for, "I'm more late than usual."
MEANING: verb tr.: To kill or sacrifice, especially by burning.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin immolare (to sprinkle, to sprinkle with meal before sacrificing), from in- (into) + mola (meal). Earliest documented use: 1548.
IMPOLATE - ...never did get around to sending those Thank You notes
IMMORATE - No, nothing's wrong
IMMOLATTE - to put in wheat germ before you brew the coffee
Here it is Sunday. I'll be AFK this week; TTYL
and ready for another week
1. A mans tall, cylindrical hat.
2. An important or high-ranking person.
ETYMOLOGY: From the association of a top hat with people of the upper class. Earliest documented use: 1881.
TOPHAL - pertaining to the exquisitely painful joint that is Gout
TOP-CHAT - when Kennedy phoned Khrushchev
TIO-PHAT - my half-Latino-half-Vietnamese uncle
1. The long back part of a tailcoat that hangs down.
2. The success of another person or organization. Usually used in the idiom to ride on someones coattails meaning to achieve success by association with someone successful.
ETYMOLOGY: Often a popular leader of a political party helps attract votes for candidates of the same party for other positions as well. For example, a popular presidential candidate results in more victories for congressional races of the same party. In other words, these other candidates ride on the coattails of the president. This is known as the coattail effect. From Old French cote (coat) + Old English toegl (tail). Earliest documented use: 1600.
- what you pay for a Malpractice Insurance policy for claims relating to events that that might have happened in the past...after you retire and the policy is no longer in force (the "tail")COALTAIL
- The lighter particles which pass over a sieve in the milling, crushing, or purifying of coal (see "tailings")COATTAILI
, Zoltan (16 December 1882 6 March 1967): Hungarian composer born of Italian parents; ethnomusicologist, pedagogue, linguist, and philosopher, inventer of a method of teaching music, especially for children. See here
1. A shirt made of haircloth, worn next to the skin as a penance.
2. A self-imposed punishment or penance.
3. A secret affliction.
ETYMOLOGY: In some faiths, as a sign of penance some people wear garments made of coarse animal hair close to their skin. From Old English haer + scyrte. Earliest documented use: 1737. Also see cilice.
CHAIRSHIRT - an article of clothing worn by the head of a committee
HAIRSHIFT - put on a different wig
HAIRSHIRE - where Bugs Bunny lived when he was a Hobbit
PRONUNCIATION: (stuhft shuhrt)
MEANING: noun: A pompous, self-satisfied, and old-fashioned person.
ETYMOLOGY: From the formally-dressed look of such a person. Earliest documented use: 1840s.
STUFFED SKIRT - half a maternity outfit
STIFFED SHIRT - too much starch?
STUFFED HIRT - trumpet player ate way too much
MEANING: noun: Someone who is clever or crafty in a playful or engaging way.
From sly (cunning), from Old Norse sloegr (cunning) + boots (fellow), as in lazyboots. Earliest documented use: 1699.
SLYBOOTH - the cubicle on the Midway where the slyboots plies his trade (and charges you for it, no less)
SLYBOATS - Pirates of the Caribbean
SLYBOTS - clever little computer subroutines that sniff around the net without letting you know they're there...
MEANING: adjective: Conspicuously offensive.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin flagrare (to burn). Ultimately from the Indo-European root bhel- (to shine or burn), which is also the source of blaze, blank, blond, bleach, blanket, flame, refulgent, fulminate, effulgent, and flagrante delicto. Earliest documented use: 1450.
FLAG-RANT - impassioned statement about injustice unremedied country-wide (cf. Colin Kaepernick)
FLYGRANT - scholarship to Pilot school
FLAGRAFT - command vessel in a fleet of very primitive warships
MEANING: adjective: Telling lies, especially as a habit.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin mendac-, stem of mendax (lying), from mendum (fault or defect) that also gave us amend, emend, and mendicant. Earliest documented use: 1616.
AMENDACIOUS - changing frequently what one has written or promulgated
MENTACIOUS - full of thoughts about the chin
MENACIOUS - threatening
MEANING: adjective: 1. Capable of being bought: open to bribery. 2. Of or related to bribery.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin venalis (that which is for sale), from venum (sale). Ultimately from the Indo-European root wes- (to buy) that is also the source of vend, bazaar, vilify, and monopsony. Earliest documented use: 1827.
VOENAL - pertaining to the corruption of ancient Greek culture
VENTAL letting everything hang out the window, usually angrily
AVENAL - 1. without blood vessels returning to the heart
2. perpendicular to streets
3. like oatmeal
VENALA vanilla whose taste disappeared
MEANING: adjective: Weak; ineffective; incompetent; irresponsible.
ETYMOLOGY: From Scots feck, from effeck, a variant of effect, from Latin efficere (to accomplish), from ef-, a variant of ex- (thoroughly) + facere (to make). Earliest documented use: 1586.
FECKLERS - foul-mouthed members of the audience giving the speaker a hard time
PECKLESS - a chicken with no beak
FECKLES - little red-brown splotches on the skin of a two-year-old
MEANING: adjective: True; real (typically used as an intensifier for a metaphor).
ETYMOLOGY:From Old French verai (true), from Latin verus (true). Earliest documented use: 1474.
VEGITABLE - where you stack your Peas and Cukes
VERSITABLE - where you write poetry
VERITABLET - truth serum in pill form
PRONUNCIATION: (bool-uh-vahr-DYAY, -DEER)
MEANING: noun: A socially active man who likes to visit fashionable places.
ETYMOLOGY: From French, originally a man who frequents boulevards, from boulevard (a wide street), from Old French bollevart (rampart converted to a promenade), from Middle Dutch or German bollwerk (bulwark). Earliest documented use: 1879.
POULEVARDIER - the chicken who crossed the French road
BOULEVARDENER - tends the flowers and trees on the Champs Élysées
BOOLAVARDIER - an Ivy Leaguer who can't make up his mind whether he goes to Yale or Harvard
1. Someone or something having thick skin, for example, elephant, hippopotamus, and rhinoceros.
2. An insensitive person.
3. A person who is not affected by criticism or ridicule.
ETYMOLOGY: From French pachyderme, from Greek pakhudermos (thick-skinned), from pakhus (thick) + derma (skin). Ultimately from the Indo-European root der- (to split, peel, or flay), which also gave us tear, tart, turd, and Hindi dalit (oppressed, crushed). Earliest documented use: 1828.
PACHYPERM - treatment to make your hair simultaneously thick and curly
PEACHYDERM - skin like Scarlett O'Hara's (antebellum, anyway)
PATCHYDERM - the Heartbreak of Psoriasis
MEANING: noun: A person who returns after a long absence or supposedly after death.
ETYMOLOGY: From French revenant (ghost), from revenir (to return), from Latin re- (again) + venire (to come). Earliest documented use: 1823.
REVENAST - dream of being a political cartoonist
RETENANT - finding a new renter after a successful eviction
REVENDANT - the name of a fancy Paris shop for pre-owned merchandise
MEANING: noun: A professional reciter of poems.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin rhapsodia, from Greek rhapsoidia (recitation of epic poetry), from rhaptein (to stitch together) + aidein (to sing), from oide (song). Ultimately from the Indo-European root wed- (to speak), which also gave us parody, comedy, tragedy, melody, and ode. Earliest documented use: 1712.
RAPSODE - 1. a professional chanter of modern rapid-fire rhythmic poems;
2. an extraordinarily tentative participant in a poetry slam
RHAPSODA - the preferred drink at the slam
REAPSODE - a Harvest poet
RHAPISODE - one chapter in a serialized saga (think Homer's Odyssey)
?RAPSODEż- Cultural (mis)appropriation
Bot viveur- android, Cherry 2020
PRONUNCIATION: (BON* vee-VUHR) [* this syllable is nasal]
MEANING: noun: A person who enjoys good food, drinks, luxuries, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: A pseudo-French formation, from bon (good) + viveur (a living person), from vivre (to live). A synonym is bon vivant. Earliest documented use: 1865.
SON VIVEUR - My kid does nothing but party all day... (see also SIN VIVEUR; BOY VIVEUR)
(Sorry- short on time today! I'll try to find more time later to do a couple more.)
BOND VIVEUR - characterizing Ian Fleming's Secret Agent
BAN VIVEUR - 1. campaign slogan of the Puritans
2. after a night on the town, you need a good deodorant
MEANING: noun: Art objects that are gaudy or overly sentimental, designed for popular appeal.
adjective: Tawdry, tacky, sentimental.
ETYMOLOGY: From German Kitsch. Earliest documented use: 1926.
NOTES: What comes to mind when you think of kitsch? Here are some examples: a coffee mug in the shape of a pineapple, ceramic Santa Claus, plastic flamingos on a lawn, snow globes, popular religious iconography.
-- Lyle Russell Henderson - American composer, arranger, conductor. Married to Faye Emerson 1950-58KIMSCH
- an abbreviated traditional Korean fermented dish made of many different vegetable ingredients, textures, and seasonings depending on what part of the country it comes from (see here
- 1. a children's game played with a ball;
2. a fisherman's haul;
3. a hidden store of supplies or other goods;
4. money (as opposed to credit or other obligations)
5. n. or v. snag or interruption
KILTSCH skirts worn by Scotsmen
kwitsch- to quit quickly and quietly
Verbaten- trolling not allowed
Verbaten- trolling not allowed
Ooh, that's subtle!
MEANING: adjective: Not allowed; forbidden.
ETYMOLOGY: From German verboten (forbidden), past participle of verbieten (to forbid). Ultimately from the Indo-European root bheudh- (to be or to make aware), which also gave us beadle, ombudsman, forbid, and the word Buddha. Earliest documented use: 1912.
VERBOSTEN - how Red Sox and Patriots and Celtics and Bruins fans fans root
VERB TEN - member of a list of action words
OVERBOTEN - they were on sale, and I got way too many of 'em
MEANING: noun: An ideal man; also used ironically.
ETYMOLOGY: From German Übermensch (superman), from über (over) + Mensch (man). In Nietzschean philosophy, an Übermensch is an ideal superior being. Earliest documented use: 1902. Also see mensch and luftmensch.
BUBERMENSCH - a person not quite sure how to relate to consciousness-bearing entities as opposed to animate objects ("I-Thou" vs. "I-it")
UMBERMENSCH - a brown-skinned humanoid
UBERMUNSCH - what you eat while you transport passengers in your personal-car-for-hire
MEANING: noun: An overbearing petty official.
ETYMOLOGY: From German Gauleiter (a district leader in Nazi Germany), from Gau (district) + Leiter (leader). Earliest documented use: 1936.
GASLEITER - turned on the streetlights in late-19th-century Berlin
EAU-LEITER - 1,000 cc of water from the Seine
GAUL EIDER - a French duck
MEANING: noun: The well-educated class; the literati; the intelligentsia.
ETYMOLOGY: From German Klerisei (clergy), from Latin clericus (cleric), from Greek klerikos (belonging to the clergy), from Greek kleros (inheritance). Earliest documented use: 1834. The clerisy, the clergy, and clerks are all cousins, etymologically speaking.
CELERISY - the fast-moving
SCLERISY - looking at the whites of your eyes
CLERITY - plain speaking, in Brooklyn
MEANING: noun: A supporter or subordinate, especially one who engages in illegal activities for a powerful boss or criminal.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old English hengest (a male horse) + man. Earlier a henchman was an attendant who walked or rode beside a prince. Earliest documented use: 1360.
BENCHMAN - Jacoby Brisett, before this week and after next week. A player whose role is mostly to warm the bench.
HUNCHMAN - 1. Quasimodo; 2. the psychic who discredited himself by cancelling an appearance due to unforeseen circumstances
HENCEMAN - a student of Socrates, as presented by Plato
poodle-maker - Dog
noodle-faker - spiralized summer squash
PRONUNCIATION: (POOD-l fay-kuhr)
MEANING: noun: A man who seeks out the company of upper-status women, especially for advancing himself.
ETYMOLOGY: The term poodle-faker was British slang for a newly commissioned officer who cultivates female company, especially for social or professional advancement. From poodle (a breed developed to retrieve game from the water), from German Pudel (poodle), from Low German pudeln (to splash about), from pudel (puddle). Earliest documented use: 1902.
POODLEWAKER - canine alarm clock
POODLEFAKIR - the Dog Swami
DOODLEFAKER - the artist behind counterfeit Google splashscreen cartoons (Didja see today's? Google is 18 years old today! Have they registered to vote, do you think?)
DOODLEFAKERME, in high schools boring classes.
adjective: Foolish; reckless; ridiculous.
From the allusion that a harebrained person has the brain as small as a hares. From Old English hara (hare) + braegen (brain). Earliest documented use: 1548.
HARE-TRAINED - well-schooled in the Krishna movement, a branch of Hinduism, formally known as Gaudiya Vaishnavism
HATE-BRAINED - skin-headed
SHARE-BRAINED - forwarding email and internet messages without any consideration of their appropriateness or even truth
PRONUNCIATION: (DUHK soop)
MEANING: noun: Something that is very easy to do.
ETYMOLOGY: Is duck soup very easy to make? How the term duck soup came to be known for an easily accomplished task is unclear. Earliest documented use: 1912
DUSK SOUP - a light meal at sunset...
DUNK SOUP - ...suitable for moistening your dry doughnut
DUCK SOUR - Donald, why the fowl disposition today?
SCARE-BRAINED-preparing one's Hallowe'en costume
SCARE-BRAINED - preparing one's Hallowe'en costume
Yeah, that works!
MEANING: verb intr.: To frolic or to engage in horseplay.
ETYMOLOGY: Skylark is a small bird known for singing while soaring in the sky. Earlier, the term skylark was used by seamen to refer to playfully moving around the rigging of a ship. From sky + lark, from Old Norse sky (cloud). Earliest documented use: 1686.
SKYDARK - total eclipse of the sun
SKYLURK - unpublicized drone
SKILARK - spur-of-the-moment trip to Vail
SKYHARK - 'it's a bird, it's a plane, it's ......."
MEANING: noun: Excessive self-interest or self-love.
ETYMOLOGY: In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a hunter and a young man of exceptional beauty. He spurned the nymph Echo. One day he saw his reflection in water and fell in love with himself. Not realizing it was himself and unable to leave, he eventually died. Earliest documented use: 1822.
ANARCISSISM - There is no government, and I'm its best leader
SNARCISSISM - ...and I'm S-O-O-O-O sarcastic
FARCISSISM - ...and I'm going to take over the Colombian drug industry too while I'm at it. Why not? Nobody else can do it.
FARCISSISM - ...and I'm going to take over the Colombian drug industry too while I'm at it. Why not? Nobody else can do it.
QUARCISSISM the essence of being a quark, way out there.
PRONUNCIATION: (leen, LEE-uhn)
MEANING: noun: A claim on anothers property until a debt owed by that person is paid back.
ETYMOLOGY: From French lien (bond, tie), from Latin ligamen (bond, tie), from ligare (to bind). Ultimately from the Indo-European root leig- (to bind), which also gave us league, ligament, ligature, ally, alloy, rally, liaison, religion, rely, oblige, and furl. Earliest documented use: 1530.
LIEIN - strategy session for extremely partisan politicians
RIEN - Think nothing of it!
ALIEN - me, now that I've paid the mechanic's bill and gotten my car back
TIEN shortened form of Tianaman Square, Beijing
Nien- No. It's pronounced Nien
Mien- You are so mien! (sniff, sniff)
MEANING: noun: Cruel, mean-spirited, bitter criticism.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin vitrum (glass). Sulfuric acid, a highly corrosive substance, was formerly known as oil of vitriol or simply vitriol. It was named vitriol owing to the glassy appearance of its salts. Earliest documented use: 1386.
VITRIO - 1. Brazilian health additive; 2. an 18-member musical group
EVITRIOL - Juan Peron cursing his wife
ZITRIOL - the active ingredient in your acne remedy
MEANING: adjective: Risky; uncertain; insecure; unstable; unsafe.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin precarius (obtained by entreaty, hence uncertain), from prex (prayer). So something precarious is hanging by a prayer, which is, not by much. Ultimately from the Indo-European root prek- (to ask), which also gave us pray, precarious, deprecate, postulate, precatory, and expostulate. Earliest documented use: 1638.
- 1. lying;
2. comes before many other thingsPRECARIBOUS
- before there were reindeerPREMARIOUS
- for relief of post-menopausal symptoms; made of conjugated equine estrogens, extracted from the urine of PRE
es (see Package Insert
DEMAGOGUE (or DEMAGOG)
MEANING: noun: A person who appeals to the prejudices and emotions of the people to gain power.
verb tr., intr.: To manipulate an issue, to speak, or to act in the manner of a demagogue.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek demagogos (leader of the people), from demos (people) + agogos (leader). Earliest documented use: 1649.
HEMAGOGUE - ruler with an iron hand
FEMAGOGUE - Chair of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, who is full of prophecies of doom
DECAGOGUE - the Council of Ten
demagrog- drink of the people
MEANING: verb tr.: To prove to be wrong.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin confutare (to restrain or silence), from con- (an intensifier) + futare (to beat). Ultimately from the Indo-European root bhau- (to strike), which also gave us refute, beat, button, halibut, and buttress. Earliest documented use: 1529
CONFLUTE - jailhouse band instrument
ECONFUTE - Reagonomics didn't work
CONFETE - 1. musical instruction meaning "play festively"
2. the little paper dots they drop the Bastille Day parade
Ponfute- to travel by foot
PRONUNCIATION: (pro-PEEN, PYN)
MEANING: verb tr.: To gift, tip, or pledge.
noun: A gift or tip.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin propinare (to drink to someones health, to present), from Greek propinein (to drink first, to give), from pro- (for, before) + pinein (to drink). Earliest documented use: 1448.
PYROPINE - the conifer wood burns well, but it'll coat your chimney with a flammable residue.
PROSINE - against cosines and tangents
PRE-OPINE - My mind is made up; don't confuse me with facts !
MEANING: verb tr., intr.: To form or cause to form into clumps.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin flocculus, diminutive of Latin floccus (tuft of wool). Earliest documented use: 1826.
FLOCCULATTE - the cream in my coffee has curdled
FLICCULATE - you French cops took your sweet time getting here
FLOCCULATEX - rubber gloves with lumps in them
PRONUNCIATION:m (ab-ZOLV, -solv)
MEANING: verb tr.: To free from guilt, blame, responsibility, obligation, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin absolvere (to set free), from solvere (to loosen). Ultimately from the Indo-European root leu- (to loosen, divide), which also gave us forlorn, lag, loss, solve, analysis, resolute, and catalyst. Earliest documented use: 1475.
CABSOLVE - Uber and Lyft and such like
AHSOLVE - Charlie Chan to the rescue
A.B.SOLE - not just a school but a university of fish
jobjurgate- reprimand for working slowly
MEANING: verb tr.: To scold severely.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin objurgare (to scold), from ob- (against) + jurgare/jurigare (to quarrel, to scold). Ultimately from the Indo-European root yewes- (law), which is also the source of jury, judge, just, injury, perjury, conjure, adjure and de jure. Earliest documented use: 1616.
OBDURGATE - stubbornly denying that there is a scandal ("Nothing happened")
ABJURGATE - ...and disavowing it entirely, too (..."and I didn't do it, either")
O.B.JURYGATE - special entrance for the panel at a malpractice trial
MEANING: verb tr., intr.: 1. To think deeply upon. 2. To chew the cud.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin ruminare (to chew the cud), from rumen (throat). Earliest documented use: 1533.
RUMIRATE - 1. the hotel's nightly charge; 2. fee for spreading falsehoods; 3. angry sailors' liquor
RAMINATE - branched
TRUMINATE - Harry S had dinner
BUSHWA or BUSHWAH
MEANING: noun: Nonsense; bull.
ETYMOLOGY: Of uncertain origin. Perhaps a mispronunciation of bourgeois. Earliest documented use: 1920.
BUSHWA - something so outlandish it makes you turn red merely to utter it
BUSTWA - the wheeled vehicle you take from the airport gate to the plane
BUSHWAX - the reason holly leaves are so shiny
MEANING: verb intr.: To walk about.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin ob- (to) + ambulare (to walk). Earliest documented use: 1614.
- to plow a field boustrophedonicallyOBRA.MBULATE
- I have a cushy job in Cancun
; I just walk around all day OB.AMBU.LATEX
- rubber used to make a breathing bag
for obstetrical emergencies
1. Something showy but worthless.
2. Nonsense or rubbish.
3. Deceit; fraud; trickery.
ETYMOLOGY: From French tromper (to deceive). Earliest documented use: 1481.
TRUMPFRY - Donald Jr, Ivanka, Tiffany, and Eric
TRAUMPERY - what a Clinton defeat would be for many
STRUMPERY - playing the guitar with the right hand (Honi soit qui mal y pense)
MEANING: noun: Cheerfulness; merriment.
ETYMOLOGY: From French hilarité (hilarity), from Latin hilaris (cheerful), from Greek hilaros (cheerful). Earliest documented use: 1568.
XHILARITY - 1. the feeling of having great joy and pleasure and pride at your accomplishments; also, strangely enough, 2. what's left after things aren't funny any more
HILLARITY - plate tectonics
HICLARITY - the false sense that you understand the world, that comes after you've had too much to drink
MEANING: adjective: Having an unpleasant disposition: irritable, stubborn, combative, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: An alteration of the word ordinary, from Latin ordo (order, rank). In the beginning the word ornery was just a dialect pronunciation of the word ordinary and meant the same. Over time it acquired negative senses, from commonplace to lazy to mean to cantankerous. Earliest documented use: 1692.
ORTERY - moralistic; someone who judges actions by whether or not they orter
ORNERRY - slopppily commonplace
ORBERY - see ORRERY
MEANING: noun: A large group or a large number.
ETYMOLOGY: Alteration of parcel, from Anglo-French parcele, from Latin particella, diminutive of particula (small part), diminutive of pars (part). Earliest documented use: 1325.
PARSEL - the language of Nangini the snake
SPASSEL - just my little joke, Fräulein
PASSELI - what Tom B. wants to do, and in as many categories as possible
PARSEL - the language of Nangini the snake
wise, are you
(It was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek remark)
MEANING: adjective: Impudent; bold; outspoken; lively; feisty; stylish.
ETYMOLOGY: Alteration of saucy, from sauce, from Latin salsa, from sallere (to salt), from sal (salt). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sal- (salt), which is also the source of silt, sausage, salad, salami, salary, and salmagundi. Earliest documented use: 1833
SPASSY - another German joke
SASLY - like a Scandinavian airplane
SASPY - a member of the Peruvian Secret Service
MEANING: adjective, adverb: Damned.
ETYMOLOGY: Alteration of eternal (as in eternal damnation), from Latin aeternus, from aevum (age). Ultimately from the Indo-European root aiw-/ayu- (vital force, life, eternity), which also gave us ever, never, aye, nay, eon, eternal, medieval, primeval, utopia, Sanskrit Ayurveda, aught, coeval, and coetaneous. Earliest documented use: 1790.
TSARNAL - the Droit de Seigneur in St. Petersburg; hanky-panky in old Russia
BARNAL - what keeps the mouse population down on upstate Vermont farms
TARNAIL - what a sailor bites when he's nervous
MEANING: noun: Clothing.
ETYMOLOGY: Alteration of arrayment, from array, from Old French arrayer (to array). Ultimately from the Indo-European root reidh- (to ride), which also gave us ride, raid, road, and ready. Earliest documented use: 1425.
VRAIMENT - truly Parisian
PAIMENT - 'ow you buy things
RAIPENT - the Irishman demands you renounce your bad deeds
MEANING: noun: The study of horses.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek hippo- (horse) + -logy (study). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ekwo- (horse), which also gave us equestrian, equitant, hippocampus, hippogriff, and the name Philip (lover of horses). Earliest documented use: 1854.
HIPOLOGY - the study of the leg/pelvis joint
CHIPPOLOGY - INTEL's patent portfolio
HAPPOLOGY - how a Brit says "I'm sorry"
(And don't forget "hippopotamus" is a "river horse." The Potomac River is redundant.)
HOPPOLOGY the study of the movement of rabbits and hares and
PRONUNCIATION: (hy-puh-JEE-uhl, HIP-uh-)
MEANING: adjective: Underground: living, growing, or existing below the surface of the earth.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek hypo- (under) + -geal (relating to earth), from ge (earth). Earliest documented use: 1686.
HYPNOGEAL - sleeping powder that tastes like dirt
HYPOGEL - artificial injectable cartilage for spine discs, or knees, or whatever you'll pay for; see SynVisc
HYPOGOAL - this deltoid muscle right th-e-r-e!
MEANING: adjective: Adapted to a very dry or desert environment.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek xero- (dry) + -philic (liking). Earliest documented use: 1961.
AEROPHILIC - liking flying
XENOPHILIC - liking strange things
ZEROPHILIC - liking nothing
HEROPHILIC a fan of Avengers, Legends of Tomorrow, Superman,
Batman and their ilk.
MEANING: noun: The practice of concealing a message within another nonsecret message.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek stego- (cover) + -graphy (writing). Ultimately from the Indo-European root (s)teg- (to cover), which also gave us thatch, toga, stegosaurus, detect, and protect. Earliest documented use: 1569.
NOTES: Examples of steganography: Shrinking the secret text until its the size of a dot and then putting it in an unsuspected place, such as the dot on top of a letter i in some innocuous letter. Shaving the head of a man, writing the secret message on his pate with unwashable ink, and then letting the hair grow back before dispatching him to the destination (example from history). To take an example from modern digital techniques, one could put the text of a message in the blank spaces in an image file.
("skin-writing"; from tegmentum
, fr. tegmen
, fr. tegere
- images of a game consoleSTEGANOGRAPH
- a picture of Saint Egan
1. Remaining with the parents for a long time after birth.
2. Living in the home of another species.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin nidi- (nest) + -colous (inhabiting). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sed- (to sit), which is also the source of nest, sit, chair, saddle, assess, sediment, soot, cathedral, and tetrahedron. Earliest documented use: 1902.
NOTES: Etymologically speaking, the word nidicolous refers to birds that stay in the nest due to their dependence on the parents for food and protection. But theres no reason you couldnt apply it to other species. The opposite is nidifugous (literally, fleeing the nest), leaving soon after birth.
NIDICOLOURS - the drab earthtones of a bird's-nest in London
RIDICOLOUS - the silly situation of still living with our parents when we're 40
MIDICOLOUS - like the cloacum magnum of the South of France
MEANING: noun: Swiftness; speed.
ETYMOLOGY: From French célérité (promptness), from Latin celer (swift). Earliest documented use: 1483.
ACELERITY - going nowhere fast
CLERITY - easily understood, in Brooklyn
CELERITE - 1. a mineral that comes in green stringy stalks
2. going faster and faster AND FASTER in Australia
MEANING: noun: A growing together.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin, from Greek symphysis (growing together), from syn- (with) + phyein (to grow). Earliest documented use: 1578.
NOTES: The word is often used in anatomy to describe the fusion of two bones, cartilages, etc. It is also used for the line or junction thus formed.
SYLPHYSIS - a sisterhood of airy wraith-like creatures (see also NYMPHYSIS)
SYMPHNYSIS - my female sib plays for the Philharmonic
SYMPHYSICS - the Unified Theory of Everything
MEANING: adjective: 1. Expressing strong criticism. 2. Deserving disgrace.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin opprobrium (reproach), from ob- (against) + probrum (infamy, reproach). Ultimately from the Indo-European root bher- (to carry), which also gave us bear, birth, barrow, burden, fertile, transfer, offer, suffer, euphoria, and metaphor. Earliest documented use: 1410.
OPPROARIOUS, OPPRORIOUS - laughing out loud
UPPROBRIOUS - what you call disgraceful activity at that university in Sweden (or the city which hosts it)
OPPROBRIOUT - the umpire blew a very important call at home plate
MEANING: adjective: Tactful; shrewd.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old French politique (political), from Latin politicus (political), from Greek politikos, from polites (citizen), from polis (city). Earliest documented use: 1427.
- an elected official who's out of step with the timesPOLITRIC
- Sitting-room magic for BrooklynPOLITEC
- a very light, very warm fabric
MEANING: verb tr.: To conduct (oneself).
verb intr.: To agree with.
ETYMOLOGY: From French comportement (behavior), from comporter (to bear), from Latin comportare (to transport), from com- (with) + portare (to carry). Ultimately from the Indo-European root per- (to lead, pass over), which also gave us support, petroleum, sport, passport, colporteur, rapporteur, deportment, Swedish fartlek, Norwegian fjord, and Sanskrit parvat (mountain). Earliest documented use: 1565.
COWPORT - where the cattle get off the boat...
COIMPORT - ...brought into the country by more than one person
COMPART - free admission to the Guggenheim
COMPURT "as soon as I'se turnd it on the whole dagnab thing just..."
PRONUNCIATION: (kak-i-STOK-ruh-see, kah-ki-)
MEANING: noun: Government by the least qualified or worst persons.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek kakistos (worst), superlative of kakos (bad) + -cracy (rule). Ultimately from the Indo-European root kakka-/kaka- (to defecate), which also gave us poppycock, cacophony, cacology, and cacography. Earliest documented use: 1829.
KAKISTOCRAZY - the ultimate Bad Trip
PAKISTOCRACY - Government by Islamabad
KOKISTOCRACY - Government by Lord High Executioner
MEANING: noun: The fear of clowns.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek kolobatheron (stilt) + -phobia (fear). Earliest documented use: 1980s.
COWLROPHOBIA - fear of a lineup of cloaks
COUGROPHOBIA - fear of predatory older women
COULDOPHOBIA - fear of second-guessing after the fact
MEANING: noun: Someone involved in bribery or corruption.
ETYMOLOGY: From Dutch boedel (property). Earliest documented use: 1872.
NOODLER - one who fiddles around idly exploring ideas, using your noodle
BOZODLER - a scary bumbling clown (see COLROPHOBIA)
BOODEER - what you yell when your car hurtles toward at an ungulate in the night
MEANING: adjective: Clumsy with both hands.
ETYMOLOGY: Modeled after ambidextrous (able to use both hands with equal ease), from Latin ambi- (both) + sinister (left). Earliest documented use: 1863.
NOTES: An ambisinistrous person has two left hands, etymologically speaking. Youd think it would be rare for such an uncommon word to have a perfect synonym, but there is one: ambilevous, from Latin laevus (left). A similar express is to have two left feet (to be clumsy, especially while dancing).
- not sure whether red or white wine is preferredAMBIFINISTROUS
- like Schrödinger's cat: unclear whether dead or alive AMBUSINISTROUS
- using the breathing bag
with the left hand
MEANING: noun: Throwing someone or something out of a window.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin de- (out of) + fenestra (window). Earliest documented use: 1620.
NOTES: There have been many defenestrations over the course of history, but the most famous, and the one that inspired the word defenestration, was the Defenestration of Prague on May 23, 1618. Two imperial regents and their secretary were thrown out of a window of the Prague Castle in a fight over religion. The men landed on a dung heap and survived. The Defenestration of Prague was a prelude to the Thirty Years War. The word is also used in a metaphorical sense to remove someone from an office. Check out the defenestration of various articles of furniture in this unique San Francisco sculpture.
DREFENESTRATION - throw the rapper out the window
DEAFENESTRATION - 1. hardest-of-hearing; 2. loopholes in the Drug Enforcement Agency's policies
DEFEWESTRATION - the least possible amount of food
Defenestriation- to play fair
Depenestration- 1. To deepen your concentration
Most recently, in 1948 Jan Masaryk of Poland was pushed or jumped or fell out a window to his death under poorly recorded circumstances, subsequently the subject of much speculation.
for a short history of the three events. What's so special about Prague in this regard I don't really know.
There are other biblical ones: Rahab let the spies out the window
in Judges, i.e.
Braveheart...maybe it's because stone walls with holes were easy to toss people out of? Less paperwork.
Braveheart...maybe it's because stone walls with holes were easy to toss people out of? Less paperwork.
I just realized it may appear that I have a political agenda. I don't. Personally, I've built a significant wall of my own. Deconstructing it isn't any easier than reading Wallace. Henry was blind, but could he see?
("Are you kidding? That guy was a mystery, wrapped in an enigma and crudely stapled to a ticking &@$&@ time bomb. He was either going to hit somebody or start a blog. To tell you the truth I'm kind of glad he hit you.") a little insight, a mystery, some initiation...blog it is.
Best wishes, be seeing you around. 😉
PRONUNCIATION: (PUL-kri-tood, -tyood)
MEANING: noun: Beauty.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin pulchritudo, from pulcher (beautiful). Earliest documented use: 1460.
PUNCHRITUDE - belligerence
PURCHITUDE - the Christmas spirit of buying presents (see "The Fourth Rule" above)
BULCHRITUDE - morbid obesity
Pulchridude- an intellectual nihilist
Regustation - a verbose decluttering of the esophagus
MEANING: noun: Tasting samples of a variety of similar foods or drinks.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin degustare (to taste), from de- (completely) + gustare (to taste). Ultimately from the Indo-European root geus- (to taste or choose), which also gave us choice, choose, gusto, ragout, and disgust. Earliest documented use: 1651.
DEBUSTATION - the Greyhound terminal
DEGASTATION - where you fill up the tank
DEGESTATION - For unto us a child is born (Messiah season begins next weekend!)
Bulolic- getting a kick out of most things you do
1. Pastoral; rustic.
2. Of or relating to a herdsman or a shepherd.
1. A pastoral poem.
2. A farmer; shepherd.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek boukolos (herdsman), from bous (ox). Earliest documented use: 1609. Other words derived from the same animal are bovine, boustrophedon, and hecatomb.
- I'm addicted to the PiratesBUCOMIC
- funny act at Boston UniversityBLUCOLIC
- my DVD player is jammed
PRONUNCIATION: (PWIS-uhnt, PYOO-uh-suhnt)
MEANING: adjective: Potent.
ETYMOLOGY: Via French from Latin posse (to be able). Ultimately from the Indo-European root poti- (powerful, lord), which also gave us power, potent, possess, posse, possible, and Turkish pasha (via Persian). Earliest documented use: 1435.
PUSSANT - my mother's sister, who lives in a city in the southeast corner of Korea
PUISSAT - a "can-do" Volkswagen sedan
PTUISSANT - well-versed in the art of spitting
Alas, couldn't figure out anything clever for QUISSANT
Poissant- 1. K2 distribution 2. Food truck found in a Narwhal pod in Portland, Oregon
Crepeuscular- the definition of ones abdominal wall.
1. Relating to or resembling twilight: dim.
2. Active or occurring in twilight, as certain animals.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin crepusculum (twilight), from creper (dusky, obscure). Earliest documented use: 1668.
CREMUSCULAR - the oarsmen are big and strong
CREPUSTULAR - but they have bad skin
CREPUSCALAR - the pancakes have a certain size but no direction
Gnarl- Shere Khan's son in the thriller Dead Meat
GNAR or GNARR
MEANING: verb intr.: To snarl or growl.
ETYMOLOGY: Of imitative origin. Earliest documented use: 1496.
GMAR - a Biblical city known for its abbreviated sinful ways; near SOD
GUNAR - a Norse sharpshooter
IGNAR - what a Pirate does to you when he thinks you're too insignificant to merit attention
...all I see is a broken icon
...all I see is a broken icon
Directionless pancakes? The image I had was a stack of crepes, like a "six pack"...so I guess stratification fits better than the directionless universe, perhaps, you are alluding to. I did listen to Radiohead after your query. As for the broken image link, it was more in line with loess and insignificant, Calvin and Hobbes style.
yackle- being at a loss for words
1. To make the sharp broken noise such as a hen does after laying an egg.
2. To laugh in a shrill manner.
3. To chatter.
1. The sharp broken noise of a hen after laying an egg.
2. Shrill laughter.
ETYMOLOGY From Middle English cakelen (to cackle), of imitative origin. Earliest documented use: 1225.
CPACKLE - your accountant just won an argument with the IRS
BACKLE - what you see on the ribbon of your Pilgrim hat after you turn it around
PACKLE - past tense of PICKLE
Sucurrate- the number of licks it takes to get to the center of a lollipop lots of love
CACAKLE what happens in the loo
MEANING: verb intr.: To make a whispering or rustling sound.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin susurrare (to whisper or hum), of imitative origin. Earliest documented use: 1623.
SUDS-U-RRATE - 1. How's the detergent? 2. How's the beer?
SU-SUR-RITE - a triple-positive
SUS-UR-LATE - Kindly arrive promptly next time
Blobber- 1. one of ten types of people 2. A drunk blogger
An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first one orders a beer. The second orders half a beer. The third, a quarter of a beer. The bartender says, Youre all idiots, and pours two beers.
An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first one orders a beer. The second orders half a beer. The third, a quarter of a beer. The bartender says, Youre all idiots, and pours two beers.
...and when one more comes in, the bartender says "Sorry, that's your limit!"
MEANING: verb tr.: To weep noisily.
verb intr.: To speak incoherently while weeping.
adjective: Swollen; puffed out.
noun: 1. The layer of fat in whales and other marine mammals. 2. Excess body fat.
ETYMOLOGY: From Middle English bluberen (to bubble), from bluber (bubble, foam), of imitative origin. Earliest documented use: c. 1400.
BLUBEER - a special patriotic brew for the Fourth of July
BLURBER - an app for writing short book reviews
BLUMBER - not quite as high-quality wood as a-lumber
SLUBBER what I do when eating watermelon
Chinter- to resemble a comment mannequin challenge
An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first one orders a beer. The second orders half a beer. The third, a quarter of a beer. The bartender says, Youre all idiots, and pours two beers.
...and when one more comes in, the bartender says "Sorry, that's your limit!"
Lol 🙃I'm one of those that get it but don't get it, a dizzy blogger
MEANING: verb intr.: To mutter, grumble, or chatter.
ETYMOLOGY: Of imitative origin. Earliest documented use: 1599.
CHUNTEA - a hot beverage steeped from the bark of the Chun tree
ICHUNTER - I'm below German
COHUNTER - Gale, to Katniss
MEANING: adjective: 1. Juicy.
2. Having thick fleshy leaves or stems for storing water, as a cactus.
3. Interesting or enjoyable.
noun: A succulent plant.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin succus (juice). Earliest documented use: 1601.
BUCCULENT - cheeky
SUCCULINT - characterizing an effective vacuum cleaner
STUCCULENT - bogged-down
CUCCULENT- - as in a clock
Lucculent- borrowed karma
Mucculent- fertilizer for fields
Nucculent- Uncle Noam! Loves synonym rolls like grammar makes
MEANING: adjective: Resembling marble or a marble statue, for example, in smoothness, whiteness, hardness, coldness, or aloofness.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin marmor (marble). Earliest documented use: 1656.
KARMOREAN - fated
MAKMOREAN - having a higher salary
MARKMOREAN - a whiz of a graffiti artist
MEANING: Noun: A creative impulse or inspiration.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin afflatus (a breathing on), from ad- (to) + flare (to blow). Ultimately from the Indo-European root bhle- (to blow), which also gave us blow, bladder, blather, blast, flavor, inflate, and flatulence. Earliest documented use: 1649.
ABFLATUS - what you get from crunches and situps
WAFFLATUS - 1. an indecisive pufferfish; 2. waffles made with club soda
AFFLAYUS - we were soundly beaten by the team from Air Force Academy
Apflatus- pre-programmed inspiration app for your i-phone
MEANING: noun: Traveling from place to place, also a course of travel, especially on foot.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin peregrinari (to travel abroad), from peregrinus (foreign), from peregre (abroad), from per- (through) + ager (field, country). Ultimately from the Indo-European root agro- (field), which is also the source of agriculture, acre, peregrine, pilgrim (a variant of peregrine), and agrestic. Earliest documented use: 1475.
PREGRINATION - like the Mona Lisa: having the ghost of a smile, with a hint of bigger things to come (see also EREGRINATION)
PELEGRINATION - the South American people are happy about their star soccer player
PUREGRINATION - face wreathed with unalloyed joy
MEANING: adjective: Pretentious or vulgar display in an attempt to impress others.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin ostentare (to display), frequentative of ostendere (to show), from ob- (against) + tendere (to stretch). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ten- (to stretch), which is also the source of tense, tenet, tendon, tent, tenor, tender, pretend, extend, tenure, tetanus, hypotenuse, tenable, extenuate, countenance, tenuous, distend, pertinacious, and detente. Earliest documented use: 1590.
OUSTENTATIOUS - making a great spectacle of overthrowing the King
OFTENTATIOUS - frequently flamboyant
OSTEOTATIOUS - spectacularly bony
MEANING: noun: Advantage; benefit.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old English behof (profit, need). Ultimately from the Indo-European root kap- (to grasp), which is also the root of captive, capsule, chassis, cable, occupy, deceive, caitiff, captious, and gaff. Earliest documented use: around 1275.
HEHOOF - a pun that up and kicks you in the stomach (pronounced HEE-hoof or sometimes HEH-oof)
BEWOOF - in weaving, to place the crosswise threads on a loom
BEHOFF - what a Cockney does to leave quickly; equivalent of U.S. "Amscray" or "Giddaddahere!"
PRONUNCIATION: (KOM-uh-noot, -nyoot)
MEANING: verb tr. and intr.: To pulverize.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin comminuere, from com- (intensive prefix) + minuere (to lessen). Ultimately from the Indo-European root mei- (small) that also gave us minor, minister, diminish, minimum, menu, mystery, and mince. Earliest documented use: 1626.
COMMINUT - Karl Marx was crazy
COMPMINUTE - my salary is very low
COMMINURE - organic fertilizer, straight from the dairy farm
MEANING: verb intr.: To celebrate boisterously.
ETYMOLOGY: Back formation from Mafeking (now Mafikeng), a town in South Africa, where a British garrison was besieged for 217 days during the Boer War. Lifting of the siege on May 17, 1900, sparked wild celebrations in London. Earliest documented use: 1900.
MAFLICK - 1. a movie about Massachusetts; 2. a movie about my second University degree; 3. my French movie;. 4. my French policeman
MAFTICK - an adhefive with a fpeech impediment
HAFFICK - 50% disgusting
MEANING: verb intr.: To belong to something by its very nature; to be an inseparable part of something.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin inhaerere (to be attached), from in- (in) + haerere (to stick). Earliest documented use: 1563.
GINHERE - sign on a speakeasy (compare SINHERE, WINHERE, etc, for various other institutions of doubtful propriety)
IMHERE - response to "Where are you?"
ITHERE - friendly greeting to a stranger
MEANING: adjective: 1. Suffering from spavin, a disease involving swelling of hock joints in a horse. 2. Old; decrepit; broken-down.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old French espavain (swelling). Earliest documented use: 1430.
SPYVINED - acted like James Bond of the Apes
SPAVEINED - how your legs look after too much time in the Jacuzzi
SPAVITED - Is Dad coming to the party?
sipavined- a ne'er-do-well red vine sipper
spalined- thru the Vail of Colorado
PRONUNCIATION: (plat-i-tood-n-AR-ee-uhn, -tyood-)
MEANING: noun: One who utters platitudes or trite remarks.
ETYMOLOGY: From French plat (flat). Ultimately from the Indo-European root plat- (to spread), which is also the root of flat, to flatter, plan, plant, plantain, plateau, plaza, platinum, supplant, and transplant. Earliest documented use: 1854.
Remove the initial letter and you get latitudinarian.
PLATITUDINARINN - a rooming house where the guests can speak to each other only in trite remarks
PLATOTUDINARIAN - one who assumes the attitudes of Greek philosophy
PLATIPUDINARIAN - an animal-lover who dotes on duck-billed egg-laying mammals from eastern Australia and Tasmania
Splatitudinarian- overbearing, crude, knuckle dragging father
MEANING: adjective: 1. Strong, clear, rich (as in voice or speech). 2. Pompous, bombastic.
ETYMOLOGY: Contraction of Latin ore rotundo (with a round mouth), from ore, from os (mouth) + rotundo, from rotundus (round), from the Indo-European root ret- (to run or roll). Other words derived from the same root are rodeo, roll, rotary, rotate, rotund, roulette, and round. Earliest documented use: 1799.
Remove the initial letter and you get rotund.
OROBTUND - gold puts me to sleep
OREOTUND - triple-stuffed
OROFUND - dental insurance
Snuberous- a parent store related to toyserous
(Never was very fond of begonias, anyway, tuberous or otherwise)
MEANING: adjective: Like cork in appearance or texture.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin suber (cork oak). Earliest documented use: 1670.
Remove the initial letter and you get uberous.
[ Does "uberous" mean "like a taxi" ? ]
SUBZEROUS - very, very cold
SUBHEROUS - not quite worthy of the Medal of Honor
SUBERUS - sold by Japanese car dealers who can't spell
(Never was very fond of begonias, anyway, tuberous or otherwise)
Don't know what that means. Having read that begonias are "watchdogs," I have more insight. If I'd known I would have "put on the dog."
MEANING: noun: A short story that illustrates a moral lesson.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old French parable, from Latin parabola (comparison), from Greek parabole (comparison), from paraballein (to compare), from para- (beside) + ballein (to throw). Earliest documented use: 1250.
PARABBLE - Father was a peasant
PARABOLE - two tree-trunks
PATABLE - couldn't get along together even if they had an income! (PS That's an OLD joke...)
sparable - naughty monkey
Could you 'splain that one for me, please?
sparable - naughty monkey
Could you 'splain that one for me, please?
Spar- monkey fist knot and mock combat
Sorry, wasn't best phrasing, perhaps.
Aah. I hadn't associated the monkey's fist with the sparring. Thanks. Now I got it.
PRONUNCIATION: (doo-BY-i-tee, dyoo-)
MEANING: noun: Doubtfulness or uncertainty.
ETYMOLOGY: If youre experiencing dubiety, you are of two minds, etymologically speaking. From Latin dubius (wavering), from duo (two). Ultimately from the Indo-European root dwo- (two) that also gave us dual, double, doubt, diploma (literally, folded in two), twin, between, redoubtable, and didymous. Earliest documented use: 1750.
Remove the initial letter and you get ubiety
BUBIETY - 1. grandmotherliness 2. Alabama-redneck-ness
CUBIETY - having three dimensions
DAUBIETY - bad artwork
Dabiety- the quality of being dabonair
To dab or not to dab; Yabba dabba do!
Hintz- allusions of candor
MEANING: noun: A printed and glazed cotton fabric, typically with a flowery pattern.
ETYMOLOGY: From chintz, a printed cotton fabric imported from India, from Hindi chheent (spattering, stain). Earliest documented use: 1614. The word has resulted in the adjective chintzy meaning gaudy or stingy.
CHINOZ - the latest in fashion pants made of coarse cotton fabric
CHIN-AZ - familiar name for a Harrahs resort in Maricopa, Arizona
CHIN TZU - little-known younger brother of the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, contemporary of Confucius
(and yes, I do know the Chinese naming tradition)
2. Relating to or using long words.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin sesqui- (one and a half) + ped- (foot). First recorded use: 1615.
NOTES: Sesquipedalian is a long word about long words. Literally speaking, a sesquipedalian word is one and a half feet long. A related word is sesquicentennial (150th anniversary). Also see sesquipedality.
RESQUIPEDALIAN - to remove to safety an endangered foot
SESQUIPITALIAN - ROMERO (a Rome and a half)
SEXQUIPEDALIAN - making off-color jokes as he walks along
PRONUNCIATION: (duhr-mat-uh-GLIF-iks, -muh-tuh-)
1. The ridge patterns of skin on the inner surface of the hands and feet.
2. The scientific study of these skin patterns.
NOTES: It is one of the longest words with no repeated letters. Can you find another one of the same length? Heres a hint: you cant copyright it. Its uncopyrightable.
ETYMOLOGY: Coined in 1926 by Dr Harold Cummins (1893-1976) from Greek dermato- (skin) + glyphein (to carve). Ultimately from the Indo-European root gleubh- (to tear apart), which is also the source of cleave, glyph, clever, and clove (garlic). And thats also where we get cleavage, cleft palate, and cloven hooves. Earliest documented use: 1926.
DORMATOGLYPHICS - 1. decoration on a building that provides sleeping quarters for many; 2. the greeting on the mat where you wipe your feet before entering said building
DERMATOGRYPHICS - the skin markings on a half-eagle, half-lion mythical beast
FERMATOGLYPHICS - a pictorial or graphic representation of the Last Theorem
(this one even preserves the no-letters-repeated constraint)
MEANING: noun: A sixty-fourth note.
NOTES: Its a long word about the shortest note in music. For another example of prefixes gone wild, see preantepenultimate (fourth from the last).
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek hemi- (half) + French demi- (half) + Latin semi- (half) + quaver (an eighth note), from Middle English quaveren (to shake or tremble). Earliest documented use: 1853.
HE.MADE.MI.SEMI.QUAVER - what the Concorde pilot did when he flew over my big truck at supersonic speed
HEMI.DEMISE.MIQU-OVER - 1. half dead because of a bad job of dubbing
2.half-dead because of a bad transformation
HEMI.DEMI.SEMI.QUAKER - my great-grandfather came from Lancaster, PA
MEANING: adjective: Extraordinarily wonderful.
ETYMOLOGY: A fanciful formation. Earliest documented use is from 1949, though this word was popularized by the 1964 film Mary Poppins.
SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOLUS - whut HE said, only a little one
SUPERCALIFRAGILISTIC.EXPAL.IDOCIOUS - used to be my best friend
SUPERCALE.FRAGILIST.ICEXPIALIDOCIOUS - extremely fine, luxurious sheets
MEANING: noun: A member of the upper class, having wealth, social status, and political power.
ETYMOLOGY: From Sanskrit brahmin, a member of the priestly class, the highest of the four classes, from Brahma, the creator of the universe in Hinduism. Earliest documented use: 1481.
CRAHMIN - what you'll find Harvard students doing if they've left all their course work undone until the day before the final exam
BROHMIN - third lightest halogen, Atomic No. 35
BRAHMSIN - an orgy of listening to a loop of the Academic Festival Overture
(married Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra, too, she did)
1. An embodiment of a concept.
2. A representation of a person or thing in computers, networks, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: From Sanskrit avatar (descent, as of a god from heaven to the earth), from ava- (away) + tarati (he crosses). Ultimately from the Indo-European root terÉ- (to cross over or pass through, to overcome), which also gave us through, thorough, transient, nostril, and thrill. Earliest documented use: 1784.
AMATAR - a doctor who sails for the pure love of it
AVIATAR - a Navy pilot who flies from aircraft carriers
JAVATAR - the gunk left in the bottom of your coffepot after it all boils out
PUNDIT (or PANDIT)
1. A learned person.
2. A person who offers commentary or judgments as an expert on a certain topic.
ETYMOLOGY: From Hindi pandit, from Sanskrit pandita (learned). Earliest documented use: 1661.
Since we have two variants -
PUNPIT - the seed of the next bit of clever wordplay
SPUNDIT - what Meadowlark Lemon did to the basketball
PANDIST - a devotĂ©e of Hsing-Hsing and Ling-Ling and that ilk
SPUNDIT - what Meadowlark Lemon did to the basketball
I think you once got on me for two letter changes, no????
Sundit- sun dog millionaire
Pandit- cast iron cookery
Nundit- Mother Theresa like patience
SPUNDIT - what Meadowlark Lemon did to the basketball
I think you once got on me for two letter changes, no????
Yes, but the Word for the Day is "pundit (or pandit)
". Two choices. I used both!
SPUNDIT - what Meadowlark Lemon did to the basketball
I think you once got on me for two letter changes, no????
Yes, but the Word for the Day is "pundit (or pandit)
". Two choices. I used both!
ANd last week you said if there were more than one choice, leave
one for others?
C'mon now, there were four others after I offered mine, including both choices.
1. A religious teacher, mystic, or yogi.
2. A learned man: pundit.
ETYMOLOGY: From Hindi swami (master), from Sanskrit swami (master, lord). Ultimately from the Indo-European root s(w)e- (third person reflexive pronoun), which also gave us self, sibling, suicide, secret, sober, sullen, idiot, and Irish Sinn Fein (literally, We Ourselves). Earliest documented use: 1773.
SWANI - river in Florida
'OWAMI - phrase preceding the answer "Pretty well, thanks!"
SHAMI - Irish detectives (pl. of SHAMUS)
MEANING: noun: 1. A personâs action (bad or good) that determines his or her destiny, in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.
2. Destiny; fate.
3. An aura or atmosphere generated by someone or something.
ETYMOLOGY: From Sanskrit karma (deed, work). Ultimately from the Indo-European root kwer- (to make), which also gave us tera- (trillion), Farsi lashkar (army), and the word Sanskrit (literally, well-formed). Earliest documented use: 1827.
NOTES: In Hinduism, after death a person is reborn to pay for bad actions or to enjoy the rewards of good actions in the previous life. The goal of life is to become free from the cycle of birth and death: nirvana (blowing out, extinguishing).
- Boston weather in the SpringKATMA
- diminutive name for the capital of NepalKABMA
- what you ask your mother to call you when you need a taxi
COCK-UP, COCK UP, COCKUP
MEANING: noun: 1. complete mess; a blunder.
2. An upward turn.
verb tr.: 1. To botch.
2. To turn upward or curl.
ETYMOLOGY: From English cock (to turn up or to one side), from cock (rooster). The first sense of the word is a construction parallel to âscrew-upâ probably influenced by the slang sense of the word cock. Earliest documented use: 1693.
CORKUP - what you do to the wine bottle when you want to save what's left
COCOUP - two people together overthrow the government
COCKUPU - the offspring of a cocker-spaniel and a pudle
MEANING: adjective: Sick from excessive drinking or eating.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin crapula (drunkenness), from Greek kraipale (hangover, drunkenness). Earliest documented use: 1540. Also crapulent.
CRAMPULOUS - I ate a great big lunch and then I went swimming right away
CAPULOUS - pertaining to Juliet's extended family
CRAPULOTUS - meditative position assumed after over-indulging
Crappulous- OK fish chowder
MEANING: noun: 1. A sharp point or spike for holding a candle.
2. A male deer in its second year, before the antlers have branched.
ETYMOLOGY: Diminutive of prick/prik, from Old English prica (point). Earliest documented use: 1331.
APRICKET - a yellow-orange fruit with fuzzy skin and but a single stone
PARICKET - a yellow-orange small bird, commonly domesticated
PICKET - choose a sci-fi film about a (sort of) yellow-orange alien who gets marooned and has to phone home
MEANING: noun: Makeup
verb tr.: 1. To apply makeup.
2. To embellish or gloss over.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old French fard (makeup), from farden (to apply makeup), of Germanic origin. Earliest documented use: 1450.
FIARD - mountainous port in northeast Norway
FAWRD - opposite of "aft," on a boat in the fiard
FÄLD - flunked the spelling test
MEANING: noun: Delay; procrastination; tardiness.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin cunctari (to hesitate, delay). Earliest documented use: 1585.
CUNCTARION - one who sees things in their entirety
UNCTATION - the application of a nard
PUNCTATION - periods and colons an' such, without regard for spellng
Junctation- the process of heavily padding an inheritance
Functation- creating a fun situation
Satorii- moment of transition
The wife you save
May be your own
(As seen locally on a sign)
MEANING: noun: Sudden enlightenment or intuitive understanding.
ETYMOLOGY: From Japanese satori (understanding), from satoru (to know or understand). Earliest documented use: 1727.
- that moment when you realize you really don't
want to go to Law SchoolSARTORI
- sudden acquisition of a sense of fashionSAVORI
- the fifth flavor, after sweet, sour, bitter, and salty (see UMAMI) (no, really
Hogira- Pigita's mother, cast in Pearls Before Swine
PRONUNCIATION: (hi-JY-ruh, HEJ-uhr-uh)
MEANING: noun: A journey or migration, especially when taken to escape an undesirable situation.
ETYMOLOGY: From the flight of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE to escape persecution. From Arabic hijra (departure), from hajara (to depart). Earliest documented use: 1590.
HEGILA - a male venomous lizard from SW US/NW Mexico
HEGIRO - mother of all submarine sandwiches (combination of HERO and GYRO)
MEGIRA - Bill Gates' retirement fund
pronunciamentoe- theory that states lifting the fig leaf means lights out.
MEANING: noun: An official or authoritarian announcement.
ETYMOLOGY: From Spanish pronunciamiento (pronouncement, military uprising), from pronunciar (to pronounce), from Latin pronuntiare (to put forth), from pro- (toward) + nuntiare (to announce). Ultimately from the Indo-European root neu- (to shout), which also gave us announce, denounce, pronounce, and renounce. Earliest documented use: 1832.
PRONUNCIAMENTOR - your advisor about how words should sound
PRENUNCIAMENTO - before he got to be spokesman for the Pope
PRONOUN-CIA-MENTO - thinking of the Central Intelligence Agency as "it"
MEANING: noun: Squabble; commotion; confusion.
ETYMOLOGY: A corruption of Hindi âbap reâ (literally, oh father!), an exclamation of surprise, grief, etc., from bap (father) + re (oh). Earliest documented use: 1816.
- the practice of removing the tail from animalsBBBERY
- government by business bureauBOBBERAY
- radio comedians from the 1950s (Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding
MEANING: noun: A secret group united for unscrupulous purposes.
ETYMOLOGY: After Camorra, a secret organization in Naples, Italy, engaged in criminal activities. From Italian, possibly from Spanish camorra (fight). Earliest documented use: 1865.
AMORRA - When the moon hits-a your eye like a big-a pizza pie that's...
CLAMORRA - lotsa noise
CAMO-NRA - you can't see them; the way they're dressed they blend right into the background
Camorral- puzzling morals
MEANING: adjective: 1. Commonplace; ordinary. 2. Occurring every day.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old French cotidian, from Latin quotidianus/cotidianus, from quotidie (each day), from quot (how many). Earliest documented use: 1393.
DUOTIDIAN - twice every day
QUOTHDIAN - The late Princess of Wales said...
QUOTICIAN - John Bartlett, 1820 â 1905
MEANING: noun: An unpleasant discharge, for example, fumes, vapors, or gases from waste or decaying matter.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin effluere (to flow out), from ex- (out) + fluere (to flow). Ultimately from the Indo-European root bhleu- (to swell or overflow), from which flow words such as affluent, influence, influenza, fluctuate, fluent, fluid, fluoride, flush, flux, reflux, and superfluous. profluent, mellifluous, fluvial, affluenza, and affluential. Earliest documented use: 1646.
EFFLIVIUM - a very loud Latin poem
BFFLUVIUM - a love potion for the 21st Century
EFFLUVIRUM - a hoax remedy purported to exorcise the germs
MEANING: adjective: 1. Incapable of being expressed: indescribable.
2. Not to be expressed: taboo.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin in- (not) + effari (to speak out), from ex- (out) + Latin fari (to speak). Ultimately from the Indo-European root bha- (to speak), which also gave us fable, fairy, fate, fame, blame, confess, and infant (literally, one unable to speak), apophasis, and confabulate. Earliest documented use: 1450.
INEZFABLE - a short parable with a moral, written by the Aztec scribe Inez
INEFFABLUE - very sad but can't explain why...
ONE-FFABLE - eligible for Selective Service classification 1-FF
MEANING: noun: Face, appearance, or expression.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old French vis (face), from Latin visus (sight, appearance), from videre (to see). Ultimately from the Indo-European root weid- (to see), which also gave us guide, wise, vision, advice, idea, story, history, previse, videlicet, vidimus, vizard, and invidious. Earliest documented use: 1303.
VI-PAGE - about how long your 1,500-word double-spaced paper about the History of Ancient Rome should be
EISAGE - when the glaciers covered all of Europe down to Germany
AVISAGE - an herb used to flavor Roast Bird
MEANING: adjective: Incapable of being persuaded, moved, or stopped.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin in- (not) + exorare (to prevail upon), from ex- (out) + orare (to pray, beg). Earliest documented use: 1553.
INEXORA-BLED - hemophiliac
INEXXORABLE - the Dakota Access pipeline
INEXORABLEU - the ultimate triumph of cheese
PRONUNCIATION: (fuhr-KLEMT, vuhr-)
MEANING: adjective: Overcome with emotion; choked up.
ETYMOLOGY: From Yiddish farklempt (overcome with emotion), from German verklemmt (inhibited). Earliest documented use: 1991.
OVERKLEMPT - melodramatic
VERKLE-MPG - what kind of gas milage does that new German car get?
VERKLEPT - obtained by shoplifting
MEANING: verb tr.: To cheat.
ETYMOLOGY: From Yiddish yentzen (to copulate). Earliest documented use: 1930.
SYENTZ - what the partially-educated think physics and chemistry are
YEN-TP - what the Yen indians dwell in
YEN-TM - the Japanese have trademarked their currency
Wentz- alternate of goed for shtupid people
...a little dynamic pluralism
verb. tr.: To slap or spank.
noun: A slap or spanking.
ETYMOLOGY: From Yiddish patshn (to slap), of imitative origin. Earliest documented use: 1892.
I-POTCH - worn by an Apple software pirate with a Boston accent
pH-TCH - Dummy, you got the acidity wrong
P.O.TECH - an ultra-miniaturized electronic device that is swallowed
MEANING: verb intr.
1. To waste time or to idle.
2. To meddle or fiddle with something.
ETYMOLOGY: Perhaps from Yiddish arumfartsn (to fart around), from arum- (around) + fartsn (to fart). Earliest documented use: 1932.
FFUTZ - Those are very noisy potato chips!
HUT Z - where the Enigma codebreakers went to take a short nap when they were so tired they fell asleep at their tables
FUTV - call letters of the television station staffed by Communications majors at Fordham University
Mutz- dog farts [false]
Cutz- cut with a spoon (because it hurtz worse)
SCHMATTE or SHMATTE
1. A rag.
2. An old, ragged article of clothing.
3. Any garment.
ETYMOLOGY: From Yiddish schmatte, from Polish szmata (rag). Earliest documented use: 1970.
SHMARTTE - wise; viz. old Pennsylvania Dutch proverb "We get too soon Olde and too late Shmartte!"
ASHMATTE - an asbestos pad lining your fireplace to make cleaning up easier
SCHEMATTE - detailed plans or specifications
Shmartte- street smartz
(Diamond in the rough)
MEANING: adjective: Sycophantic.
ETYMOLOGY: From Gnatho, a sycophant in the comedy Eunuchus (The Eunuch) by the Roman playwright Terence, written in 161 BCE. The name is coined from the Greek word gnathos (jaw). The subject of Gnathoâs flattery, Thraso, has also given a word to the English language: thrasonical. Earliest documented use: 1637.
NATHONIC - like a Coney Island hot dog
GRATHONIC - my lawn with a lisp
IGNATHONIC - pertaining to St Ignatz
Agnathonic- disinterested cynic
Bovarisms- desire for more cows
MEANING: noun: A romanticized, unrealistic view of oneself.
ETYMOLOGY: From Emma Bovary, the title character in Gustave Flaubertâs 1857 novel Madame Bovary. Earliest documented use: 1902.
- an egg fetishABOVARISM
- taking the high roadBOKARISM
- insisting on strong dark coffee in a black A&P bag (disestablished 2012
(It's amazing what people think it's worth writing about in Wikipedia!)
Mrs. Grundy, a teacher in Archie Comics, [wa]s inspired by the original Mrs. Grundy
Bob Montana/Jackpot Comics, 1941
PRONUNCIATION: (MIS-iz GRUND-ee)
MEANING: noun: An extremely conventional or priggish person.
ETYMOLOGY: After Mrs. Grundy, a character in the 1798 play Speed the Plough by Thomas Morton. Mrs. Grundy never appears on the stage, but her neighbor Dame Ashfield constantly worries about âWhat will Mrs. Grundy say?â Earliest documented use: 1813.
- feminist equivalent of Punxatawney Phil; looks for signs of Spring on Groundhog DayMRSA GRUNDY
- a particularly virulent strain of Methicillin-Resistant Staph. AureusNRS GRUNDY
- the first name considered for the nurse in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
, later discarded if favor of Nurse Ratched
MEANING: noun: A person with long, thick, disheveled hair.
ETYMOLOGY: From Struwwelpeter, the title character of the 1845 childrenâs book Der Struwwelpeter (Shockheaded Peter) by Heinrich Hoffman. Earliest documented use: 1909.
STRUWDELPETER - Peter likes pastries with his coffee
STRUWWELMETER - a device to measure the unruliness of one's coif
STRUWWELPATER - my Dad really needs a haircut
MEANING: noun: A giant in size, feats, stature, or (physical or intellectual) appetites.
ETYMOLOGY: After Gargantua, a voracious giant, the father of Pantagruel, in a series of novels by FranĂ§ois Rabelais (c. 1490-1553). The son also has given a word to the English language: pantagruelian. Earliest documented use: 1571.
GARGANTIA - antonym of MINUTIA
GARANTULA - a giant spider, like Ron Weasley hates (yes, yes, I know)
GARAGANTUA - big enough to house all your Rolls-Royces
Gargauntua- Anu's Aunt Ua
Gargantuas- large, antagonistic urban assaults
Borkk- grade level higher [pitch] barker than the typical bork
MEANING: verb tr.: To systematically attack a nominee or candidate for public office.
ETYMOLOGY: After Robert Bork (1927-2012), whose nomination for the US Supreme Court was rejected in 1987 after extensive publicity by various groups exposed his extreme views (such as, his support for a poll tax). Earliest documented use: 1987.
BOURK - To systematically attack a candidate for the office of Justice of the Supreme Court of the UK.
BORUK - rough transliteration of a Middle Eastern word meaning "blessed"
BORA - half of a Polynesian island, found in the lee
PRONUNCIATION: (jon HAN-kok)
MEANING: noun: A personâs signature.
ETYMOLOGY: After John Hancock (1737-1793), American politician and revolutionary leader. He was president of the Continental Congress (1775-1777) and the first to sign the Declaration of Independence. His large flamboyant signature on the document made his name synonymous with oneâs signature. Earliest documented use: 1834.
JOIN HANCOCK - Hancock is looking for members for his team
JOHN HANCORK - the enterpreneur who first perfected wine storage
JOHN HANCLOCK - the signature 12-o'clock chimes of Big Ben
PRONUNCIATION: (BEN-i-dikt AR-nuhld)
MEANING: noun: A traitor.
ETYMOLOGY: After Benedict Arnold (1741-1801), American general in the Revolutionary War, who in 1780 planned to surrender West Point to the British for ÂŁ20,000. Earliest documented use: 1806.
BENEDICT ARE OLD - but good for making thousand-year-egg soup
BENE DICTA ARNOLD - the Governor said good things about the California Latin Society
BON EDICT ARNOLD - and that was a good Executive Order, too, Guv
Benelict Arnold - tongue lashing for prosperity
MEANING: noun: The practice of making unfounded accusations against someone.
ETYMOLOGY: After US senator Joseph McCarthy (1909-1957) known for making unsubstantiated claims accusing people of being Communists, spies, or disloyal. Earliest documented use: in 1950 in a cartoon by Herbert Block.
MCEARTHYISM - accusing others of having lusty uninhibited urges
MECCARTHYISM - accusing others of Islamic preferences
MOCCARTHYISM - 1) accusing others of wearing soft leather shoes;
2) making fun of others in your accusations
MEANING: verb tr: To repartition an area in order to create electoral districts that give an unfair advantage to a political party.
noun: An instance of gerrymandering.
ETYMOLOGY: A blend of Elbridge Gerry and salamander. Massachusetts Governor Gerryâs party rearranged the electoral district boundaries and someone fancied the newly redistricted Essex County resembled a salamander. A cartoon showing the district in the shape of a salamander appeared in March 1812 issue of the Federalist newspaper. Earliest documented use: 1812.
GERRYWANDER - Gerry walks aimlessly (see also GERRYMEANDER)
GERRYWANDER - Gerry's mind is drifting
GERRYWANDER - Gerry is a magician
Gerrypandering- bipartisan ice cream
PRONUNCIATION: (KY-bosh, ky-BOSH)
MEANING: noun: Check; stop (used in the phrase âto put the kibosh onâ).
ETYMOLOGY: Origin unknown. Various origins (Yiddish, Hebrew, and Irish) have been proposed, but supporting evidence is lacking in each case. Earliest documented use: 1836.
SKIBOSH - a four-day downpour at Vail
RIBOSH - a ribosome with a sulfhydryl group
KIBISH - the language of Kibia
COPACETIC or COPASETIC
MEANING: m adjective: Excellent; satisfactory; OK.
ETYMOLOGY: Of obscure origin. Competing theories attribute its origin to Black English, Louisiana French, Italian, Yiddish, and Hebrew, but evidence is lacking. Earliest documented use: 1919.
CAPACETIC - able to contain only a defined amount
COPARETIC - developing advanced syphilis at the same time
MOPACETIC - swab the floor with vinegar
trambunctious- a tram off the rails, tired of being moved by an unmoved mover
MEANING: adjective: Uncontrollably boisterous.
ETYMOLOGY: Of uncertain origin. Perhaps an alteration of its synonym rumbustious. Earliest documented use: 1830.
RAMBUNCTIONS - repeated acts of anointing with Oil of Sylvester Stallone
RIMBUNCTIOUS - the shenanigans accompanying a particularly spectacular slam-dunk
RUMBUNCTIOUS - describing the hi-jinx attributable to copious amounts of grog
trambunctious- a tram off the rails, tired of being moved by an unmoved mover
The universe is indeed strange. I just rode a tram with Michio Kaku!! Embarrassingly, I have proof.
MEANING: noun: Nonsense.
ETYMOLOGY: Of unknown origin. According to a popular story, a fellow named Hiram Codd came up with the design of a soft-drink bottle with a marble in its neck to keep the fizz. Wallop was slang for beer and those who preferred alcoholic drinks dismissively referred to the soft-drink as Coddâs Wallop. This story is unproven. Earliest documented use: 1959.
CODSCALLOP - two inhabitants of the North Atlantic
COD-SWALLOW - try to impress your friends when you're drunk and out of goldfish
RODSWALLOP - what you spare a child so as not to spoil it
Lollytag- OZ guild wars tag. Ex. IggS, "I'm gonna git you sucka" gang
MEANING: verb intr.: To fool around, waste time, or spend time lazily.
ETYMOLOGY: Origin unknown. Earliest documented use: 1880.
POLLYGAG - Well, shut my mouth...all of them!
LOLLYGARG - offer a candy-on-a-stick to a Wordsmith
OLLYGAG - so Kukla and Fran can get a word in edgewise
PRONUNCIATION: (AW-fing, AWF-ing)
MEANING: noun: Near future (used in the phrase âin the offingâ).
ETYMOLOGY: In nautical use, offing is the part of sea visible from the shore, but beyond anchoring ground. From off (away), from of. Earliest documented use: 1600.
BFFING - expressing affection and loyalty (albeit with some hyperbole)
FFFING - conveying extreme loudness
UFFING - thinking like a beamish boy watching for a Jabberwock
Coffing- distinctive style of coughing caught while yachting off the coast of Nantucket
Loffing- thin chortle made with clenched teeth and extended pinky
Loffing - thin chortle made with clenched teeth and extended pinky
PRONUNCIATION: (JOOR-ee rig)
MEANING: verb tr.: To assemble or fix temporarily using whatever is at hand.
ETYMOLOGY: On a sailing ship, a jury-mast is a temporary mast, rigged when the original is damaged or lost. From jury (makeshift or temporary), perhaps from Old French ajurie (help). Earliest documented use: 1840.
JULY-RIG - stand and mounting brackets used to launch a fireworks display
JUDY RIG - Outfit for one of the puppets in a Punch-and-Judy show
JURY-WIG - a special toupĂ©e used only in a formal British jury trial (see also JURY-RUG, worn at not-quite-as-formal settings)
PRONUNCIATION: (sluhsh fuhnd)
MEANING: noun: A fund established for illegal activities, especially in business and politics.
ETYMOLOGY: Originally, a slush fund was money collected to buy small luxuries for a shipâs crew. The fund was raised from the sale of slush (reuse fat) from the shipâs galley. Earliest documented use: 1839.
FLUSH FUND - I financed my education by playing poker
SHUSH FUND - OK, kid, I'll pay you to just Shut Up
SLUSH FOND - I love sweetened syrup over shaved ice!
Pilchgut- a receptacle for carrying fluids, i.e. waterskin, bota bag
MEANING: noun: A miserly person.
Originally, a pinchgut was someone who didnât give enough food to a shipâs crew. Earliest documented use: 1615.
FINCHGUT - someone who eats like a bird
PINCHGAT - <#$&@%> thug stole my gun
'PINACHGUT - Popeye and his family
PRONUNCIATION: (JET-i-suhn, -zuhn)
MEANING: verb tr.: To cast off something regarded as unwanted or burdensome.
noun: The act of discarding something.
ETYMOLOGY: Originally, jettison was the act of throwing goods overboard to lighten a ship in distress. From Latin jactare (to throw), frequentative of jacere (to throw). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ye- (to throw), which also gave us jet, eject, project, reject, object, subject, adjective, joist, jactitation, subjacent, and jaculate. Earliest documented use: 1426.
JETBISON - It's Superbison!
JETTISONG - ...and Yoda's voice is as bad as you would expect
JESTISON - It's Comedy Time !!
Yettison- little yowie transported by cab
MEANING: verb intr.: To shirk responsibility.
verb tr.: To obtain something through the generosity of others; to scrounge.
noun: An easy task.
ETYMOLOGY: Back-formation from bludger (pimp), from bludgeoner, from bludgeon, of uncertain origin. Earliest documented use: 1919.
BLUGE - the second downhill-racing sled
BRUDGE - connected the two sides of a gap (past tense of "bridge")
BLUEGE - apply blue coloring to someone's cheeks
"Politicks- many blood sucking parasites"
MEANING: verb intr.: To engage in (usually partisan) political activity.
ETYMOLOGY: Back-formation from politicking (engaging in partisan political activity), from politic (pragmatic, shrewd), from Old French politique (political), from Latin politicus (political), from Greek politikos (political), from polis (city). Earliest documented use: 1892.
POLITRICK - a magic show performed in a Beacon Hill salon
POLISICK - my parrot has psittacosis
POLITECK - an engineering school which disdains any knowledge of the humanities
Yettison- little yowie transported by cab
- not "Littlefoot" ?
Yettison- little yowie transported by cab
- not "Littlefoot" ?
Nah, my mother used to call me yowie. During a meditation that day that's what I saw. I still don't understand what it means. Littlefoot makes more sense, except littlefoot (in my mind) is a dinosaur from the land before time.
(Littlefoot being the son of Bigfoot, a.k.a. Yeti)
MEANING: verb intr.: To make a formal speech, especially by a defendant after being found guilty and before being sentenced in a court.
ETYMOLOGY: Back-formation from allocution (a formal speech), from Latin allocution, from loqui (to speak). Earliest documented use: 1860.
ALTOCUTE - the girl with the low voice is a good-looker
ILLOCUTE - to enunciate poorly
ALLOCHUTE - what the relieved French paratrooper said during an uncomplicated jump
Allomute- tuning out dissimilar chatter, sometimes leading to a failure to communicate
Allolute- raising vibrations to a different level via sound therapy
- most of a gentille French bird
, whose feathers I am about to pluck...
MEANING: verb intr.: To reach or pass through adolescence (the period between childhood and adulthood).
ETYMOLOGY: Back-formation from adolescent, from Latin adolescere (to grow up), from alere (to feed). Earliest documented use: 1859.
ID-OLESCE - to evolve, like a typical teenager, by rotating among various sub-phases: BADOLESCE, FADOLESCE, GADOLESCE, MADOLESCE, 'NADOLESCE, SADOLESCE
AGO-LESCE - having no memory of earlier times
ODOLESCE - reduce the milage recorder on your car
Dadolesce- not articulated
DADOLESCE = teenage parenthood
noun: 1. An initial attempt into a new activity or area; 2. A sudden raid, especially for taking plunder
verb tr.: To pillage
verb intr.:To make oneâs way into a new activity or area
ETYMOLOGY: Probably a back-formation from forayer (raider), from Old French forrer (to forage). Earliest documented use: 1400.
FORPAY - why poeple work
FORRY - expression of regret despite a speech impediment
UFORAY - undefined but powerful weapon deployed by a flying saucer
Soray- 1. always sorry, inflection on the "ay" 2. Superlinear convergence
Forray- gathering datum in the unified field of consciousness
DADOLESCE = teenage parenthood
Lol, The Edge of Seventeen meets Peggy Sue Got Married
đł I have two teenagers remaining
MEANING: noun: Someone or something that serves as a guiding principle, model, inspiration, ambition, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old English lad (way) + star. A lodestar is called so because itâs used in navigation, it shows the way. Earliest documented use: 1374.
LODESTAIR - how you get from one mine level to another
LODESITAR- Indian music played on this instrument has a certain magnetic quality to it, don't you agree?
LODGESTAR - the Worshipful Master
Lorde-Star- fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics.
ulipinous- sweet southern sass
upiginous- having a cheeky quality
adjective: Swampy; slimy; slippery.
From Latin uligo (moisture). Earliest documented use: 1576.
URLIGINOUS - generating Web addresses
UBIGINOUS - making a place somewhere
ULIGINOPUS - music for performance on bagpipes (Uillean pipes)
MEANING: noun: Pride; arrogance.
ETYMOLOGY: From Middle French superbitĂ©, from superbe (superb). Earliest documented use: 1450.
SUPERBITE - prognathism
SUBERBITY - bedroom-community-ness
LUPERBITY - wolfishness
superkity- currency of skittles when playing Exploding Kittens
MEANING: adjective: 1. Illiterate. 2. Not alphabetical.
noun: An illiterate person.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek analphabetos (not knowing the alphabet), from an- (not) + alphabetos (alphabet), from alpha + beta. Earliest documented use: 1876.
ANAL-HABETIC - communicating via flatulence
ANIL-PHABETIC - purple prose (occasionally other colors)
AN-ALPH-ACETIC - a Sacred River of vinegar
Anolphabetic- Suffering from a decrease in an estrogenic constituent of LAD causing mensopause discomfort
MEANING: noun: A strong desire or inclination.
ETYMOLOGY: From French appĂ©tence (desire), from Latin appetentia, from appetere (to seek after), ad- (to) + petere (to seek). Ultimately from the Indo-European root pet- (to rush or fly), which also gave us appetite, feather, petition, compete, perpetual, propitious, impetuous, petulant, pteridology, pinnate, and lepidopterology. Earliest documented use: 1610.
APPETENSE - whenever I'm worried, eating loses its appeal
APPENTENCE - this time it's OK, but if it happens again I'll feel bad about it
APPETENUCE - its square is some of the squares of the other toes ides
PRONUNCIATION: (oz-MOH-sis, os-)
MEANING: noun: 1. A gradual, unconscious assimilation of information, ideas, etc.
2. Movement of a solvent through a semipermeable membrane from a lower solute concentration to higher concentration, thus equalizing concentrations on both sides.
From Greek osmos (a push). Earliest documented use: 1863.
O-SUM-OSIS - whatever you win, I lose
OS-MOO-SIS - getting the cow to produce without using a milking machine
OSMOSES - crossing the Red Sea without actually pushing aside all that water; also, what Moses moved when he spake
Cosmosis- Caltech sorority mixer
Losmosis- non- conventional illumination
adjective: 1. Able to pay oneâs debts.
2. Able to dissolve another substance.
noun: 1. Something that dissolves another.
2. Something that solves a problem.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin solvere (to loosen, to dissolve, to pay). Ultimately from the Indo-European root pleu- (to flow), that is also the source of flow, float, flit, fly, flutter, pulmonary, pneumonic, pluvial, fluvial, effluvium, fletcher, and plutocracy. Earliest documented use: 1653.
SOLWENT - Solomon has left the building
SOLVEST - Number One Puzzler
SOLBENT - phototropic
MEANING: adjective: 1. Capable of burning or corroding.
2. Highly critical; sarcastic.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin causticus, from Greek kaustikos, from kaustos (combustible), from kaiein, (to burn). Earliest documented use: 1555.
CRUSTIC - what you paint on top of a roll so the seeds won't fall off
CAUSTIN - 100 capitals of Texas
CAMUSTIC - the author of The Stranger has an involuntary twitch on his cheek
Maustic- rolling pin
Brosidic- Brothers of Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations
. and in the ways our differences can combine to create new truth and beauty." (Mr. Spock and Dr. Miranda Jones, quoting Surak) of
MEANING: adjective: Commonplace; trite.
ETYMOLOGY: From the former use of bromide compounds as sedatives. Bromine got its name from the Greek bromos (stench) due to its strong smell. Earliest documented use: 1906.
PROMIDIC - you'll need a Student Card before they'll admit you to the dance
BIOMIDIC - pretentious word for "mid-life crisis"
BOOMIDIC - identifying supersonic aircraft from their ground-level noise
MEANING: adjective: Capable of being mixed together.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin miscere (to mix), ultimately from the Indo-European root meik- (to mix), which is also the source of mix, miscellaneous, meddle, medley, promiscuous, melee, mustang, admix, immix, and panmixia. Earliest documented use: 1570.
MISCICLE - this ice pop is so cold, people get heart attacks after eating them
MISCABLE - wired my TV set all wrong
MISBIBLE - quoting the wrong Scripture
Riscible- general-purpose laughter
noun: Any of various insects of the order Dermaptera, having a pair of pincers at the rear of the abdomen.
verb tr.: To influence or bias a person by insinuations.
verb intr.: To secretly listen to a conversation.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old English earwicga (earwig), from ear + wicga (insect). From the ancient belief that this insect crawled into peopleâs ears to reach their brains. Earliest documented use: before 1000.
BARWIG - worn so nobody will recognize you
EARWII - a miniature game console, with lots of sound output
EARWIK - air freshener for folks with a smelly discharge from their ears
1. Any of the various types of flies that bite or annoy livestock.
2. One who persistently annoys.
ETYMOLOGY: From gad (a goad for cattle), from Middle English, from Old Norse gaddr. Earliest documented use: 1626.
GLADFLY - one that has avoided a spider's web at the last minute
GAFFLY - how you behave after encountering a violent fisherman with a long barbed spear
WADFLY - what happens to a mis-aimed chaw of tobacco
MEANING: noun: A dark red or brownish purple color.
adjective: Of this color.
ETYMOLOGY: From French puce (flea), from Latin pulex (flea). Earliest documented use: 1778. Other terms coined after the flea are flea market, a direct translation of French marchĂ© aux puces, and ukulele (from Hawaiian, literally leaping flea, perhaps from the rapid motion of the fingers in playing the instrument).
PUIE - a French toddler's attempt to say "rain"
PIUCE - the spot on your windshield after you smash into a flying bug at highway speeds
PUCHE - high-falutin' way of writing "doggie"
Pulce - pulce represents the tactile arterial palpation of the A.I. heartbeat by trained fingertips.
Pulcus Bigeminus- grim heartbeat typical of middle age onset.
Pulcus Paradoxus - a condition in which some heartbeats cannot be detected at the radial artery during the inspiration phase.
...not to mention Pulcus Alternans, the heartbeat of the Far Right,
and Pulcus Parvis et Tardis, the heartbeat of Dr Who...
MEANING: noun: A photographer who follows famous people to take their pictures for publication.
ETYMOLOGY: From Paparazzo, the name of a photographer in Federico Felliniâs 1959 film La Dolce Vita. Fellini got the name via scriptwriter Ennio Flaiano who picked it from the 1901 travel book By the Ionian Sea. The book mentions a hotel owner named Coriolano Paparazzo. Fellini claimed at another time that the name Paparazzo suggested to him âa buzzing insect, hovering, darting, stingingâ. Earliest documented use: 1961.
PAMPARAZZO - photographer for National Geographic; working out of Buenos Aires, and renowned for his pictures of llamas and other Andean wildlife
POPARAZZO - takes clandestine pictures, exclusively at the Vatican
MAPARAZZI - my parents run the photography business together
...not to mention Pulcus Alternans, the heartbeat of the Far Right,
and Pulcus Parvis et Tardis, the heartbeat of Dr Who...
MEANING: noun: The shedding of an outer layer: molting.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek ekdysis, from ekdyein (to take off), from ek- (out, off) + dyein (to put on). A related word is ecdysiast. Earliest documented use: 1867.
ECDYSISE - to dress, undress, and redress vigorously, so as to stay physically fit
PECDYSIS - mastectomy
ETC.DYSIS - opening a matryoshka doll set
Ecodysis- sunset sunset
Ecodysis- sunset sunset
plural chrysalises or chrysalides (kri-SAL-i-deez)
1. A pupa of a moth or butterfly, enclosed in a cocoon.
2. A protective covering.
3. A transitional or developmental stage.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin chrysallis (gold-colored pupa of a butterfly), from Greek khrusos (gold). Earliest documented use: 1658.
CHRYSALISE - after too many drinks, I saw solids start to form and precipitate out of solution
CHORYSALIS - to take a Gregorian Chant and re-score it for four-part harmony
CHRYSABLIS - a hybrid wine formed by mixing Chablis with a Highly Redolent Yet Subtle proprietary additive
PRONUNCIATION: (i-MAY-go, -MAH-)
plural imagoes or imagines (i-MAY-guh-neez)
1. The final or adult stage of an insect.
2. An idealized image of someone, formed in childhood and persisting in later life.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin imago (image). Ultimately from the Indo-European root aim- (copy), which also gave us emulate, imitate, image, imagine, and emulous. Earliest documented use: 1787.
IMPGO - Scram, you little devil !
IMA-DO - Philanthropist Hogg's coiffure
IMAGOD - "I think, therefore I am" - Jehovah
TOUR DE FORCE
PRONUNCIATION: (toor duh FORS)
plural tours de force (toor duh FORS)
MEANING: noun: A feat of strength, skill, or ingenuity: an exceptional performance or achievement.
ETYMOLOGY: From French tour (turn, feat) + de (of) + force (strength). Earliest documented use: 1802.
TOUR DE FARCE - Monty Python's Flying Circus will be coming to town this summer!
TOUR DE FORGE - see Vulcan's Workshop while you're on vacation
FOUR DE FORCE - Luke, Leia, Anakin, and Yoda
sour de force- a lot to digest
PRONUNCIATION: (boor-ZHWAH, BOOR-zhwah)
plural bourgeois (boor-ZHWAH, BOOR-zhwah)
1. A member of the middle class.
2. One who exhibits behavior in conformity to the conventions of the middle class.
3. In Marxist theory, a member of the capitalist class.
1. Belonging to the middle class.
2. Marked by a concern for respectability and material interests.
3. Mediocre or unimaginative: lacking artistic refinement.
ETYMOLOGY: From French bourgeois, from Latin burgus (fortress, fortified town), from West Germanic burg. Ultimately from the Indo-European root bhergh- (high) which is also the source of iceberg, belfry, borough, burg, burglar, bourgeois, fortify, and force. Earliest documented use: 1564.
COURGEOIS - brave, but can't spell very well...
BOY-URGE-O-IS - testosterone-driven
BOURGE-POIS - green peas from Burgundy
plural oxymorons or oxymora (ok-see-MOR-uh, -mor-uh)
MEANING: noun: A figure of speech in which two contradictory terms appear together for emphasis, for example, âdeafening silenceâ.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek oxymoron, from neuter of oxymoros (sharp dull), from oxys (sharp) + moros (dull). The word moron comes from the same root. Earliest documented use: 1656.
POXYMORON - musta had a nasty case of acne in his youth
DOXYMORON - a concubine who isn't very bright
OXYMOROON - my field may be plowed by boustrophedon, but it's purple!
moxymoron- an expert moron
FOXYMORON - a dumb blonde, but ooh-la-la!
1. Melodious; entrancing.
2. Mystical; occult.
ETYMOLOGY: After Orpheus, a musician, poet, and prophet in Greek mythology. His lyre-playing and singing could charm animals, trees, and even rocks. After his wife Eurydice, a nymph, died of a snakebite, he traveled to the underworld to bring her back. His music melted the heart of Hades, the god of the underworld, who allowed him to take his wife back on the condition that he not look back at her until they had reached the world of the living. They had almost made it when he looked back and lost her again. His mother Calliope/Kalliope has also given a word to the English language: calliopean. Earliest documented use: 1656.
MORPHIC - sleepifying
MORPHIC - shape-changifying
ORCHIC - stylish, maybe
PRONUNCIATION: (MUHR-mi-dahn, -duhn)
MEANING: noun: One who unquestioningly follows orders.
ETYMOLOGY: In Greek mythology, the Myrmidons were led by Achilles in the Trojan War. The name is possibly from Greek myrmex (ant). In a version of the story, Zeus created Myrmidons from ants. Earliest documented use: 1425.
MYRMIDOL - women with fishtails have fewer menstrual symptoms when they use this
MYRMIDOC - I can hardly hear the MD; he mumbles a lot...
MYOMIDON - ...but I think he's trying to tell me I have some kind of muscle problem
1. A formidable opponent or an archenemy.
2. A source of harm or ruin.
3. Retributive justice.
ETYMOLOGY: In Greek mythology, Nemesis was the goddess of vengeance. From Greek nemesis (retribution), from nemein (to allot). Ultimately from the Indo-European root nem- (to assign or take), which also gave us number, numb, astronomy, renumerate, and anomie. Earliest documented use: 1542.
NAMESIS - the appellation of my female sibling
MNEMESIS - helps me remember whom not to fight
NEMESS - Scottish lad's defense against having to clean up his room
PRONUNCIATION: (AM-uh-zon, -zuhn)
MEANING: noun: A tall, strong, powerful woman.
ETYMOLOGY: In Greek mythology, Amazons were a race of women warriors in Scythia (in modern Russia). One of the labors of Hercules was to obtain the magical girdle from the Amazon queen Hippolyta. Earliest documented use: 1398.
AMAZONE - physicians' territory
AMPAZON - a truly expert electricienne
AMOZON - what makes that clean fresh smell after an early-morning lightning storm
MEANING: noun: A source of inspiration.
verb intr.: To be absorbed in thought.
verb tr.: To think or say something thoughtfully.
noun: A state of deep thought.
ETYMOLOGY: For the first noun: In Greek mythology, the Muses were nine goddesses, each of whom presided over an art or science. A museum is, literally speaking, a shrine to the Muses. Earliest documented use: 1390. Some other words related to the Muses are terpsichorean and calliopean.
For the rest: From Old French muser (to meditate, to idle). Earliest documented use: 1500.
MAUSE - my mother stops for a moment, then continues
MUSET - (mathematics) the one after a Lambda-set
MUSEM - how to keep li'l kids a-grinnin'
PRONUNCIATION: (KRAM-oi-zee, kruh-MOI-)
MEANING: adjective: Of a crimson color.
noun: Crimson cloth.
From French cramoisi, from Spanish carmesi, from Arabic qirmizi (of kermes). Earliest documented use: 1423.
SCRAMOISY - Get outa here, fast! And no need to be quiet about it, either.
CLAMOISY - chowderish
CHAMOISY - like a soft cloth for polishing
KAPUT or KAPUTT
PRONUNCIATION: (kuh-PUT, -POOT, kah-)
MEANING: adjective: Broken; ruined; finished.
ETYMOLOGY: From German kaputt (broken, ruined), from French ĂȘtre capot (to be without winning a trick in a game of piquet), perhaps from ProvenĂ§al. Earliest documented use: 1895.
A.K.A.PUT - another word for a particular risky stock market transaction
KIAPUTT - sound made by a small Rio engine
KAPTUT - disparaging a small hat
PRONUNCIATION: (LY-luhk, -lahk)
MEANING: noun: 1. Pale purple color. 2. Any of various shrubs having violet, pink, or white flowers.
adjective: Of a pale purple color.
ETYMOLOGY: From obsolete French lilac (in Modern French: lilas), from Spanish lilac, from Arabic lilak, from Persian lilak, from Sanskrit nil (blue). Earliest documented use: 1625.
LI-LACK - cannot tell an untruth
LIL-ARC - small rainbow
LI-BAC - what your dentist tells you just before the tender ministrations begin
1. An apparatus formerly used in distilling.
2. Something that refines, purifies, or transforms.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old French, from Latin alembicus, from Arabic al-anbiq (the still), from Greek ambix (cup). Earliest documented use: 1405.
ALAMBIC - without mutton
ALIMBIC - born with phocomelia
ALUMBIC - the back pain is totally gone now
PRONUNCIATION: (TAL-is-man, -iz-)
1. An object, such as a stone, believed to have occult powers to keep evil away and bring good fortune to its wearer.
2. Anything that has magical powers and brings miraculous effects.
ETYMOLOGY: From French or Spanish, from Arabic tilasm, from Greek telesma (consecration), from telein (to consecrate or complete), from telos (result). Ultimately from the Indo-European root kwel- (to revolve), which also gave us colony, cult, culture, cycle, cyclone, chakra, collar, col, and accolade. Earliest documented use: 1599.
TALI-MAN - a banana-counter
TALESMAN - a story-teller (see also TALKSMAN)
ALI'S MAN - Cassius Clay's valet
MEANING: adjective: Devoted to or relating to luxury and pleasure.
ETYMOLOGY: After Sybaris, an ancient Greek city in southern Italy noted for its wealth, whose residents were notorious for their love of luxury. Earliest documented use: 1619.
- incapable of feeling pleasure; anhedonicSIBARITIC
- pleased not to be an only childSYMBARITIC
- a. full of images representing other things;
b. like a lion
MEANING: noun: A loose, wide-sleeved outer garment worn by some monarchs at their coronations and by deacons, bishops, etc. in some churches.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old French dalmatique, from Latin dalmatica vestis (Dalmatian garment) since these garments were originally made of Dalmatian wool. Dalmatia is a region along the Adriatic coast of Croatia. Thatâs also where Dalmatian dogs got their name from. Earliest documented use: 1425.
ALMATIC - charitable
DEALMATIC - for shoppers reluctant to haggle
DALMAGIC - best-selling book of recipes for Indian food
MEANING: verb tr.: To pack tightly.
ETYMOLOGY: The verb form developed from the tight packing of the sardine in cans. From French sardine, from Latin sardina, from Greek Sardo (Sardinia). Earliest documented use: 1895.
TSARDINE - the person in charge of educating the children of the traditional rulers of Russia
STARDINE - where the elite meet, greet, and eat
TARDINE - the color of Dr Who's vehicle
1. A decorative horizontal band, as on a building.
2. A coarse woolen fabric.
For 1: After Phrygia, an ancient country in Asia Minor, noted for embroidery. Earliest documented use: 1563.
For 2: From French frise, perhaps from Latin frisia (Frisian wool). Earliest documented use: 1418.
MR.IEZE - stories by Agatha Christie and Josephine Tey and Rex Stout and such
FRIETZE - Ms. Frietze Rietz, aunt of Nancy in the old comic strips
FLIEZE - tiny jumping insects that torment dogs and form circuses
MEANING: adjective: Relating to learning or poetry.
ETYMOLOGY: After Pieria, a region in Greece. In Greek mythology, Pieria was home to a spring that was sacred to the Muses and inspired anyone who drank from it. Earliest documented use: 1591.
NOTES: Alexander Pope in his poem âAn Essay on Criticismâ (1709) wrote
âA little learning is a dangârous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.â
PTERIAN - winged
PIPERIAN - inimical to mice
PIEVIAN - 3.1416 liters of bottled water
MEANING: noun: An abundance or excess.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin plethora, from Greek plethore (fullness), from plethein (to be full). In the beginning the word was applied to an excess of a humor, especially blood, in the body. Earliest documented use: 1541.
PLETHORAE - abundances (fem.)
PLETHERA - soft forgetfulness
PLETHIRA - an over-funded retirement plan
MEANING: noun: An article of food.
adjective: Fit to eat; edible.
ETYMOLOGY: From French comestible (edible, food), from Latin comedere (to eat up), from com- (intensive prefix) + edere (to eat). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ed- (to eat, to bite), which also gave us edible, obese, etch, fret, edacious, anodyne, esurient, prandial, and postprandial. Earliest documented use: 1483.
COMBESTIBLE - makes the most impressive bonfires
COMESSIBLE - two army battalions that can eat together
COMETIBLE - the comet named for astronomer Alfred Ible, its discoverer
MEANING: noun: A large number.
adjective: Large in number, variations, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek myriĂĄs (ten thousand, countless). Earliest documented use: 1555.
MYTRIAD - composer's proud claim to his unique three-note chord
MYRIADH - patriotic hymn heard in Saudi Arabia (cf. SYRIAD "toward Syria")
MR IAD - Paul M Zoll (1911-99); American cardiologist, pioneer in the development of the Implantable Automated Defibrillator
PRONUNCIATION: (NOO-guh-tor-ee, NYOO-)
1. Of little value; trifling.
2. Having no force; ineffective.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin nugatorius (trifling), from nugari (to trifle). Earliest documented use: 1603.
MUGATORY - what many a Whig would like to do (but instead, being Gentlemen, they content themselves with NAGATORY)
NEGATORY - military slang for the opposite of "affirmative"
NUTATORY - pertaining to nodding movement, more specifically to the perturbation of the axis of a spinning symmetrical object in a gravitational field (actually that may be a real word; see NUTATION)
PRONUNCIATION: (FRUHK-tuh-fy, FROOK-)
MEANING: verb tr., intr.: To make or become fruitful.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin fructificare (to bear fruit), from fructus (fruit). Earliest documented use: 1325.
FRUCTIFLY - Drosophila melanogaster
ERUCITFY - what a Guy calls enriching the atmosphere by belching
FRICTIFY - roughen
PRONUNCIATION: (o koo-RAN) [the last syllable is nasal]
1. Up-to-date; fully-informed.
ETYMOLOGY: From French au courant (literally, in the current, i.e. knowledgeable or up-to-date), from Latin currere (to run). Ultimately from the Indo-European root kers- (to run), which also gave us car, career, carpenter, occur, discharge, caricature, cark, discursive, and succor. Earliest documented use: 1762.
AD COURANT - "On Sale TODAY ONLY!"
EAU COURANT - where to go white-water rafting
AU SCOURANT - used to get the tarnish off your gold bullion
MEANING: noun: A small stream or channel.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old English rinnan (to run). Ultimately from the Indo-European root rei- (to flow or run), which also gave us run, rival, and derive. Earliest documented use: 1577.
RUNEL - a small mark or letter, of mysterious or magical (but not very great) significance
TRUNNEL - what a locomotive and the cars it's pulling go through on the trip under Mont Blanc
RUNNELM - warning cry to an Ent when woodcutters are detected entering the forest
MEANING: verb intr.: To agree, approve, or coincide.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin concurrere (to run together, meet, or coincide), from con- (with) + currere (to run). Ultimately from the Indo-European root kers- (to run), which also gave us car, career, carpenter, occur, discharge, caricature, au courant, cark, discursive, and succor. Earliest documented use: 1522.
CONCURD - 1. a kind of cottage cheese; 2. a supersonic commercial airplane, no longer in active service
COINCUR - to take on a debt together, as when two people sign a mortgage
CMONCUR - Get moving, you mangy dog!
noun: A word, phrase, sentence, or a longer work that reads the same backward and forward. For example, âA man, a plan, a canal, Panama!â
From Greek palindromos (running again), from palin (again) + dromos (running). Earliest documented use: 1637.
PALINROME - you have a friend in the old city
PALINGROME - it's turning white
PALINGROME - and they're putting a wall around it
PRONUNCIATION: (ik-SKUHR-suhs, ek-)
1. A detailed discussion about a particular point, especially when added as an appendix.
2. A digression.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin excurrere (to run out), from ex- (out) + currere (to run). Ultimately from the Indo-European root kers- (to run), which also gave us car, career, carpenter, occur, discharge, caricature, au courant, concur, cark, discursive, and succor. Earliest documented use: 1803.
EXCURCUS - Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bauley, after they close a couple of months from now
LEXCURSUS - Luthor has a few unpleasant things to say about Superman
ENC: URSUS - along with this letter please find one bear
MEANING: noun: A heavy flatiron pointed at both ends and having a detachable handle.
ETYMOLOGY: From sad (obsolete senses of the word: heavy, solid) + iron. Earliest documented use: 1759.
SADION - an unhappy charged atom (sometimes molecule)
SADILON - what you put on your horse before you jump on and ride away
SANDIRON - a Trappist golf club
SADICON - (1) a conference of people who like to hurt others; (2) see title, above
MEANING: adjective: Located toward the side or end where the mouth is located, especially in animals that donât have clear upper and lower sides.
ETYMOLOGY: From ad- (toward) + oral (relating to the mouth), from Latin os (mouth). Earliest documented use: 1862.
DADORAL - a father in name only
AND/ORAL - mugwumpian; can't make up its mind
ADORAY - technologically-enhanced love potion
1. A country house or a summer house.
2. A tavern with a beer garden.
ETYMOLOGY: From Dutch lusthuis (country house), from German Lusthaus (summer house), from lust (pleasure). Earliest documented use: 1590.
LUFTHOUSE - literally, "sky-house" - an aircraft hangar
LUSTROUSE - 1. a shining woman; 2. unusually honest name for a provocative perfume
LUNTHOUSE - the former home of theater stars Alfred and Lynn
PRONUNCIATION: (BOD-kin, -kuhn)
1. A small, pointed instrument for making holes in cloth, etc.
2. A blunt needle for drawing tape or cord through a loop or a hem.
3. A long, ornamental hairpin.
4. A dagger or stiletto.
ETYMOLOGY: Of unknown origin. Earliest documented use: 1386.
CODKIN - scrod, haddock, or other similar species of fish
BADKIN - the black sheep of the family
BOYKIN - my male second cousin once removed
MEANING: noun: A wasting away or decline, due to disease, injury, lack of use, etc.
verb tr., intr.: To wither or cause to waste away.
ETYMOLOGY: From French atrophie, from Latin atrophia, from Greek atrophia, from a- (without) + trophe (food). Earliest documented use: 1620.
GATROPHY - prize for winning the Thugs' Pistol Contest
ATRO.WHY - response to the question "Did you say 'atro-' or 'iatro-'?"
ATOPHY - freedom from gouty nodules
PRONUNCIATION: (guh-MOOT-lik, -MUT-likh)
MEANING: adjective: Cozy; comfortable; pleasant; friendly.
ETYMOLOGY: From German gemĂŒtlich (cozy, comfortable, etc.), from GemĂŒt (nature, mind, soul) + -lich (-ly). Earliest documented use: 1852. A related word is gemutlichkeit.
GEMUTLOCH - habitat of Gemut, that other Scottish monster
AGEMUTLICH - get seven years older for every one year that elapses
GEMUTL-ICK - mawkish; cloyingly welcoming
2. Outlook, attitude, opinion, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: From German Anschauung (view, contemplation, perception), from anschauen (to look at), from an- (at) + schauen (to look). Earliest documented use: 1820. Also see weltanschauung.
ANSCHAULUNG - occupational disease of laborers in the German province of Anschau
ANSCHA HUNG - headline after the posse caught up with horse thief Jesse Anscha
ANSCHAJUNG - aunt of Karl, the famous psychologist
MEANING: noun: Social relations based on impersonal ties, such as obligations to an institution or society.
ETYMOLOGY: From German Gesellschaft (society, company, party), from Geselle (companion) + -schaft (-ship). Earliest documented use: 1964.
GESELLS CHART - spreadsheet describing all the books of Dr Seuss [Theorore Giesel]
GISELL SCHAFT - Mr. Lanson, Ms. Collins and Your Hit Parade treated Ms. Mackenzie poorly
GOSELLSCHAFT - Your job is to find a buyer for the coal mine
MEANING: noun: A work of art that makes use of many different art forms.
ETYMOLOGY: From German Gesamtkunstwerk (total artwork), from gesamt (total, whole) + Kunst (art) + Werk (work). Earliest documented use: 1939.
NOTES: The concept is Gesamtkunstwerk is associated with the composer Richard Wagner who described it in a series of essays in an attempt to synthesize music, drama, dance, poetry, etc.
GESAMKUNSTWERE - a play performed by a singing, dancing, sculpting, painting wolf who recites poetry...EXCEPT not when the moon is full
GESAMKUNSTWEAK - an inferior attempt at combining artistic forms (see above)
GESAMEKUNSTWERK - see above again
MEANING: noun: Stunted trees near the timber line on a mountain.
ETYMOLOGY: From German, from krumm (crooked) + Holz (wood). Earliest documented use: 1908.
KRUMHOLZ - original name of the Keeper for Durmstrang School of Magic before his parents moved from Bulgaria
DRUMMHOLZ - openings in a percussion instrument, designed to let the sound resonate further
SKRUMMHOLZ - hanky-panky on the Rugby pitch
MEANING: verb tr.: To make a product or service available widely, but adapted for local markets.
ETYMOLOGY: A blend of global and localize. Earliest documented use: 1989.
BLOCALIZE - to split into disjointed fragments, often working at cross-purposes
GLOCALIE - to utter falsehoods indiscriminately big and small
GLOCKALIZE - to transcribe music so it can be played on the glockenspiel
MEANING: adjective: Relating to the sun and the moon.
ETYMOLOGY: A blend of solar and lunar. Earliest documented use: 1936.
SULUNAR - like a Star Trek lieutenant
SOLULNAR - pertaining to the forearm of the Sun
SOLUNARD - a healing salve that dissolves in water
MEANING: verb intr.: To shake or vibrate violently.
noun: An intense shaking or vibration.
ETYMOLOGY: A blend of jolt/jar/jerk and shudder. Earliest documented use: 1926.
JUDDLER - a puddle-jumper
JUDDIER - more blotchy in red and yellow (jaundiced + ruddier)
JURDER - one of twelve peers empaneled to hear a capital case (juror + murder)
MEANING: verb intr.: To flow in a small stream or to fall in drops.
ETYMOLOGY: A blend of drip and dribble. Earliest documented use: 1821.
DIPPLE - a minuscule dab of salsa on your corn chip
TRIPPLE - a three-bagger with a negligible response from the crowd
GRIPPLE - the feeblest of handshakes
PRONUNCIATION: (mas-TEEZH, -TEEJ)
MEANING: noun: Products that have the perception of luxury, but are relatively affordable and marketed to masses.
adjective: Relating to such a product.
ETYMOLOGY: A blend of mass market and prestige. Earliest documented use: 1996.
AMASSTIGE - what you get for having the biggest collection of anything
MANSTIGE - French equivalent of "street cred;" compare "macho"
MASSTINGE - a touch of Boston (including the frugality)
MEANING: verb intr.: To seek attention by showy, flamboyant behavior; to show off.
noun: One who seeks attention in such a way; a show-off.
ETYMOLOGY: After riverboats, with onboard theater and troupes of actors, that stopped at towns along the river to offer entertainment. Earliest documented use: 1839.
SHOWBEAT - conduct the orchestra more vigorously
SHOPBOAT - I'll need to buy some stuff on my Caribbean cruise
SHOWBOUT - broadcast the Liston-Ali boxing match
MEANING: verb tr.: To manipulate psychologically.
ETYMOLOGY: From the title of the classic movie Gaslight (1940 and its 1944 remake), based on author Patrick Hamiltonâs 1938 play. The title refers to a manâs use of seemingly unexplained dimming of gaslights (among other tricks) in the house in an attempt to manipulate his wife into thinking she is going insane. Earliest documented use: 1969.
GA BLIGHT - serious peach-tree disease
GAS FIGHT - boys sitting around a campfire eating beans (think Blazing Saddles)
GALS LIGHT - what Wonder Woman uses to see when it's dark
MEANING: verb intr.
1. To demagnetize.
2. To erase a disk or other storage device.
ETYMOLOGY: From gauss, a unit of magnetic field strength, named after the mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855). Earliest documented use: 1940.
NOTES: You can friend & defriend and you can magnetize & demagnetize, but you can only degauss, you canât gauss. You can debunk, but not bunk, and you can defenestrate, but not fenestrate. What other words like this can you think of? *
[ * Actually, "fenestrate" is commonplace in medical parlance, meaning to create a hole (i.e. a window) in something. First coming to mind is a "fenestrated tracheostomy tube" so that a patient can breathe on his own even though the airway is obstructed by an artificial trach tube. It's part of the weaning process. -- Wofahulicodoc]
DIGAUSS - alternating magnetism
DEGAULS - Paris airports
PEGAUSS - orthographically-challenged flying horse
I'll be away from computer access for a week or so - if anyone else wants to contribute in the meantime, feel free!
1. A high-ranking religious leader of the Shiite Muslims.
2. A person having authority and influence, especially one whoâs dogmatic.
ETYMOLOGY: From Persian ayatollah (literally, sign of god), from Arabic ayatullah, from aya (sign) + allah (god). Earliest documented use: 1950.
AYATILLAH - call to the chief of the Huns
AFATOLLAH - fifty cents
AYATOLYAH - I've already answered this question
(PA-shuh, PASH-uh, puh-SHAH)
noun: A person of high rank or importance.
From Turkish pasa, from Persian padshah, from pati (master) + shah (king). Pasha was used as a title of high-ranking officials in the Ottoman Empire. Earliest documented use: 1648.
HASHA - peppery Italian leftovers that make you sneeze
RASHA - former member of the former USSR
PEASHA - an athletic vegetable. (The PEASHA throws the ball the the KASHA.)
1. A device with (typically) four projecting spikes arranged in a way that one spike is always pointing up. Used to obstruct the passage of cavalry, vehicles, etc.
2. Any of various plants having spiny fruits.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old English calcatrippe (any of various plants, such as thistle, that catch the feet), from Latin calcatrippa (thistle), from calx (heel) + trap. Earliest documented use: 1000.
CALSTROP - a leather belt used to sharpen California
CALTROOP - a squad of the California National Guard
CALDROP - what will happen when the San Andreas Fault finally splits wide open and the western part of the state falls into the Pacific
MEANING: noun: Distress caused by disappointment or humiliation.
verb tr., intr.: To feel or cause to feel chagrined.
ETYMOLOGY: From French chagrin (sad, sorry, shagreen: rough skin). Earliest documented use: 1656.
CH AGAIN - instruction from your German Elocution teacher
CHAIRIN - presidin over a meetin
CHAGRING - using your Dylsexia Bank credit card
MEANING: adjective: Strong; tough; stringy; forceful.
ETYMOLOGY: From sinew, from Old English seon(o)we, sionwe, etc. Earliest documented use: 1382.
FINEWY - Elmer Fudd's best clothing
SINEWT - small salamander representing Sports Illustrated
SINERY - place of organized debauchery
MEANING: verb tr., intr.: To oppose, resist, or fight.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old French repugner, from Latin repugnare, from re- (again) + pugnare (to fight), from pugnus (fist). Ultimately from the Indo-European root peuk- (to prick) which is also the source of point, puncture, pungent, punctual, poignant, pounce, poniard, impugn, pugilist, and pugnacious. Earliest documented use: 1382.
PREPUGN - to strike the first blow, even before the fight starts
REPUGH - to establish a new Charitable Trust
REPUGE - to move back to Seattle
MEANING: verb tr., intr.: To look or stare with undue curiosity.
noun: A person who stares in such a way.
ETYMOLOGY: From the idea of twisting oneâs neck to stare at someone or something. Earliest documented use: 1892.
NOTES: The word has been applied to a tourist and to going on a sightseeing tour. Francis Scott Fitzgerald in Tender Is the Night (1934):
âAt Mr. Bill Driscollâs invitation she went on an excursion to Versailles next day in his rubberneck wagon.â
RUBBERDECK - 1. why you don't slip when you're standing in a boat; 2. cards for playing Bridge
RUBBERNOCK - where the bowstring goes, in rubber arrows
ROBBERNECK - what thieves do with their Significant Others
("When a felon's not engaged in his Employment
Or maturing his felonious little plans
His capacity for innocent enjoyment
Is just as great as any honest man's...")
MEANING: verb tr.:
1. To call or bring a defendant before a court to hear and answer a criminal charge.
2. To criticize, accuse, or censure.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old French araisnier, from Latin rationare (to talk, to reason), from ratio (reason, calculation). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ar- (to fit together), which also gave us army, harmony, article, order, read, adorn, arithmetic, rhyme, and ratiocinate. Earliest documented use: 1360.
ORRAIGN - the western-US state between Washington and California
AFRAIGN - pertaining to the continent south of the Mediterranean Ocean
ARCAIGN - mysterious or secret, but in any case understood by only a few
PRONUNCIATION: (pro say)
MEANING: adjective, adverb: On oneâs own behalf (i.e., representing oneself in a court, without a lawyer).
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin pro (for) + se (himself, herself, itself, themselves). Earliest documented use: 1861.
PYRO SE - self-immolation
RO SE - an intermediate-color wine
PRE SE - ante-natal
verb tr.: 1. To remove from a high office or throne suddenly and forcefully.
2. To examine under oath.
verb intr.: To give testimony.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old French deposer, from Latin deponere (to testify, to put down), from de- + ponere (to put). Ultimately from the Indo-European root apo- (off or away), which also gave us after, off, awkward, post, puny, repose, pungle, apropos, and apposite. Earliest documented use: 1300.
The word depose is often used in another form, depone; the noun forms are deposer or deponent.
DEDOSE - administer NarcanÂź
DĂPOUSE - get a divorce in Paris
DEOPOSE - God sits for his portrait in the Sistine Chapel
Denose- to cut off your nose
to spite your face, obviously.
MEANING: noun: The response to a rebuttal.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin sur- (over, above) + rebuttal, from rebut (to refute), from Old French rebouter (to push back), from boute (to push). Ultimately from the Indo-European root bhau- (to strike), which also gave us refute, beat, button, halibut, buttress, and prebuttal. Earliest documented use: 1889.
NOTES: It all starts with the verb butt (to strike or push), which leads to rebut (to refute), which, in turn, leads to surrebut, and so on. The English language has enough prefixes that you can continue this back and forth forever. Thereâs also surrejoinder, a reply to a rejoinder. Also see hemidemisemiquaver.
SOURREBUTTAL - "Oh yeah? Well, your mudder wears Army boots!"
SUBREBUTTAL - Catalina aircraft and Radar and Destroyers with depth charges
SUCREBUTTAL - cellulite in your rear end from eating too much sugar
MEANING: verb tr.: To substitute one person or entity for another in a legal claim.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin subrogare, from sub- (in place of) + rogare (to ask, propose a law). Ultimately from the Indo-European root reg- (to move in a straight line, to lead, or to rule), which also gave us regent, regime, direct, rectangle, erect, rectum, alert, source, surge, abrogate, arrogate, and derogate. Earliest documented use: 1427.
SURROGATE - scandal about a horse-drawn carriage with the fringe on top
SUBROMATE - bromide of sulfur, sort of
SUBROSATE - "under the Rose;" clandestine
MEANING: verb tr.: To restore or remodel something without paying attention to its original character, history, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: After Edmund Beckett, first Baron Grimthorpe (1816-1905), an architect whose restoration of St. Albans Cathedral in England was criticized for radical changes made to the building. Earliest documented use: 1890.
GRAMTHORPE - what Jim called his mother's mother
GRIMT-HORSE - a horse that's been bred for grimming
GRIM.THOR.BE - a description of Thor's demeanor after the fall of Asgard
MEANING: verb tr.: To develop immunity to a poison by gradually increasing the dose.
ETYMOLOGY: After Mithridates VI, king of Pontus (now in Turkey) 120-63 BCE, who is said to have acquired immunity to poison by ingesting gradually larger doses of it. Earliest documented use: 1866. The noun form is mithridatism.
NOTES: Mithridates VIâs father was poisoned. No wonder VI wanted to develop tolerance to poison. The story goes that after VIâs defeat by Pompey, he didnât want to be captured alive. So he tried to end his life by taking poison. That didnât work, so he had a servant stab him with a sword.
MITHRIDASIZE, -TIME - the precise schedule of administering sub-toxic doses, stipulating size and frequency
MYTHRIDATIZE - to expunge all mention of gods and goddesses, and stories of creation and epic deeds and conflict, from folklore and libraries
MITCHRIDATIZE - what Democrats would like to do to the United States House of Representatives
MEANING: verb intr.: To delay or gain time to put off an undesired event.
ETYMOLOGY: From Penelope, the wife of Odysseus and mother of Telemachus in Greek mythology. She waited 20 years for her husbandâs return from the Trojan War (ten years of war, and ten years on his way home). She kept her many suitors at bay by telling them she would marry them when she had finished weaving her web, a shroud for her father-in-law. She wove the web during the day only to unravel it during the night. Earliest documented use: 1780. Her name has become a synonym for a faithful wife: penelope.
PENNELOPIZE - to be pound-foolish
PENELOPHIZE - to discourse on the vagaries of the judicial system (see also PENELOPINE)
PENELOPRIZE - what Odysseus found waiting when he finally got home
PRONUNCIATION: (ROB-in-suhn KROO-soh)
MEANING: verb tr.: To maroon, to isolate, or to abandon.
noun: A castaway; a person who is isolated or without companionship.
ETYMOLOGY: After the title character of Daniel Defoeâs 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe. Crusoe was a shipwrecked sailor who spent 28 years on a remote desert island. Earliest documented use: 1768. Crusoeâs aide has also become an eponym in the English language: man Friday.
ROBING SON CRUSOE - Let's get you some clothes, kid
ROBINSON CRUISOE - baseball player sponsored a boat trip and nobody cared
ROBINS ON CARUSOE - hear the birds critique a real tenor!
MEANING: verb tr.: To surpass in cruelty, evil, extravagance, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: After Herod the Great (74/73 BCE - 4 BCE), who was depicted as a tyrant in old mystery plays. Earliest documented use: 1604.
OTHER-OD - take much too much, but not of an opioid
OUTRE-ROD - a weird wooden staff
OUT-HERD - keep the cattle under better control
MEANING: verb tr.: To earn a living, to supplement, or to make something last with great effort. (usually used in the phrase âto eke outâ)
ETYMOLOGY: For verb: From Old English ecan (increase). Ultimately from the Indo-European root aug- (increase), which also gave us auction, author, auctorial, authorize, inaugurate, augment, august, auxiliary, nickname (âa nicknameâ is a splitting of the earlier âan ekenameâ, literally, an additional name), and wax (the verb). Earliest documented use: 888.
For adverb: From Old English Ă©ac. Earliest documented use: 700.
EKOE - a kind of tea without the usual diuretic effect (no P)
EPE - a male duelling sword
'EFE - what the Cockney called the Chief of Police of Mexico City
noun: 1. Chance; fortune; 2. An occurrence.
verb tr.: 1. To occur; 2. To clothe, cover, or wrap.
For noun and verb 1: From Old Norse happ (good luck). Ultimately from the Indo-European root kobe (to suit, fit, or succeed), which also gave us happen, happy, hapless, and mishap. Earliest documented use: 1350.
For verb 2: Of uncertain origin. Earliest documented use: 1390.
HAAP - a large musical instrument with many strings, when played by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
HAPO - a curly-haired comedian who never-spoke but did play the haap, when he appeared in Boston
IHAP - where he got a pancake breakfast during these Boston appearances
MEANING: verb intr.: To affirm; to assert; to allege.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old French averer, from Latin ad- (to) + verus (true). Earliest documented use: 1380.
EAVER - a small animal or bird that lives in the overhang of your roof
AVCR - what we used to use to record TV programs for later viewing
AVEBR - one of the principal parts of dyslexic speech
verb tr., intr.: To beat soundly; to thrash.
verb intr.: To escape from the law.
noun: An escape from the law.
ETYMOLOGY: Perhaps of Scandinavian origin. Earliest documented use: 1595.
LKM - Royal Dutch Dyslexic Airline
LPM - a Long-Playing record changer in the Southern hemisphere (rotates 33 1/3 times a minute, but left instead of right below the equator)
LAI - a flower garland in Oahu presented to a Bostonian on arrival
MEANING: noun: A collection of items, such as quotations, anecdotes, etc. related to a person, place, etc.
adverb: In equal quantities (used in prescriptions).
ETYMOLOGY: For noun: From the suffix -ana (collection of information related to someone or something, as in Shakespeareana, Victoriana, etc.). Earliest documented use: 1728.
For adverb: From Greek anĂĄ (of each). Earliest documented use: 1500.
AFNA - Mozart's Symphony Numba 35
ANGA - that negative feeling when you ask a simple question and you get the wrong ansa
GNA - a female gnu
PRONUNCIATION: (REE-truhl, RE-)
MEANING: adjective: 1. Located at the back. 2. Backward.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin retro (back). Earliest documented use: 1822.
FRETRAL - toward the fingerboard of your guitar
TETRAL - quadripartite
PETRAL - 1. toward Fido (or Felix, or whomever)
2. gas for yer Morris Minor
3. a stormy bird
MEANING: adjective: Resembling, made of, or the color of, bricks.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin later (brick). Earliest documented use: 1656.
LATHERITIOUS - causing the washing machine to fill with suds and overflow
LAGERITIOUS - keeping everyone well-supplied with beer
LATER IT'S IOUs - the results of sitting in now at a poker game where you're clearly outclassed
noun: A helper or an assistant.
adjective: Helping or cooperating.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin co- (with) + ad- (about) + juvare (to help). Earliest documented use: 1708.
COEDJUTANT - my junior officer is female
COADJITANT - fellow-troublemaker
COADJUVANT - one of several additives that enhance the reaction
PRONUNCIATION: em-PIR-ee-uhn, -pye-REE-)
1. Relating to the highest heaven, believed to contain pure light or fire.
2. Relating to the sky; celestial.
3. Sublime; elevated.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin empyreus, from Greek empyrios (fiery), from pur (fire). Other words derived from the same root are fire, pyre, pyrosis (heartburn), and pyromania (an irresistible impulse to set things on fire). Earliest documented use: 1500. A synonym of the word is empyreal.
NOTES: This is where the idiom âto be in seventh heavenâ (a state of great bliss) comes from. In many beliefs, heavens are a system of concentric spheres, the seventh heaven being the highest and a place of pure bliss.
EMMYREAN - TV-award-winning
EMPTYREAN - totally devoid of substance. Sometimes synonymous with EMMYREAN, above
AMPYREAN - describing hoity-toity electricity
MEANING: adjective: Snowy or resembling snow.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin niveus, from nix (snow). Earliest documented use: 1623.
SNIVEOUS -- a disparaging term applied cruelly by the members of the Marauders' Gang: having the characteristics of Severus Snape
NAIVEOUS - inspiring innocence in the onloooker
FIVEOUS - pentacular
MEANING: noun: Doing one thing at a time.
ETYMOLOGY: Patterned after the word multitasking. Earliest documented use: 1985 (multitasking is from 1966).
MUNITASKING - what the City Manager does
NITASKING - Do you have lice?
UNTASKING - "You're fired!"
MEANING: noun: A moving object striking against a stationary object.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin allidere (to strike against), from ad- (toward) + laedere (to harm). Earliest documented use: 1615 (collision is also from 1615).
NOTES: In maritime usage, the term allision is used for a vessel striking a fixed object, while collision is between two moving ships. Frequently, the word collision is used in both cases.
WALLISION - to hit the wall
ALLISIN - the ultimate triumph of evil
ALLISON - Noah's comment just before he set sail in the Ark
MEANING: noun: The middle-age period of life.
ETYMOLOGY: Patterned after adolescence. Earliest documented use: 1965 (adolescence is from 1425).
MUDDLESCENCE - the next phase characterized by lapses but not yet demented
MIDDLESCIENCE - more than introductory but not an advanced degree
MINDLESCENCE - what Jedi have to study
1. A person with a confident and positive outlook.
2. A person who agrees uncritically; a yes-man.
ETYMOLOGY: Patterned after the term naysayer. Earliest documented use: 1934 (naysayer is from 1628).
YEASTYER - makes better-rising bread
YEASLAYER - proponent of capital punishment
TEASAYER - gives a predictable answer when asked, "Coffee, tea, or milk?"
MEANING: noun: A preliminary list of candidates, such as people, places, things, etc. (for a prize, job, etc.), from which a shortlist is compiled.
verb tr.: To place on a longlist.
ETYMOLOGY: Patterned after the word shortlist. Earliest documented use: 1972 (shortlist is from 1927).
BONGLIST - social marijuana smokers
JONGLIST - entertainer/mime/jester/singer/storyteller
LONGLIFT - world's tallest elevator
Then make it so.
MEANING: verb tr.: To render artificial.
ETYMOLOGY: After Birmingham, UK, where counterfeit coins were produced in the 17th century. Another word with a similar sense has formed from the corruption of the name Birmingham: brummagem. Earliest documented use: 1856.
NOTES: True to their name, in Birmingham, they have artificial grass, artificial body parts, artificial collections, and even colleges offering degrees in artificial intelligence.
BIRMINGHAMICE - fake jewelry
BRRMINGHAMIZE - to take the heat off counterfeit stolen property
BIRMINGHAMAIZE - corn grown in the West Midlands region of England
PRONUNCIATION: (bar-BAY-doz, -dos, duhs)
MEANING: verb tr.: To forcibly ship someone to another place to work.
ETYMOLOGY: After Barbados, an island country in the Caribbean, formerly a British colony. Between 1640 and 1660 thousands of Irish people were sent by the British as indentured servants to work in Barbados and elsewhere in the Caribbean. The name of the island is from Portuguese/Spanish barbados (bearded ones). Itâs not clear whether this refers to the people, the appearance of the dense vegetation, or something else. Earliest documented use: 1655.
PARADOS - two deuces, in a Guadalajara poker game
EARBADOS - musically raucous and out-of-tune
CARBADOS - 1. fusses made about dietary sugar and starch; 2. the prescribed amount of these nutrients
MEANING: verb intr.: To make an error in language, etiquette, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: After Soloi, an ancient Athenian colony in Cilicia, whose dialect the Athenians considered as substandard. Earliest documented use: 1627. The noun form is solecism
SOLESIZE - how big did you say your feet are?
LOLECIZE - to render humorous enough for social media
SOLECIDE - what we risk commtting by overfishing
MEANING: verb tr., intr.: To bring about peace or settle a disagreement by negotiation.
ETYMOLOGY: After Locarno, Switzerland, where in Oct 1925, Germany, France, Belgium, Great Britain, and Italy met to settle post-WWI disputes and concluded the Locarno Treaties. Earliest documented use: 1925.
LOCHARNIZE - flood Yon Bonnie Banks by constructing a large dam
LOCARBIZE - remove the sugars and starches
NOCARNIZE - adopt a meatless diet
MEANING: verb tr.: To expose the falseness of a claim, myth, belief, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: After Buncombe, a county in North Carolina. In 1820, Felix Walker, a representative from that area, made a pointless speech in the US Congress. While his colleagues in Congress urged him to stop and move to vote on an issue, Walker claimed that he had to make a speech âfor Buncombeâ. Eventually, âBuncombeâ became a synonym for meaningless speech, became shortened to âbunkumâ, and then to âbunkâ. And if thereâs bunk, itâs oneâs duty to debunk. Earliest documented use: 1923.
EBUNK - to telecommute to summer camp
DEBUCK - to swindle, US style
DEDUNK - to wring the coffee out of a doughnut
PRONUNCIATION: (an-tee-TUHS-iv, an-ty-)
MEANING: adjective: Suppressing or relieving coughing.
noun: Something that suppresses or relieves coughing.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin anti- (against) + tussis (cough). Earliest documented use: 1909.
ANTIBUSSIVE - give this to your date to avoid an unwelcome kiss
ALTITUSSIVE - when your lungs are telling you IT'S TOO HIGH UP HERE, THE AIR IS TOO THIN
ANTITULSIVE - Stay away from Oklahoma !
MEANING: adjective: Having a laxative effect: stimulating evacuation of the bowels.
noun: Something that relieves constipation.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin aperire (to open). Ultimately from the Indo-European root wer- (to cover), which also gave us overt, cover, warranty, warren, garage, garret, garment, garrison, garnish, guarantee, and pert. Earliest documented use: 1626.
AMPERIENT - pertaining to electrical current
NAPERIENT - 1. pertaining to logarithms; 2. in need of a brief midday sleep
APORIENT - that point in your travels where you are furthest to the east
MEANING: adjective: Causing vomiting.
noun: Something that causes vomiting.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin emeticus, from Greek emetikos, from emetos (vomiting), from emein (to vomit). Earliest documented use: 1658.
EMETRIC - abandoning grams/cm/etc measurements and re-adopting pounds and inches and stuff; the next step after Brexit
EMETIO - magic spell that makes you vomit
REMETIC - destroys your dreams
MEANING: adjective: Causing an increased production of urine.
noun: A substance that causes such an increase.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin diureticus, from Greek diouretikos, from diourein (to urinate), from dia- (across) + ourein (urinate), from ouron (urine). Earliest documented use: 1400.
DOURETIC - possessing a sour disposition because of annoying urination problems
DIURECTIC - having an appetite that waxes and wanes in a 24-hour cycle
DIUREMIC - twice as much kidney failure as it used to be
PRONUNCIATION: (an-uhl-JEE-zik, -sik)
MEANING: adjective: Reducing or eliminating pain.
noun: Something that reduces or relieves pain.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin analgesia (absence of pain), from Greek analgesia, from an- (not) + algos (pain). Earliest documented use: 1852.
BANALGESIC - a pain-reliever with nothing to distinguish it from any other
ANALOGESIC - not communicating in a digital fashion
ANALGENIC - a DNA-carried tendency to be an asshole
PRONUNCIATION: (dog dayz)
1. The hottest period of the summer.
2. A period of stagnation, lethargy, inactivity, or decline.
ETYMOLOGY: A translation of Latin dies caniculares (puppy days), from Greek kunades hemarai (dog days), so called because Sirius, the Dog Star, rises and sets with the sun around this time of the year. The ancient Romans and Greeks considered this period unhealthy and unlucky. The star got its name from Greek seirios (scorching). Earliest documented use: 1538.
NOTE: Due to precession (gradual shift in the Earthâs axis of rotation), the dog days have shifted since the time of ancient Romans and Greeks. In about 10,000 years, dog days will fall in winter. Enjoy them while you can.
This may be an apt time to say that astrology should be spelled as b-u-n-k. Things have moved around there since astrology was invented. Constellations ainât where they used to be. You werenât born under the zodiac sign you think you were. The fault, dear reader, is not in our stars. Or planets. Jupiter has no effect whatsoever on you. This was a public service announcement. Youâre welcome.
DOG BDAYS - occurring every 52 1/7 days, i.e. seven times a year
DOS DAYS - the time, before Apple Computer presented the Macintosh, when computers ran under a Disk Operating System
DOG DAYO - sung by the animal who controls the rats on a banana boat
MEANING: verb tr.: To view or treat someone as an object of great importance.
ETYMOLOGY: From the view of the lion as the king of animals. From Anglo-French liun, from Latin leo, from Greek leon. From Earliest documented use: 1825.
LbONIZE - to gain weight
LRONIZE - to convert to dianetics
LIGNIZE - to make stiff and wooden
PRONUNCIATION: (CHIK-en hawk)
1. Any of various hawks believed to be preying on chickens.
2. A person who favors military action, yet has avoided military service.
ETYMOLOGY: From the slang usage of the word chicken for a coward and hawk for someone who pursues an aggressive policy. Earliest documented use: 1827.
SCHICKENHAWK - having just had a close shave, it's now called a bald eagle
CHICKINHAWK - the raptor just raided the henhouse
CHICKENHARK - what you wake up saying when the rooster gets laryngitis
MEANING: noun: 1. Any of various birds having black plumage.
2. An indentured laborer or slave kidnapped from the South Pacific.
verb tr.: To kidnap a person to work as an indentured laborer or slave.
verb intr.: To engage in slave trade.
ETYMOLOGY: From the former use of the term blackbird for someone from the South Pacific islands. From the 1860s to 1904 they were kidnapped to mine guano in Peru and work in sugarcane and cotton plantations in Australia and Fiji, and elsewhere. Earliest documented use: 1350 (for the figurative sense of the word: 1845). Also see shanghai and barbados.
Read more about blackbirding here and here.
BLACKBID - six spades, doubled and redoubled
BLACKBARD - Uncle Remus
BLOCKBIRD - the Lego Falcon
noun: An emblematic representation of an eagle with outspread wings.
verb tr.: To position someone with arms and legs stretched out.
verb intr.: 1. To assume the form of a spread eagle.
2. To be boastful or bombastic in a display of nationalistic pride.
adjective: 1. Lying with arms and legs stretched out.
2. Boastful or bombastic in a display of nationalistic pride.
ETYMOLOGY: The eagle, in various positions, has been a popular bird in heraldry. A spread eagle is on the coats of arms of Germany, Poland, Romania, and the United States. Earliest documented use: 1550. Also see frogmarch.
SPIREA-D EAGLE - national symbol bedecked with perennial red or white flowers
SPREADBEAGLE - promote the wider reading of Snoopy comic strips
SPREADE-AGE - the area of Ye Olde Ranch
1. An accessory, embellishment, or byproduct of a main work.
2. Subsidiary work undertaken in addition to oneâs main employment.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek parergon, from para- (beside) + ergon (work). Ultimately from the Indo-European root werg- (to do), which also gave us ergonomic, work, energy, metallurgy, surgery, wright, erg, georgic, and hypergolic. Earliest documented use: 1601.
SPARERGON - a many-sided geometric figure with fewer sides than another one you were thinking of
PAPERGON - Hey! Somebody took my New York Times !
PARERGO - a golf score you have to achieve in order to participate in elite tournaments
Example: "He didn't make PARERGO he's not in the final rounds of the US Open."
MEANING: verb tr.: To wash, wipe, or cleanse.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin detergere (to wipe away), from de- (away from) + tergere (to wipe). Earliest documented use: 1623.
DEETERGE - wash with an insecticide
DEBTERGE - launder one's financial obligations
DETERSE - add unnecessary verbiage to a text, like an author who is paid by the word
(Does that make it aulogical?)
MEANING: noun: A trinket, puzzle, or odd gadget.
ETYMOLOGY: Of obscure origin. Earliest documented use: 1658.
ORANGAM - simian morning
RANGAM - asking your grandmother whether she just called you - "You RANGAM?"
TRIANGAM - a leg with three joints
PRONUNCIATION: (TRAN-zi-tiv, -si-)
1. Relating to a construction in which an action passes to an object (e.g. a transitive verb).
2. Involving transition: intermediate, transitional.
3. Changeable; transient.
4. Concerning a relation such that if it holds between A and B, between B and C, it also holds between A and C.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin transire (to cross), from trans- (across) + ire (to go). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ei- (to go), which also gave us exit, transit, circuit, itinerary, adit, ambit, and arrant. Earliest documented use: 1571.
TRANSISTIVE - facilitating the passage of electrical current; compare "resistive"
TRAINSITIVE - partial to traveling by railroad
TRANSITHIVE - a company that will relocate bee colonies intact
PRONUNCIATION: (suh-NOP-tik, si-)
1. Relating to a summary or general view of something.
2. Covering a wide area (as weather conditions).
3. Taking a similar view (as the first three Gospels of the Bible: Matthew, Mark, and Luke).
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek synopsis (general view), from syn- (together) + opsis (view). Earliest documented use: 1764.
GYNOPTIC - from a woman's point of view
SON-OP TIC - spasmodic movements made by experienced submarine crew members
SYNCOPTIC - a strobe light that flashes on the musical off-beats
MEANING: adjective: Extremely eager and enthusiastic.
ETYMOLOGY: From Chinese gonghe, an acronym from the Gongye Hezuoshe (Chinese Industrial Cooperative Society). The term gonghe was interpreted to mean âwork togetherâ and was introduced as a training slogan by US Marine Corps officer Evans Carlson (1896-1947). Earliest documented use: 1942.
BUNG HO - what the beer comes out when you open the keg
GING HO - a primitive tree with characteristic leaves, often with two lobes
GUNGAO - what the General used to shoot the chicken that made Chinese cuisine famous
MEANING: interjection: An expression of boredom, indifference, or resignation.
adjective: Boring; dull; routine.
ETYMOLOGY: Perhaps of imitative origin. Earliest documented use: 1924.
HBO-HUM - what you get when your Movie channel is off the air
HOH-IUM - the element that makes water
HRH-UM - the King's Speech impediment
noun: 1. Nonsense; pretense; deception.
2. An impostor or fraud.
3. A kind of hard mint-flavored candy (British).
verb tr., intr.: To deceive or hoax.
ETYMOLOGY: Of unknown origin. Earliest documented use: 1750.
HIMBUG - a male arthropod
MUMBUG - a software problem that hasn't showed up yet
HUKBUG - insect native to the Philippines
MEANING: noun: A source of fear, problem, anxiety, or annoyance.
ETYMOLOGY: A bugbear is an imaginary creature, invoked to frighten unruly children. From bug (hobgoblin) + bear, from Old English bera, ultimately from the Indo-European root bher- (bright, brown), which also gave us brown, bruin, brunet/brunette, burnish, and berserk. Earliest documented use: 1552.
RUGBEAR - Ursa horribilis after the hunt
BUGFEAR - arthropodophobia
BUGLEAR - when Reveille wakes you to the sound of nonsense poetry (or your own personal jet)
PRONUNCIATION: (bair LEED-uhr)
MEANING: noun: A tutor who travels with a young man.
ETYMOLOGY: From allusion to a literal bear leader, a man who led a muzzled bear from place to place to perform in the streets. Earliest documented use: 1749.
REAR LEADER - the Duke of Plaza-Toro *
WEAR LEADER - Number One in the Fashion Hit Parade
BEAR READER - the Complete Winnie-the-Pooh Anthology
* "In enterprise of martial kind
When there was any fighting
He led his regiment from behind -
He found it less exciting..."
-- Gilbert and Sullivan, The Gondoliers
MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK
PRONUNCIATION: (MUHN-day MOR-ning KWOR-tuhr-bak)
MEANING: noun: One who criticizes othersâ actions and offers alternatives with the benefit of hindsight.
ETYMOLOGY: In the US, professional football games are often played on Sundays. A quarterback in a football game is a player who directs the offensive play of the team. The term alludes to a person offering an alternative course of action after the fact, perhaps on a Monday morning around the office water cooler. Earliest documented use: 1930.
MONDAY MOURNING QUARTERBACK - Atlanta fans on February 6, 2017, after Super Bowl 51
MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBOCK - Patriots fans on the same date, hoisting a small beer in the morning to continue the celebration
PRONUNCIATION: (slam duhnk)
MEANING: noun: 1. In basketball, a shot in which a player jumps up and slams the ball down through the basket.
2. Something easy to do or certain to occur.
verb tr.: 1. To thrust the ball down through the basket.
2. To defeat decisively.
ETYMOLOGY: From slam (to hit or thrust), possibly of Scandinavian origin + dunk (to dip), from Pennsylvania German dunke (to dip). Earliest documented use: 1976.
SLIM DUNK - a low-calorie doughnut
SLAM DUSK - violent nightfall
SLAM DUCK - when Donald is wresting with Huey, Dewey, and Louie
PRONUNCIATION: (bush leeg)
MEANING: noun: A minor league of a professional sport, especially baseball.
adjective: Second-rate, unpolished, or amateurish.
ETYMOLOGY: From allusion to the bushes, referring to uncultivated land, countryside, the sticks, or small towns. Earliest documented use: 1906.
MUSH LEAGUE - professional Iditarod racing
BLUSH LEAGUE - competitive Cosmetology
BUSHL EAGLE - a large raptor which typically overwhelms its prey with eight pecks
I'll be away for the next several days - please feel free to step in and post your own daffynitions in the meantime.
(For that matter, feel free to do so whether I do or not!)
MEANING: noun: The practice of responding to an accusation by making a counter-accusation, real or imaginary, relevant or irrelevant.
ETYMOLOGY: From the response âWhat about ...?â to a criticism. Earliest documented use: 1974.
NOTES: The word was coined in 1974 in a story about the Northern Ireland conflict. It was widely employed by then USSR as a propaganda technique and is now often a favorite of Trump. Itâs also known as whataboutism. See also tu quoque.
CHATABOUTERY - the (dying) art of conversation; sometimes used disparagingly
WHATABOUTERY! - purple prose describing an exciting boxing match
WHATABOOTERY - slogan promoting a school for kickers
MEANING: noun: An abnormal tendency to exaggerate or lie.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek mythos (myth) + -mania (excessive enthusiasm or craze). Earliest documented use: 1909.
MOTHOMANIA - frenzied flutterings around a bright flame or light bulb
MYTHOMARIA - the fictitious Eighth Sea, wherein lies the continent of Atlantis
MYSTOMANIA - when the computer game went viral, 20 years ago
PRONUNCIATION: (tuh-NEZ-muhs, -nes-)
MEANING: noun: A distressing but ineffectual urge to defecate or urinate.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin tenesmus, from Greek teinesmos, from teinein (to stretch or strain). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ten- (to stretch), which also gave us tense, tenet, tendon, tent, tenor, tender, pretend, extend, tenure, tetanus, hypotenuse, pertinacious, detente, countenance, distend, extenuate, and tenable. Earliest documented use: 1527.
TENNESMUS - a Chattanooga mouse
TETNESMUS - a valiant attempt at spelling the technical name for "lockjaw"
TEES MUS' - the beginning of instructions about what to do after your initial drive on the first hole
PRONUNCIATION: (ZEN-uh-FO-bee-uh, ZEE-nuh-)
MEANING: noun: A fear or hatred of people from other countries or cultures.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek xeno- (foreign) + -phobia (fear). Earliest documented use: 1909.
XEROPHOBIA - You mustn't divide by 0, I'm afraid !
OXENOPHOBIA - spooked by...you get the idea. Hates boustrephedon, even.
XENONPHOBIA - scared silly by an inert gas
OENOPHOBIA - violent opposition to mild alcoholic beverages, even the with dinner
XENOPHONIA - speaking in an alien language such as Klingon
MEANING: noun: Portrayal of staged events as real, especially in professional wrestling. (See also, âreality showsâ)
ETYMOLOGY: Of uncertain origin, perhaps Pig Latin or an alteration for âfakeâ or âbe fakeâ. Earliest documented use: 1988.
KAYBABE - Is that all right with you, Sweetie?
KAYFOBE - a person frightened of the eleventh letter of the alphabet
KAYFADE - what happened to the sign on the K-Mart store after years of exposure to the sun
MEANING: adjective: Of, relating to, or resembling, sheep.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin ovis (sheep). Ultimately from the Indo-European root owi- (sheep), which also gave us ewe. Earliest documented use: 1676.
OVINET - to catch falling eggs
0NINE - the year before Hurricane Danielle but after Hurricane Bertha
UVINE - pertaining to the dingle-dangle in the back of your throat
MEANING: noun: Abundance; fruitfulness.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin uber (rich, fruitful, abundant, etc.). Earliest documented use: 1412.
QBERTY - like a '80s arcade game character
UMBERTY - like a sort of brown or red earth tone
UBERTH - the higher of two bunks (as opposed to the lower, known as the LBERTH)
1. A version of a text in a particular copy or edition.
2. A selection read in a religious service. Also known as pericope.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin lection- (reading), from lectus, past participle of legere (to read, choose, collect). Ultimately from Indo-European root leg- (to collect) which also gave us lexicon, lesson, lecture, legible, legal, select, alexia, cull, ligneous, lignify, prolegomenon, subintelligitur, and syllogistic. Earliest documented use: 1300.
LE CATION - a positively-charged particle, as discussed in Chemistry class at the Sorbonne
LECTIRON - a speaker's platform made of metal
LECTIWON - Read all about my victory!
1. A small stream.
2. A narrow groove carved by erosion.
ETYMOLOGY - From Dutch ril or Low German Rille (groove). Ultimately from the Indo-European root rei- (to flow or run), which also gave us run, rival, derive, and runnel. Earliest documented use: 1552.
MRILL - mascot of a campaign among young children to promote health - inspired by "MR ICK" for poison awareness
R G-I'LL - a phonetic sock pattern
RI ML - Rhode Island becomes the first state to adopt metric units (see also RI LB)
PRONUNCIATION: (O-tik, OT-ik)
MEANING: adjective: Relating to the ear.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek ous (ear). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ous- (ear), which also gave us ear, aural, auscultation, scout, and otorhinolaryngology. Earliest documented use: 1657.
OOTIC - easily impressed(see also "AAHTIC")
ORIC - full of gold alternatives
OTPIC - my glasses have a terrible distoriton
PRONUNCIATION: (DRAH-muh kween)
MEANING: noun: Someone who is prone to behaving in an exaggeratedly dramatic way: creating unnecessary scenes or making a big deal of small matters.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek drama (action, play) + Old English cwen (woman, queen). Earliest documented use: 1923.
DRAM QUEEN - connoisseuse of fine after-dinner liqueurs
DRAMA QUEEG - Humphrey Bogart
DRAMA QUEUEN - lines for theater tickets in Berlin
MEANING: noun: Illiterate or uninformed people.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin illitterati, plural of illiteratus (illiterate). Earliest documented use: 1788.
BILLITERATI - the cost of being unable to read
ILLITTERATI - people who dislike strewn-about trash
ALLITERATI - folks who insist on using the same sound in several consecutive words or syllables
MEANING: noun: A malicious, sneaking coward.
ETYMOLOGY: Of uncertain origin. Earliest documented use: 1440.
D.A.'S TARDY - the District Attorney is late
DAS WARD - a basic political division of Berlin
DA START - the beginning of Brooklyn
PRONUNCIATION: (SAM-fee, -fy)
MEANING: noun: A swindler or a conman.
ETYMOLOGY: Of uncertain origin, perhaps from a West African language. Earliest documented use: 1929. The word is typically used in the form âsamfie manâ.
SCAMFIE - denunciation for committing a any of several deceptive or reprehensible acts (cf SHAMFIE, SPAMFIE)
DAMFIE - an expletive indicating an indignant objection or refusal (pronounced "DAM FÄȘ")
SAMFEE - what the government will charge you to fire a Surface-to-Air Missile
1. A spoilt child.
2. A person of immature judgment.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin mammothreptus, from Hellenistic Ancient Greek mammothreptos (brought up by oneâs grandmother), from mamme (grandmother) + trephein (to bring up or nourish). Earliest documented use: 1601.
MAMAMOTHREPT - the matriarch of wool-eating insects said something about Physical Therapy
MAMMOTHREPO - after missed payments on the ice-age mammal
MAMMOTHREPOT - a huge number of seedlings needed replanting
PRONUNCIATION: (KOK-shoor, kok-SHOOR)
MEANING: adjective: Arrogantly or presumptuously overconfident.
ETYMOLOGY: From cock (a euphemism for god) + sure, from Old French seur, from Latin securus (secure). Earliest documented use: 1520.
MOCKSURE - bravado
CORKSURE - a product marketed to guarantee fizz tomorrow in the soda bottle you open today
COCKLURE - a fertile hen
MEANING: noun: Modesty, bashfulness.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin pudentia, from pudere (to make or be ashamed), which also gave us pudendum, impudent, pudibund (prudish), and pudeur (a sense of shame) Earliest documented use: before 1616.
PRUDENCY - an attitude adopted to protect one's sense of pudency
LUDENCY - cough-suppressing
PUCENCY - reddish-purple-coloring-mixed-with-gray-or-brown-ness.
MEANING: noun: A solvent.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin menstruum (menses). Earliest documented use: 1398.
MENSTRUM - playing a big ol' bass guitar
MENSTRAUM - old Teutonic quarters reserved for menstruating women
MENSRUUM - public place where men go
MEANING: verb intr.: To laugh in a nervous, restrained manner.
noun: A nervous, restrained laugh.
ETYMOLOGY: Of imitative origin. Earliest documented use: 1625.
TRITTER - one who amplifies everything threefold
TUTTER - one given to apostrophes of mild disapproval
TITSTER - an expert in small birds
MEANING: adjective: Delaying; slow.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin cunctari (to hesitate, delay). Earliest documented use: 1617
CUNECTITIVE - pertaining to the Nutmeg State
FUNCTITIVE - useful
PUNCTITIVE - devoted to the proper use of the apostrophe, semicolon, and ellipsis
1. An extreme fear of small insects.
2. A delusion that oneâs skin is infested with bugs.
3. A fear of itching.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek acarus (mite) + -phobia (fear). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sker- (to cut), which is also the source of words such as skirt, sharp, scrape, screw, shard, shears, carnage, curt, carnivorous, excoriate, scrobiculate, hardscrabble, and incarnadine.
CAROPHOBIA - fear of caring for something (not necessarily an automobile)
AJAROPHOBIA - terror if in a room with the door open; the inverse of CLAUSTROPHOBIA
SCAROPHOBIA - afraid of being afraid
MEANING: noun: A fenced area, especially in a wide open area, to keep unwanted animals out.
ETYMOLOGY: An enclosure keeps wanted animals in, an exclosure keeps unwanted animals out. The word is modeled after the word enclosure, from ex- (out) + closure (barrier), from Latin claudere (to close). Earliest documented use: 1920.
EXCLOTURE - after the filibuster is stopped
EXCELOSURE - Of course I use Microsoft's spreadsheet
HEXCLOSURE - 1. the raging storm at Saturn's North Pole
2. any fastener requiring an Allen wrench
MEANING: verb tr.: To remove from a track; change course.
ETYMOLOGY: From Middle English un- (a reversal) + Middle French trac (track). Earliest documented use: 1889.
SUNTRACK - an analemma
UNBRACK - desalinate
UNURACK - set up the fifteen numbered balls for the former Premier of Burma
MISE EN ABYME
MEANING: noun: Self-reflection in a literary work, a work of art, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: From French mise en abyme/abĂźme (placed into abyss). Originally, the term applied to heraldic shields in which a smaller shield was put into the center of the shield. Earliest documented use: 1968.
NOTES: Some examples are play within a play (Hamlet), story within a story, film within a film, dream within a dream, the placement of a small copy of a work within itself, infinite reflection between two facing mirrors, etc.
MISE EN ABYSME - thrown into the depths and abandoned (see "a pit in Dothan")
MUSE EN ABYME - Melpomeme, who was in charge of Tragic Poetry
MA SEEN A "BY-ME" - My mother watched her card-playing friends Pass. And she doesn't use very good grammar, either.
MEANING: adjective: Proceeding by inquiry, search, or investigation.
noun: A skeptic or inquirer.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek zetein (to seek or inquire). Earliest documented use: 1645.
NOTES: Samuel Rowbotham (1816-1884), a flat Earther, wrote a book called Zetetic Astronomy: Earth Not a Globe in 1881. Yesterdayâs flat Earthers are todayâs climate change denialists.
E-ZETETIC - promoting effortless weight loss
CETETIC - 1. waxy; 2. from a whale
ZITETIC - acne-inducing
MEANING: noun: An obsessive urge to steal, driven by emotional disturbance rather than material need.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek klepto- (theft) + -mania (madness). Earliest documented use: 1830.
KLEPTOMARIA - theft of religious icons
SLEPTOMANIA - malignant narcolepsy, e.g. a typical teenager
LEPTOMANIA - crazy thinking as a symptom of Weil's Disease (Leptospirosis)
MEANING: adjective: Feeding on a limited variety of food.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek steno- (narrow, small) + -phagous (feeding on). Earliest documented use: 1926.
STERNOPHAGOUS - 1. a whale that chomps off the back of pursuing harpoon boats
2. consumer of chafing-dish heaters
STENOPHAGOUT - the shorthand scribe can't write because of her painful hand joints...
STENOPRAGOUS - the capital of the Czech Republic is becoming quite sparse
MEANING: noun: A fear of everything.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek panto- (all) + -phobia (fear). Earliest documented use: 1807.
CANTOPHOBIA - fear of singing
SPANTOPHOBIA - fear of bridges
PANTOPHONIA - speaking in short, gasping breaths
PANTSOPHOBIA - fear of having to take charge and make decisions
PANTHOPHOBIA - "...when called by a panther, / Don't anther! " - Ogden Nash
PRONUNCIATION: (hag-ee-OL-uh-jee, hay-jee-)
MEANING: noun: Literature dealing with the lives of saints or other venerated figures.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek hagio- (holy) + -logy (study). Earliest documented use: 1807.
- the study of Philadelphian hero sandwiches (see here
(which leads us to...)PHAGIOLOGY
- the study of swallowingHAGIO LOY
- son of Myrna
MEANING: adjective: Originating from within.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek endo- (inside, within) + -genous (producing). Earliest documented use: 1830. The opposite is exogenous.
ENIDOGENOUS - Bagnold's brainchild
ENDOGENORUS - beginning o' stingy
ENDOGDENOUS - Nashing
MEANING: adjective: Prim; feeble; affected.
ETYMOLOGY: Coined by Lewis Carroll in 1855 in a poem he published in his periodical Mischmasch. An extended version of this poem appeared as Jabberwocky in his novel Through the Looking-Glass in 1871. A blend of miserable + flimsy.
WIMSY - Dorothy Sayrs' fictional detctive
MIMOSY - like the aromatic Persian Silk tree Albizia julibrissin
MMSY - irresistably delicious
PRONUNCIATION: (SKAIR kwoht)
MEANING: noun: The quotation marks used to indicate that the quoted word or phrase is incorrect, nonstandard, or ironic.
ETYMOLOGY: Coined by the philosopher G.E.M. Anscombe in 1956. The equivalent term in spoken communication is air quotes.
NOTES: Scare quotes are used to indicate the writerâs disagreement or disapproval of the use of the term.
Example: Some consider Trump to be the âgreatestâ president ever.
SCARE QUOTA - maximum allowed level of frightfulness
SCALE QUOTE - what Union members are getting paid
SCAR QUOTE - "Yeah, but you should see the other guy!"
MEANING: noun: The study of physical proximity between people, for example, typical space between two friends.
ETYMOLOGY: Coined by the anthropologist Edward T. Hall (1914-2009). From proximity (nearness), from French proximitĂ© from Latin proximitas, from proximus (nearest), superlative of prope (near). Ultimately from the Indo-European root per- (forward, through), which also gave us paramount, prime, proton, prow, probity, German Frau (woman), and Hindi purana (old). Earliest documented use: 1963.
PROLEMICS - how to deliver long tiresome screeds in favor of something
PROTEMICS - procedure whereby VPOTUS presides over the Senate
PAROXEMICS - the study of spasms
MEANING: noun: A stupid person; a fool.
ETYMOLOGY: Coined by Jim Henson (1936-1990) in 1955 to describe puppets he created for childrenâs television shows.
M. UPSET - distressed Parisian gentleman
MU-PIPET - used for delivering liquids in micro-liter quantities
MUMPET - 1. small swelling in the parotid glands; 2. my dog won't make a sound
MEANING: noun: Obscure, pompous, or incomprehensible language, such as bureaucratic jargon.
ETYMOLOGY: Coined by Milton A. Smith, assistant general counsel for the US Chamber of Commerce, in 1952. From baffle, perhaps from Scots bauchle (to denounce) + gab, perhaps of imitative origin.
WAFFLEGAB - breakfast conversation at IHOP
B.A. FILE GAB - inane side-comments about my college transcript
BAFFLE GARB - a costume intended to puzzle, confuse, or conceal
RAF flegab- British class system within its military
That's about as far as I could get creatively. Though I would have liked to incorporate Roald Dahl, somehow.
P.S. omg, I'm losing my luster...school makes me feel biffsquiggled.
MEANING: noun: The habit of using âweâ when referring to oneself.
ETYMOLOGY: A blend of we + egotism. Earliest documented use: 1797. Also see nosism, royal we, and illeist.
WEGOT'IM - gleeful cry of a cop after catching the perp who's running away
WERGOTISM - prior habit of using jargon and slang (past tense of ARGOTISM)
WE GOT RISM - ...and some of us got music; who could ask for anything more?
MEANING: noun: A pricing model in which the basic product or service is free, but extra features must be paid for.
adjective: Relating to such a model.
ETYMOLOGY: A blend of free + premium. Earliest documented use: 1994.
USAGE: NOTES: A.Word.A.Day uses a freemium model. The free version includes sponsorsâ messages, premium version doesnât.
FEEMIUM - "postage and handling"
FLEEMIUM - what you give the guard to look the other way while you escape
FREEMUM - seasonal plants available at no charge
MEANING: noun: Rule by the mediocre.
ETYMOLOGY: A blend of mediocre + -ocracy (rule). Earliest documented use: 1845.
MADIOCRACY - rule by the insane
MEDIACRACY - rule by newspapers and radio and TV and social networks on the web
MIDIOCRACY - rule by the South of France
MEDIOCRACK - cocaine that's only so-so
wegotisms- a resource list for survival of the wittiest acolytes
freezium- a therapeutic device that stops hesitation cold
mediochracy- a middle of the road color used for decorative impact
chililaxâ- used in the management of chronic idiopathic constipation
MEANING: verb intr.: To calm down and relax.
ETYMOLOGY: A blend of chill + relax. Earliest documented use: 1999.
ACHILLAX - the ultimate Greek hero, with the best qualities of both Achilles and Ajax
CHILLEX - calm down one's former spouse
CHILLAY - West Coast of southern South America
Placktivism- proponents for healthy teeth and gums
Stacktivism- proponents against politics and for IHOP
Lacktivism- rebels without a cause
MEANING: noun: Activism that requires minimal effort.
ETYMOLOGY: A blend of slack + activism. Earliest documented use: 1995.
NOTES: Some examples of slacktivism are forwarding messages, clicking Like buttons, etc. Slacktivism by itself is not bad, but it can prevent people from taking any further action if they feel that by filling out an online petition they have done their part. The term clicktivism is also used.
SACKTIVISM - boosting the local Hacky-Sack team
SHACKTIVISM - pushing for better housing
SLACKTVISM - doesn't like the looseness of television programming
ALACKTIVISM - objects to the status quo but does nothing except complain theatrically about it
MEANING: verb intr.:
1. To stay up all night.
2. To pass the night somewhere.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin pernoctare (to spend the night), from per- (through) + nox (night). Earliest documented use: 1623.
PERINOCTATE - crepuscular
PERNICTATE - by blinking
PERIOCTATE - seven to nine
PRONUNCIATION: (dee-SAY-kruh-lyz, -SAK-ruh-)
MEANING: verb tr.: To deprive of hallowed status.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin de- (away from) + sacer (sacred). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sak- (to sanctify), which also gave us saint, consecrate, sacred, execrable, execrate, sacerdotal, and sacrilegious. Earliest documented use: 1911.
RESACRALIZE - restore the lower back
DESUCRALIZE - remove all sugar
DESACKRALIZE - exempt the quarterback from being hit before he throws the football
MEANING: verb tr.:
1. To solemnly pronounce.
2. To declare a will orally.
ETYMOLOGY From Latin nuncupare (to declare or dedicate), from nomen (name) + capere (to seize). Ultimately from the Indo-European root kap- (to grasp), which is also the root of captive, capsule, capable, capture, cable, chassis, occupy, deceive, caitiff, captious, emancipate, percipient, and sashay. Earliest documented use: 1550.
NUNCUPITE - inhabitant of he city of Nuncup
NUNC UP ANTE - the price of poker in Old Rome just increased
NUN COUP ATE - before-dinner mutiny in the convent
MEANING: verb tr.: To pass (a rope or the like) through.
noun: A local official.
ETYMOLOGY: For verb: Of uncertain origin. Earliest documented use: 1600.
For noun: From Old English gerefa (high official). Earliest documented use: before 12th century.
PRE-EVE - late afternoon
REEVER - what the Rio Grande is, in accented English
ROE VE - a short but well-known Supreme Court case (1973) dealing with abortion rights
MEANING: verb intr.: To grow old or decay.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin senescere (to grow old), from senex (old). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sen- (old), which is also the ancestor of senior, senate, senile, Spanish se sir, sire, and surly (which is an alteration of sirly, as in sir-ly). Earliest documented use: 1656.
OENESCE - to become wine
NENESCE - to turn into a Hawaiian goose
SEN'ENCE - a string of words with a subject and a verb (and usually a meaning), uttered by a drunk
MEANING: noun: Jargon of a trade.
ETYMOLOGY: From Grimgribber, an imaginary estate, discussed in the play Conscious Lovers (1722) by Richard Steele (1672-1729). Earliest documented use: 1722.
GRIM, G. ROBBER - "Stop, thief!" shouted George Grim after him.
GRIM GRUBBER - has to tease out the ugly parts of everything (see also GRIMGRABBER)
GRIEG-RIBBER - Edvard was teased about how silly The Hall of the Mountain King sounded
PRONUNCIATION: (EE-ko-to-pee-uh, EK-o-)
MEANING: noun: An ecologically ideal place.
ETYMOLOGY: From Ecotopia (1975), the title of a novel by Ernest Callenbach. In the book, the word is used to describe the Pacific coast of the US. A blend of eco- + utopia, which itself is the title of Thomas Moreâs 1516 book. Earliest documented use: 1975.
ECOOPIA - raise chickens electronically !
ECO-NOPIA - boycott
SECOTOPIA - a perfectly dry community
MEANING: adjective: Relating to an imaginary place characterized by romance, adventure, and intrigue.
ETYMOLOGY: After Ruritania, a fictional Central European kingdom, in the novel The Prisoner of Zenda (1894) by Anthony Hope. Earliest documented use: 1894.
PURITANIAN - the culture the Mayflower colonists hoped to establlish
RARITANIAN - a New Jerseyite
RURITALIAN - native to the Italian countryside, avoiding Rome and Florence and Naples and Venice and such
MEANING: adjective: Like a paradise: filled with happiness, beauty, innocence, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: After Eden, the garden where the biblical characters Adam and Eve lived. From Hebrew eden (delight). Earliest documented use: 1850.
EDENTIC - my baby teeth fell out
'EDONIC - a Cockney's flagrantly self-indulgent pleasures
EDENIN - Anais' sibling
(and this is one of those other days)
MEANING: adjective: Robotic, compliant, submissive; lacking in individuality.
ETYMOLOGY: After the fictional suburb of Stepford, Connecticut, in Ira Levinâs 1972 novel, The Stepford Wives, later made into movies (in 1975 and 2004). In the story, men of this seemingly ideal town have replaced their wives with attractive robotic dolls devoid of emotion or thought. Earliest documented use: 1972.
STEEPFORD - It's tough to cross the river just there; the banks are too sharply angled
STEPFOOD - eat right, before you run a Marathon
STOP FOR D - good defense brings the game to a halt
Step F-word- swear words in the safe zone
Stop Ford- Jimmy Carter's nutty campaign slogan
Step-Lord- the lord not ascribed to you at birth.
MEANING: verb tr.: To boil partially; to cook partly by boiling.
ETYMOLOGY: From Anglo-Norman parboillir/perboillir (to cook partially by boiling, to cook thoroughly by boiling), from Latin perbullire (to boil thoroughly), from per- (thoroughly) + bullire (to boil). From misinterpretation of par- with part, the meaning of the word changed from âto boil thoroughlyâ to âto boil partiallyâ. Earliest documented use: 1381.
PART-OIL - used to make hair controllable (if slick) - see MACASSAR (more to the point, see ANTI-MACASSAR)
PART-B-OIL - makes doctors' payments for Medicare go more smoothly
P-ART-OIL - used by painters who can't get ortho-oil or meta-oil
MEANING: adjective: Known widely and unfavorably.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin notorius (well-known), from notus (known). Earliest documented use: 1495.
OTORIOUS - ear-filling; noisy
MOTORIOUS - Detroit-based
NOMORIOUS - foreswearing gambling (or at least losing)
PRONUNCIATION: (vuh-DET, vi-)
1. A leading stage or film star.
2. A mounted sentry or a scouting boat posted in an advanced position to observe the movements of an enemy.
ETYMOLOGY: From French vedette (star, as in a film star; speedboat), from Italian vedetta (influenced by vedere: to see), from veletta. Ultimately from the Indo-European root weg- (to be strong or lively), which also gave us vigor, velocity, vegetable, vegete, and velitation. Earliest documented use: sense 1: 1963, sense 2: 1690.
VIDESTE - Caesar's "Look to the East!"
VIXETTE - a small female fox cub
VIDEO TE - take a moving-picture selfie
MEANING: adjective: Needlelike.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin acerosus (full of chaff), erroneously interpreted as derived from acus (needle) or acer (sharp), ultimately from the Indo-European root ak- (sharp), which is also the source of acrid, vinegar, acid, acute, edge, hammer, heaven, eager, oxygen, mediocre, acerbate, acidic, acidulous, acuity, and paragon. Earliest documented use: 1833.
APERATE - to create an opening or window in
NACERATE - encase in order to streamline
ACERITE - a native of Acer
ACE RAT - Frank Sinatra
Racerate- Racer X's teammate
adjective: Remarkable in a bad way; flagrant.
From Latin egregius (outstanding), from ex- (out of) + greg-, stem of grex (flock). Earlier something egregious was one that stood out because it was remarkably good. Over the centuries the word took a 180-degree turn and today it refers to something grossly offensive. Earliest documented use: 1550.
EGRET IOUs - I beat those birds fair and square, and they didn't have enough cash to pay up...
PEGREGIOUS - really committed to playing Cribbage
EGG-REGIOUS - got a bit carried away with that omelet, didn't you?
PRONUNCIATION: (fay-AHNS, fy-)
MEANING: noun: Glazed earthenware, especially decorated tin-glazed pottery.
ETYMOLOGY: From French faĂŻence (earthenware), from FaĂŻence, the French name for Faenza, a city in northern Italy known for its glazed earthenware industry. Earliest documented use: 1714.
FAIERCE - how an Irishman describes lions and tigers and other animals with fangs and sharp claws
SAIENCE - a session with a Medium who lets you communicate with the spirits of the Departed
FADIENCE - how long the bright colors of fireworks will persist (the opposite of "radiance")
Ofaience- Southern scorn and vexation
FaiencĂšĂ© - capricious imagination
MEANING: adjective: Sparing with words: concise or terse.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin Laconicus, from Greek Lakonikos, from Lakon, Laconian, a resident of Laconia, an ancient country in southern Greece (capital: Sparta). From the reputation of the Laconians for terseness. Earliest documented use: 1601.
NOTES: Two other toponyms are coined after the names of towns in Laconia: helot and spartan, which is coined after Sparta, the capital of Laconia.
LACONIC = like a city in New Hampshire (or Washington,, or Tennessee, or Indiana, or...)
L.A.CON, INC - organizes conventions in Los Angeles
ACONIC - a volcano that has blown its top
LACORNIC - typical of the humor delivered by an LACOMIC (you think it's easy getting a laugh out of a bunch of rich and jaded Hollywood stars?)
MEANING: verb tr.: To imprison.
noun: A prison or a prison-like place or situation.
ETYMOLOGY: After Newgate, an infamous prison in London, in use since the 13th century, rebuilt many times, and torn down in 1902. The prison is so-named because originally it was located on the site of Newgate (a gate in the Roman London Wall). Earliest documented use: 1592.
NOTES: Some notable guests of the Newgate prison and their serious crimes:
-- William Penn, the founder of the state of Pennsylvania, for criticism of religion. While in prison, given paper to write a retraction, he instead wrote his treatise No Cross, No Crown
-- Daniel Defoe, the author of Robinson Crusoe for his satirical pamphlet about religion The Shortest-Way with the Dissenters
-- John Walter, the founder of The Times for libel on the Duke of York
The prison also had people come in for minor crimes, such as murder. For example, Ben Jonson, playwright and poet, got in for killing a man in a duel, but was released after reciting a Bible verse.
Newgate was a private prison, so inmates had to pay for everything: room, board, getting shackled and getting unshackled, and so on. Often, they were double-billed, but that may have been due to computer errors. Software was not as reliable in the 13th century.
Because running prisons for profit is such a humane thing to do, we have private prisons, even in the 21st century. Check out this report of an undercover investigation of a private prison.
NETGATE - a router
NEWGAME - Sony-ese for "Start"
NEWBATE - what you put on the hook after you catch a fish
KEWGATE - how Londoners enter the Gardens
KNEWGATE - entrance for successful Jeopardy contestants
MEANING: noun: A remote place.
ETYMOLOGY: After a town in central Mali in West Africa. Earliest documented use: 1863.
AIMBUKTU - figure out at whose desk the ultimate responsibility lies
TIMPUKTU - he's the gp-to guy on our hockey team
TIM-BUKETU - list of what Tim-san dreams of accomplishing before he dies
PRONUNCIATION: (kam-puh-NEE-lee, -neel)
MEANING noun: A bell tower, especially one detached from a main building such as a church.
ETYMOLOGY: From Italian campana (bell), from Latin campana (bell). From the Campania region in Italy, known for the bronze that was used to cast bells. Earliest documented use: 1640.
CAMPANILLE - Brooklyn Dodgers' catcher Roy's grandfathers name before he left Italy
CAMPARI, LE - French version of an Italian liqueur
CAMP NILE - base from which deLesseps built the Suez Canal
Capanile- pidgin for Captain and Tennille
PRONUNCIATION: (bib-lee-o-MAY-nee-uh, -MAYN-yuh)
MEANING: noun: An extreme fondness for books.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek biblio- (book) + -mania (excessive enthusiasm or craze). Earliest documented use: 1734.
FIBLIOMANIA - pathological lying
BIBLI, OMANI - a native of the city of Bibli in the Sultanate of Oman
BI-BLOOMANIA - a compulsion to cultivate two-flowered plants
Bibliommania- peaceful dedication to citing references in various formats.
MEANING: adjective: Having a changeable luster like that of a catâs eye at night.
noun: A chatoyant gemstone, such as a catâs eye.
ETYMOLOGY: From French, present participle of chatoyer (to shine like a catâs eye), from chat (cat). Earliest documented use: 1816.
CHAMOYANT - like a soft cloth
CHATOYART - typical of paintings seen in castles along the Loire River in France
CHATOYANG - fancy name for a tomcat (compare CHATOYIN)
MEANING: noun: A connoisseur of good food.
ETYMOLOGY: From French gastronome, back-formation from gastronomie, from Greek gastronomia, from gastro- (stomach) + nomos (law). from Earliest documented use: 1823.
OASTRONOME - oven expert
GASTRODOME - where the World Championship Chefs' Cook-off is held
GASTRONOPE - I've had bariatric surgery
GHASTRONOME - connoisseur of horror movies
adjective: Marshy; flabby; spongy.
ETYMOLOGY: From quag (marsh), of unknown origin. Earliest documented use: 1596.
SQUAGGY - one of two male lead characters on Laverne and Shirley, now that it's off the air and past-tense
QUAGGLY - like a school of tadpoles swimming in shallow water
QUANGY - the sound of a reverberating bell, as descwibed by Elmer Fudd
1. Strong and sturdy.
3. Coarse or crude.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin robur (oak, strength). Ultimately from the Indo-European root reudh- (red), which also gave us red, rouge, ruby, ruddy, rubella, robust, rambunctious, corroborate, roborant, and russet. Earliest documented use: 1548.
RIO-BUS-TIOUS - mass transport accompanying 30 other Argentine city-dwellers
PROBUSTIOUS - in favor of fashions that emphasize the female bodice
ROMBUSTIOUS - describing an aggressive four-equal-sided parallelogram
Nobustious- sculpture from waist down
Sobustious- sculpture from chest up
Crobustious- blackbird take these broken wings and fly
PRONUNCIATION: (KON-truh-tan, kawn-truh-TAN), plural contretemps (-tanz)
the last syllable is nasal
1. An unforeseen and unfortunate occurrence.
2. A disagreement or dispute.
ETYMOLOGY: Originally contretemps was a fencing term meaning a pass or thrust made at a wrong moment. From French contre- (against) + (time). Earliest documented use: 1684.
CONTRITE MPS - Truly sorry, Colonel, but we have to arrest you
WON'T RE: TEMPS - I refuse to hire short-term workers
CONTRE TEMPO - against playing the music that fast
1. Used in the expression âto the hiltâ: to the maximum extent; fully.
2. A handle, especially of a sword or dagger.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old English hilt/hilte. Earliest documented use: around 1000.
KILT - what you probably did to somebody if you stabbed your sword in all the way to the hilt
HIET - when you try to lose weight but it goes up instead
HILIT - Christmas tree whose only shining ornament is the star on top
MEANING: noun: A deceptive move, especially in fencing or boxing.
verb tr., intr.: To make a deceptive movement.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old French feinte, past participle of feindre (to feign), from Latin fingere (to shape). Ultimately from the Indo-European root dheigh- (to build or form), which also gave us fiction, effigy, paradise, dough, dairy, and lady (literally, a loaf kneader). Earliest documented use: around 1330.
FEIND - a dyslexic demon
Fe ISNT - iron does not exist
FEZINT - a game bird, sometimes hunted and served under glass
MEANING: adjective: Shaped like a sword or a sword blade.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin ensis (sword) + -form (shape). Earliest documented use: 1541.
FENSIFORM - pickety
ENSIFARM - greenhouse devoted solely the raising gladiolus plants
ENSIFORUM - swordsmanship convention
1. A reckless, daring, swaggering adventurer.
2. A book, play, etc. dealing with such a character.
ETYMOLOGY: From swashbuckler (one who makes a noise by striking a sword on a shield), from swh (of imitative origin) + buckler (a small round shield), from boucle (a boss on a shield), from Latin buccula, diminutive of bucca (cheek). Earliest documented use: 1560.
U.S. WASHBUCKLER - a garbage scow that sank after ignominiously running aground near Jersey City and has't been heard from (or looked for) since
SLASHBUCKLER - uses as his concealed weapon a belt with a sharpened fastener
SWACHBUCKLER (or SCHWACHBUCKLER) - from German schwach (weak): someone who keeps his pants fastened loosely
MEANING: noun: An abnormal fear of or aversion to work.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek ergon (work) + phobia (fear). Earliest documented use: 1905.
ERGOPHOBIA - fear of making a decision; fear of commitment
EGOPHOBIA - fear of self *
MERGOPHOBIA - fear of being acquired by a competitor
EGGOPHOBIA - fear of toasted waffles
Wherever I go
I go too
And spoil everything
-- Samuel Hoffenstein, Proem, 1923
Pergophobia- fear of laminate flooring
Argophobia- fear of slang
MEANING: noun: Speaking briefly and concisely.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin breviloquentia, from brevis (short) + loquentia (speaking), from loqui (to speak). Earliest documented use: 1656.
NOTES: So many choices when it comes to speaking. You might prefer short-windedness and be breviloquent or you can be talkative (loquacious). You can talk in your sleep (somniloquy, which is a special kind of soliloquy). You can even speak through your tummy, literally speaking (ventriloquism).
BRAVILOQUENCE - speaking great praise
OREVILOQUENCE - ignoring Wilbur when discussing the Wright brothers' invention of the airplane
MR EVIL O'QUENCE - that unpleasant Irish guy from County Quence
BREXILOQUENCE - Sorry, I decline to get involved in a political discussion
MEANING: verb intr.: To speak out freely.
ETYMOLOGY: Coined from Greek elements ex- (out) + eleutheros (free) + stoma (mouth). Earliest documented use: 1854.
EXCELEUTHEROSTOMIZE - truth in spreadsheets
EXPELEUTHEROSTOMIZE - to remove free and uncensored speech from a culture
EX-E-LUTHER-OSTOMIZE - poke a hole in the Ninety-Five Theses
EXELEATHEROTOMIZE - cut out the animal-skins trade (I know, that's two changes)
MEANING: noun: A society in which corporations control the government.
ETYMOLOGY: From corporate, from Latin corpus (body) + -cracy (rule). Ultimately from the Indo-European root kwrep- (body, form), which is also the source of corps, corpus, corpse, corporation, corpulent, corset, corsage, leprechaun, and corpus delicti. Earliest documented use: 1935.
NOTES: Earlier the word was applied to corporate bureaucracy. Over time the word has changed its meaning and now it refers to a system in which corporations control the government.
CORGOCRACY - government by dog
CARPOCRACY - 1. government by fish; 2. government by Detroit
CORPOCRAZY - obsessed by body image
MEANING: noun: Numbness in a limb, usually caused by pressure on a nerve. Also known as falling asleep.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin obdormire (to fall asleep), from dormire (to sleep). Earliest documented use: 1634.
NOTES: There is a word even for what comes after obdormition: paresthesia. (also known as pins and needles).
OCD, OR M.I.T. ION? - anal personality, or charged particle at the Institute?
OB DORM - IT'S ON! - the funding came through for bedrooms for on-call obstetricians !
ODORMITION - (if you choose to accept it): get the smells out of your socks
MEANING: adjective: Containing or bearing quartz.
ETYMOLOGY: from German Quartz + Latin -ferous (bearing), from ferre (to bear). Earliest documented use: 1831.
NOTES: Quartz crystals come in various forms: amethyst, agate, onyx, etc., that may or may not be worth a bitcoin, but in a game of Scrabble, the word quartz is worth its weight: it yields 24 points, and thatâs before any double or triple squares.
QUARTZIFERROUS - semiprecious stones that are magnetic because of their iron content
QUARTZIFEROLUS - a small Quartzifer
AQUARTZIFEROUS - a geological stratum containing both geodes and water; alternativey, containing no quartz at all
MEANING: noun: Excessive concentration of mental energy on something.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek hyper- (over, above) + cathexis, from Greek kathexis (holding), from katekhein (to hold fast), from kata- (intensive prefix) + ekhein (to hold). Ultimately from the Indo-European root segh- (to hold), which is also the source of words such as hectic, scheme, scholar, cathect, and asseverate. Earliest documented use: 1923.
HYPER-CAT EX IS - I used to be married to the Catwoman
HYPEROATHEXIS - swearing all the time (Tourette's Syndrome)
HYPERCASHEXIS - too much money for yer own damn good
MEANING: noun: Chattering; gossip.
ETYMOLOGY: From French bavarder (to chatter), from bavard (talkative), from bave (saliva, drivel). Earliest documented use: 1835.
HAVARDAGE - 381 years and counting, in Boston
BAVARIAGE - the culture of Munich and other parts of Southeastern Germany
BABARDAGE - Shakespeare's works were actually written by an elephant
MEANING: adjective: Shaped like a cluster of grapes.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin acinus (grape, berry, seed). Earliest documented use: 1798.
ACNIFORM - papulopustular, nodular, or cystic skin lesions resembling acne
ACINIFORUM - oenologists' convention
ACING FORM - what you fill out to prove you got an A
AC IN A FORM - three-phase current
Acainiform- one that looks nice and not too expensive
MEANING: adjective: Hard to pronounce.
noun: A word or phrase thatâs hard to pronounce.
ETYMOLOGY: From crack, from Old English cracian (to resound) + jaw, from Old French joue (cheek). Earliest documented use: 1827.
CRACKLAW - how the legal profession deals with the cocaine problem
CLACKJAW - the sound made by poorly-fitting dentures
CRACKAW - a city in Poland
MEANING: noun: Tourism in which travelers do volunteer work.
ETYMOLOGY: A blend of volunteer + tourism. Earliest documented use: 1991.
NOTES: Many years ago, fresh out of college, I was traveling for a job interview and started chatting with an old man sitting next to me on the train. Somehow the discussion went to volunteer work and when I claimed that sometimes I do selfless work, he said, âWell, son, everything I do is for myself.â Years later, I realized the truth of his words.
While voluntourism may be well-intentioned, it may not always be the best way to help. See here and here, for example. Consider volunteering with specialized organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, Translators without Borders, Engineers Without Borders, etc. or donating to them.
VOLU-TOURISM - traveling in very large groups to get reduced rates
VIOLUNTOURISM - ...stirring up trouble everywhere they go
EVOLUNTOURISM - visiting the Galapagos to see the development of species
2. Trite material introduced to evoke an emotional response from an audience.
ETYMOLOGY: A blend of hocus-pocus + bunkum. Earliest documented use: 1917.
HOOKUM - how some rugs are made
HONKUM - how you get through a flock of geese blocking the road
NOKUM - what Godot did
MEANING: noun: A flourish or curve, especially in handwriting.
ETYMOLOGY: Perhaps a blend of squiggle + twirl or whirl. Earliest documented use: 1843.
SQUIRL - an arboreal rodent native to the Ozarks, known for gathering acorns against the coming winter
SKUIRL - the sound of a bagpipes with a wa-wa mute
SQUIRAL - Kighthood's corporate ladder
Squirly- excited, dog tail whirls like a helicopter
MEANING: verb intr.: To satisfy the minimum requirements in a given situation.
ETYMOLOGY: Coined by the scientist Herbert A. Simon (1916-2001) in 1956, apparently as a blend of satisfy + suffice. Earliest documented use: 1561 (as a synonym of the word satisfy).
NOTES: While it may appear that satisficing is taking the easy way out, there are times when itâs the right thing to do. It can be bewildering to consider all the options that are available. Often itâs best to pick one or two important criteria and weed out the options, especially when stakes are low.
Sometimes making a suboptimal decision is best, when the alternative is decision paralysis because there are so many options. To satisfice is OK, we donât always have to maximize or optimize. Sometimes good enough is more than good enough.
SATISFINE - My college entrance exam score was quite sufficient, thank you for asking
SATIEFICE - how he wrote GymnopĂ©die and others like it
SATISFIDE, SATISNICE - and how he felt after writing it, and what he thought if it
PRONUNCIATION: (skrouj, skrooj)
MEANING: verb tr., intr.: To squeeze, press, or crowd.
ETYMOLOGY: Alteration of scruze (to squeeze), a blend of screw + squeeze. Earliest documented use: 1755.
SYROUGE - the sweet red liquid you pour over your pancakes
SCAROUGE - Halloween makeup
'SCROUPE - Oui, Madame, your child 'as tracheo-bronchitis, zat is why she cough so much
PRONUNCIATION: (si-NEK-ti-tood, -tyood)
MEANING: noun: Old age.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin senectus (old age), from senex (old). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sen- (old), which is also the ancestor of senior, sir, sire, senate, senile, Spanish seĂ±or, and surly (which is an alteration of sirly, as in sir-ly). Earliest documented use: 1796.
SELECTITUDE - good taste
BENECTITUDE - saintliness
SENECTITUNE - a Golden Oldie
Senecatitude- idyllic view of Bedford Falls
Scenectitude- perspective beyond the pines (the h is silent)
Senecatitude- idyllic view of Bedford Falls
Scenectitude- perspective beyond the pines (the h is silent)
Tee hee. And let's not forget SCHENECTITUDE
- location in upstate New York maybe 15 miles north-west of Albany (the CH is hard)
MEANING: noun: World view.
ETYMOLOGY: From German Weltanschauung (world view), from Welt (world) + Anschauung (perception). Earliest documented use: 1868.
NOTES: When we bring in a word from another language, sometimes we borrow it as it is and at other times make a literal translation, also known as a loan translation. The word weltanschauung appears so useful that English has borrowed the original form and also made a loan translation: world view.
DELTANSCHAUUNG - familiarity with the waterways at the mouth of the Mississippi
WELTANSCHADUNG - awareness that the world is full of misfortunes
BELTANSCHAUUNG - overall philosophy of dieting
Senecatitude- idyllic view of Bedford Falls
Scenectitude- perspective beyond the pines (the h is silent)
Tee hee. And let's not forget SCHENECTITUDE
- location in upstate New York maybe 15 miles north-west of Albany (the CH is hard)
âș that is what I was going for, though mine looks more like the film than the city.
...and it's a double-dactyl, too!
MEANING: adjective: Funnel-shaped.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin infundibulum (funnel), from infundere (to pour in), from fundere (to pour). Ultimately from the Indo-European root gheu- (to pour), which is also the source of funnel, font, fuse, diffuse, gust, gush, and geyser. Earliest documented use: 1752.
INFUNDIBULI-NORM - when just about everything is funnel-shaped
IN-FUN-BIBLIFORM - like reading Scripture for amusement
INFUNDIBULI-FARM - devoted to the culture and propagation of Morning Glories
MEANING: noun: Estimating as worthless.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin flocci, from floccus (tuft of wool) + nauci, from naucum (a trifling thing) + nihili, from Latin nihil (nothing) + pili, from pilus (a hair, trifle) + -fication (making). Earliest documented use: 1741.
NOTES: This word was coined by combining four Latin terms flocci, nauci, nihili, pili, all meaning something of little or no value, which were listed in the well-known Eton Latin Grammar of Eton College in the UK. The word seems to be popular in the US government. It has been heard from the mouths of White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry, Senator Robert Byrd, and Senator Jesse Helms, among others. A related word is floccipend.
FLOCCI-NAUCCI-NIHILI-PILI-FICATION - declaring Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit and his siblings to be trivial and utterly worthless (they were, you will recall, Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter)
FLOCkINAUCINIHILIPILIFiCATION- blur to the ears
PRONUNCIATION: (NOO-muh-noh-UL-truh-MY-kruh-SKOP-ik-SIL-i-koh-vol-KAY-no-KOH-nee-O-sis, nyoo-)
MEANING: noun: A lung disease caused by silica dust.
ETYMOLOGY: From New Latin, from Greek pneumono- (lung) + Latin ultra- (beyond, extremely) + Greek micro- (small) + -scopic (looking) + Latin silico (like sand) + volcano + Greek konis (dust) + -osis (condition). Earliest documented use: 1935.
NOTES: Even though we have included the pronunciation of this word, we advise caution lest you may have to avail the services of an otorhinolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist).
At 45 letters, itâs the longest word in any English language dictionary. Itâs a trophy word -- its only job is to serve as the longest word. In day-to-day use, its nine-letter synonym âsilicosisâ works just as well. Whatever you call it, it is deadly. Hereâs the story of an incident.
And whatâs the shortest word in the English language? There are a number of them: A, I, O, but weâll have to give it to I which is the skinniest as well. Try defining either of them in fewer letters than the spelling of the word.
PNEURONOULTRAMICROSCOPICSILICOVOLCANOCONIOSIS - a complicated degenerative disease of nerve cells (the P is silent, like the P in swimming)
PUN-EU-MONO-ULTRAM/IC-ROSCO-PICS-LILICO-VOLCANOCONIOSIS - play on words about truly-single-generic-arthritis-pills-showing-pictures-of-guns-owned-by-paper-cup-manufacturer-on-mountainous-volcanoes
MEANING: adjective: Reliable, genuine, or trustworthy.
ETYMOLOGY: From the practice of covering a shipâs hull with copper (or alloy) to protect it from salt water and marine organisms. Earliest documented use: 1795. Donât confuse this term with copperplate.
HOPPER-BOTTOMED - with legs like a rabbit or a kangaroo, for effective jumping
CHOPPER-BOTTOMED - having false teeth for the lower jaw only
COPPER-BLOTTO-MED - the pill that the police use to treat a hangover
1. Goods found floating after a shipwreck.
2. People or things considered useless or unimportant.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old French floter (to float). Ultimately from the Indo-European root pleu- (to flow), which is also the source of flow, float, flit, fly, flutter, pulmonary, pneumonia, pluvial, and fletcher. Earliest documented use: 1607.
FLOATSAM - called to Detective Spade when he fell overboard
FLOTOSAM - part of CB radio exchange between Florence and Samantha
FLOSSAM - what your dentist wants you to do to your teeth more often
MEANING: noun: The amount of freedom to do something: margin or latitude.
ETYMOLOGY: In nautical terminology, leeway is the sideways drift of a ship to leeward (away from wind). From Old English hleo (shelter) + way. Earliest documented use: 1669.
LEEWAX - what you put on the sheltered side of the boat to minimize resistance
LEESWAY - how the Confederate C-in-C did things
LE WAY - the Eightfold Path sought by French Buddhists
1. Goods thrown overboard to lighten a ship in distress.
2. Discarded material, debris, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: An alteration of the word jettison. Earlier, jettison was the act of throwing goods overboard to lighten a ship in distress. From Latin jactare (to throw), frequentative of jacere (to throw). Earliest documented use: 1491.
METS A.M. - the New York Metropolitans have a game in the morning
JETSCAM - that free airplane ticket offer you got was a fraud
JETS ARM - Joe Namath, no doubt about it
MEANING: adjective: Dazed, weak, or unsteady, as from lack of sleep, tiredness, sickness, intoxication, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: After Old Grog, nickname of Admiral Edward Vernon (1684-1757), who ordered diluted rum to be served to his sailors (and thus helped coin the term grog). The admiral earned the nickname from his habit of wearing a grogram cloak. Grogram is a coarse fabric of silk, wool, mohair, or a blend of them. The word grogram is from French gros grain (large grain or texture). Earliest documented use: 1770.
GROGGUY - the plant store owner has a green thumb
GROGGLY - a particularly deceptive cricket pitch bowl
BROGGY - having a prominent Scottish accent
MEANING: adjective: Avoiding direct confrontation; cautious; delaying.
ETYMOLOGY: After the Roman general Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus (c. 280-203 BCE), from his guerrilla tactics in not engaging the enemy directly. Instead, he chose the war of attrition, avoiding direct confrontation, disrupting the enemyâs supply lines, etc. For this, he also earned the nickname Cunctator Earliest documented use: 1598.
MABIAN - one who can see both sides to every argument, and is therefore chronically unable to makeup his mind
FA, BRIAN - No, Mr. Eno, the note before sol would really sound better there
FABIWAN - Ben Kenobi's younger brother. The force was weak in that one.
MEANING: noun: A tube inserted into a blocked vessel to keep it open.
ETYMOLOGY: After the dentist Charles R. Stent (1845-1901). Stent did pioneering work in coming up with a compound that made better molds for dentures. Later, the compound was used to make casts of other body parts and cavities. Stents correct stenosis (narrowing). Earliest documented use: 1878. The word stentorian is also an eponym, but it came from someone else
STERT - a snorer
P.S.TENT - a portable outdoor shelter brought along as an afterthought
S-TEST - what statistician William S Gossett was fiddling with just before he conceived Student's t-test
MEANING: adjective: Relating to a wedding or marriage.
noun: A wedding song or poem.
ETYMOLOGY: After Hymen, the god of marriage in Greek mythology. Earliest documented use: 1602
HUME,NEAL - philosopher David's younger brother
HYMNEAL - like A Mighty Fortress
HYMENTAL - lofty thoughts
PRONUNCIATION: (yoo-HEE-muh-riz-uhm, -HEM-)
MEANING: noun: The idea that gods are based on historical heroes whose stories became exaggerated in retelling.
ETYMOLOGY: After Euhemerus, a fourth-century BCE Greek writer, who proposed that the gods of mythology were based on real heroes whose accounts became exaggerated with time. Earliest documented use: 1846.
EUPHEMERISM - the idea that you should sanitize the name of anything earthy before you utter it
EDUHEMERISM - turning out scholars who are only half-educated
EUCHEMERISM - the original "Thou" of Martin Buber's I and Thou
MEANING: noun: Someone who is an equal match for another. Typically used in the expression âto give a Roland for an Oliverâ meaning âto give as good as one getsâ (tit for tat).
ETYMOLOGY: After Roland, the legendary hero of the 11/12th century epic poem âChanson de Rolandâ (Song of Roland). His tale was inspired by Charlemagneâs nephew and military leader. Oliver was friends with Roland and his equal. They fought each other but neither won. Earliest documented use: 1525. A related word is rounceval.
OROLAND - what the Spaniards thought the New World was
GOLAND - communication from a hostile fighter intercept aircraft
ROMLAND - where all good memory chips go after they've given up the ghost...
MEANING: adjective: Foul-smelling.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin olere (to smell), which also gave us the opposite of todayâs word: redolent. Earliest documented use: 1680.
GLID - 1. past tense of glide; 2. present tense of glad
OMID - identifying the mantra
OOLID - an egg-shaped meteorite
OLIX - wordy, but without the Public Relations
PRONUNCIATION: (lat-i-tood-uh-NAY-ree-uhn, -tyood-)
MEANING: adjective: Holding broad and tolerant views, especially on matters of religion.
noun: One who is broadminded and tolerant, especially concerning religion.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin latitudo (breadth), from latus (broad). Earliest documented use: 1662.
PLATITUDINARIAN - one whose speech is peppered with inanities
(edit - Oops! Turns out that's a real word. "First use 1855" - wofa)
LATITUDINARIAT - a rope noose that gives its captives room to move
LATINUDINARIAN - fond of images of unclad women painted by Spaniards, which are uncommon due to the Church's disapproval; still there are Goya's Naked Maja,, and works by Velazquez and Picasso and others
LA TITUA IN ARIAN' - a recently-discovered Mozart opera, never yet performed
MEANING: adjective: Sooty; dusky; obscure.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin fuligo (soot).
FUMIGINOUS - smoking
MULIGINOUS - stubborn
FULGINOUS - radiant
MEANING: noun: The act or process of vomiting.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek emein (to vomit). Earliest documented use: 1875.
REMESIS - a flood of dreams during rapid-eye-movement sleep
EMFSIS - special importance, value, or prominence
ESMESIS - when molecules of a solvent pass through a semipermeable membrane from a more concentrated solution into a less concentrated one, thereby increasing the disparity of concentrations on the two sides of the membrane; the opposite of OSMOSIS (see also Maxwell's Demon)
MEANING: adjective: Involving unnecessary repetition of an idea, especially in different words, for example, a good-looking beautiful woman.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek tauto- (same), contraction of âto autoâ (the same) + -logy (word). Earliest documented use: 1646.
TAUNTOLOGOUS - teasing
TOUTOLOGOUS - selling tips at the racetrack
TABUTOLOGOUS - referring to strongly-disapproved-of (if not forbidden) practices
TAUTOLOGONS - geometric figures with self-referential and redundant sides
PRONUNCIATION: (SNOL-ee gos-tuhr)
MEANING: noun: A shrewd, unprincipled person.
ETYMOLOGY: Of uncertain origin, perhaps an alteration of snallygaster, a mythical creature said to prey on poultry and children, possibly from Pennsylvania Dutch schnelle geeschter, from German schnell (quick) + Geist (spirit). Earliest documented use: 1846.
NOTES: According to a Georgia editor, âA snollygoster is a fellow who wants office, regardless of party, platform, or principles, and who, whenever he wins, gets there by the sheer force of monumental talknophical assumnacy.â
'S NOLLY-GO-STIR - when the lawyer says you're pleading nolo contendere and the best you can hope for is a jail sentence
SNOLLYNG OSTER - a blender making an angry, aggressive noise
SNOLLY GO STERN - Ahoy there, Yacht Snolly, reverse engines!
MEANING: noun: A swindler, gangster, or a corrupt politician.
ETYMOLOGY: After the Highbinders, a Chinese gang in New York and other cities from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s. Earliest documented use: 1806.
THIGHBINDER - poultice for a torn quadriceps
HIGHMINDER - one with his head in the clouds
HIGHBANDER - member of a piccolo ensemble
MEANING: noun: A person who manipulates or exerts control from behind the scenes.
ETYMOLOGY: From wire + puller. Earliest documented use: 1824.
WIREPOLLER - assesses public opinion via Western Union
DIREPULLER - dentist full of doom and gloom
WIREPULLET - what chicken-fencing is made of
MEANING: noun: A pretender, bluffer, or fraudster.
ETYMOLOGY: In a game of poker, a full flush is five cards of the same suit. A four-flush, only four cards of the same suit, is almost worthless. A player pretending to have a full flush while holding only a four-flush, is said to be a four-flusher. Earliest documented use: 1904.
FOUR-FLASHER - a poker player who "accidentally" lets you see one of his hole cards, and it's low (a four)
FLOUR-FLUSHER - in charge of disposing of any spoiled or insect-ridden ground grain
FOUR OF LUSHER - an aspiring rock band based in a New Orleans high school
MEANING: adjective: Unskilled; unscrupulous; incompetent.
noun: An unskilled or unscrupulous worker.
ETYMOLOGY: From jack (man, worker) + blackleg. Earliest documented use: 1839
JOCKLEG - what Eddie Arcaro used, to urge his horse to run faster
TACKLEG - the portion of the America's Cup course that's heading into the wind
J.C. KLEG - putative founder of Kleg's Hardware Store
MEANING: verb tr.: To make more attractive; to spruce up.
ETYMOLOGY: After Adonis, a beautiful youth in Greek mythology, loved by Aphrodite. Adonisâs name has become a synonym for a very handsome young man. Earliest documented use: 1611.
ADONITE - inhabitant of Adon
AVONIZE - convert your salesforce to a door-to-door format
ADONAIZE - apotheosize; ascribe Godlike powers
MEANING: verb tr.
1. To hog or to take more than the fair share of something.
2. To bully, act tough, or to be belligerent.
ETYMOLOGY: After film actor Humphrey Bogart (1900-1957) who played tough-guy roles. Earliest documented use: 1965.
BIGART - Mount Rushmore
DOGART - poker-playing as depicted by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge
BOWART - the story of William Tell
MEANING: verb tr., intr.: To be sparing in the use of something, especially food.
ETYMOLOGY: After Herbert C. Hoover (1874-1964), who as the head of the US Food Administration during the WWI, encouraged citizens to eat less and save food for soldiers. Earliest documented use: 1917.
NOTES: âTo hooverizeâ is not the same as âto hooverâ. The latter is a synonym of âto vacuumâ (also used metaphorically for âto devourâ or âto consumeâ). Itâs the genericizing of the word Hoover, a popular brand name for vacuum cleaners. The word is mostly used around the UK. The brand is named after American industrialist William Henry Hoover (1849-1932).
HOOTERIZE - what owls see with
HOOVERITE - someone who lives a few miles south of Las Vegas and doesn't want to admit it
HOVERIZE - what helicoptering parents do to their children
HO-OVERSIZE - dam big model trains
MEANING: verb tr.: To sacrifice.
ETYMOLOGY: After Moloch, a Canaanite god of the Bible, associated with the practice of child sacrifice. Earliest documented use: 1825.
MOLOCCHIZE - to give organs of vision to small Italian burrowing mammals
YOLOCHIZE - to convert to a lifestyle of self-indulgence, on the grounds that "You Only Live Once"
MOLOCHEZEÂź - brand name for a new mild cheese-food spread
MEANING: verb tr.:
1. To occupy or govern in a domineering or aggressive manner.
2. To aggrandize oneself.
ETYMOLOGY: After NapolĂ©on Bonaparte (1769-1821), French general and emperor. Earliest documented use: 1822
NAPO-LEGO-NIZE - to make a kit of interlocking construction blocks that assembles into a statue of Napoleon
NAPOLEONITE - resident of an Ohio city, north of Lima and northeast of Florida
NaPALEONIZE - to turn into an old salt
MEANING: adjective: Capable of being revised, defeated, or annulled.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old French desfaire (to undo or destroy), from Latin dis- (apart, away) + facere (to do). Ultimately from the Indo-European root dhe- (to set or put), which is also the source of do, deed, factory, fashion, face, rectify, defeat, sacrifice, satisfy, Sanskrit sandhi (joining), Urdu purdah (veil or curtain), and Russian duma (council). Earliest documented use: 1586.
DEFLEASIBLE - those jumping parasites can be removed
DREFEASIBLE - it could be made into a good rap
DE-FENSIBLE - the protective wall can be removed (but that would make it less so)
MEANING: adjective: Charging excessive rates, especially for lending money.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin usus (use), past participle of uti (to use). Earliest documented use: 1610.
UXURIOUS - showering one's wife with richness and good things
USER-IOUS - addicted to the computer
USURPIOUS - power-hungry
MEANING: noun: Organisms that live at the bottom of a body of water.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek benthos (depth of the sea). Earliest documented use: 1891.
BENTHOS - Librium, Valium, etc, (if you lisp)
BENTHOSE - chordee
PENTHOS - one-time competitor to Playboy
BEN THOR - Modi or Magni
MEANING: noun: A ruler or manager.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin gerent, present participle of gerere (to manage). Earliest documented use: 1576.
IGERENT - manager of Disney Enterprises
DERENT - 1. remove from the rolls of available dwellings; 2. sew up
GERENTI - more than one gerentus
MEANING: noun: An inhabitant of the extreme north.
adjective: 1. Relating to the extreme north. 2. Very cold.
ETYMOLOGY: In Greek mythology, Hyperboreans were people living in a land of perpetual sunshine, beyond the reaches of north wind. The word is from Greek hyper- (beyond) + Boreas (the god of the north wind). Earliest documented use: 1601.
HYPARBOREAN - living above the treetops
HYPERBOLEAN - 1. living above the treetrunks; 2. exaggerated
HYPER-BORE-FAN - one who likes especially dull people
MEANING: adverb: In a clockwise direction.+
ETYMOLOGY: From Scottish Gaelic deiseil (righthandwise), from Middle Irish dessel, from Old Irish dess (right, south) + sel (turn). Earliest documented use: 1771.+
- a patsy used by the Drug Enforcement Agency to entrap the unsuspectingD,EASILY
- when you're going to pass the course, but only by the skin of your teeth TEASIL
- how you make a measle grow (see Sneezles, here
, about half-way down)
MEANING: adverb: At full gallop; at full speed.
noun: A fast gallop; rush.
interjection: A hunting cry by a hunter riding a horse at full speed.
ETYMOLOGY: Of obscure origin, perhaps from the sound of a galloping horseâs hooves. Earliest documented use: 1648.
TANTIFY - to give testimony that is inconclusive but intriguing
T'AINT IVY - disparaging dismissal of Stanford or Amherst or any number of other excellent schools because they're not Harvard or Princeton or Yale
TANT IV - the fourth member of the Tant dynasty
adverb: 1. Willingly; gladly.
adjective: 1. Pleased.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old English faegen (glad). Earliest documented use: 888.
AIN - (dial.) one
FLAIN - escaping (cf. fled, flown)
FARIN - (verb) makin one's way
MEANING: adverb: One part at a time; gradually.
adjective: Done in stages.
ETYMOLOGY: From Middle English pecemeale, from pece (piece) + mele, from Old English mael (fixed time). Earliest documented use: 1325.
PIERCEMEAL - what usually happens when you try to poke a rat in your flour bin
PIECEMETAL - 1. what you make armor out of; 2. a very coarse Nobel Prize
NIECEMEAL - luncheon with your sister's daughter
MEANING: adverb: In a counterclockwise, left-handed, or wrong direction.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old High German widar (back, against) + sin (direction). Earliest documented use: 1513. Also see deasil.
WIEDERSHINS - the back of the shins, i.e. the calves
BIDDERSHINS - what you kick when your partner is your competition at an auction
WIDDERSHINE - you might take this to a woman whose husband has died
WIDERSHINS - why you really have to wear bell-bottomed trousers
1. Awakening or arousing.
2. The state of being awakened or aroused.
From Latin expergefacere (to awaken), from expergisci (to become awake) + facere (to make or do). Earliest documented use: 1639.
EXPURGEFACTION - removing all traces of your former spouse
DEXPERGEFACTION - emphasizing all things right-leaning (compare "levo-pergefaction")
EXPERGEFICTION - Bowdlerization or censorship of a literary work
MEANING: noun: A livestock herder: a cowboy.
ETYMOLOGY: From Spanish vaquero (cowboy), from vaca (cow), from Latin vacca. Earliest documented use: 1826.
VAQIUERO - I want you to leave!
VAQUERY - Where is Richmond?
VAQUESO - goat-cheese
MEANING: adjective: Unleavened; unfermented.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin azymus (unleavened, uncorrupted), Greek azumos (unleavened). Earliest documented use: 1728.
LAZYMOUS - Mickey's slothful cousin
AZYMOUV - orthographically-challenged science-fiction writer
AZYGOUS - 1. without germ cells; 2. unary; not part of a pair [YCLIU!]
MEANING: noun: A beggar who pretends to be an out-of-luck sailor.
ETYMOLOGY: Apparently from whip (to flog) + jack (man, worker). Earliest documented use: 1556.
SHIPJACK - the pennant or flag flown from a vessel's tallest mast to indicate its allegiance (e.g., the Union Jack for Britain)
WHIPJOCK - a rider who habitually beats the horse to try to make it go faster
WHIPLACK - what makes Indiana Jones powerless
MEANING: adjective: Salable; marketable.
noun: Something that can be sold.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin vendere, from venum (sale). Ultimately from the Indo-European root wes- (to buy), which is also the source of vend, bazaar, vilify, venal, and monopsony. Earliest documented use: 1384.
(Good that this is a Friday word, i.e. "Vendredi" ! )
VENDIBULE - a kiosk in the forecourt
ENDIBLE - unlike most Beethoven symphonies
VERDIBLE - capable of being made into an opera
MEANING: noun: One who displays contempt for the law, especially in minor violations, such as failure to pay parking tickets.
ETYMOLOGY: A combination of scoff (to mock), from Middle English scof + law, from Old English lagu, from Old Norse (lagu), plural of lag (something laid or fixed). Earliest documented use: 1924.
NOTES: Itâs not often that a word coined as a result of a competition becomes part of the language, but scofflaw did. In 1924, during Prohibition, banker Delcevare King of Quincy, Massachusetts announced a contest to coin a word to describe âa lawless drinkerâ. The prize was $200 in gold (about $5,000 today). Of the more than 25,000 entries that poured in, coinages such as wetocrat, violist, boozshevic lost out to the scofflaw...
SCOW-FLAW - why the garbage boat sank
SCUFFLAW - Thou shalt have Unblemished Shoes
SCOFFLA - make fun of Hollywood
MEANING: noun: One who spoils the enjoyment of others.
ETYMOLOGY: Perhaps from Old English cyllan (to kill) + Old French joie/joye (joy), from Latin gaudium (joy), from gaudere (rejoice). Earliest documented use: 1776.
ILLJOY - hypochondria
KILOJOY - a whole lot of uppers
KRILLJOY - a post-prandial baleen whale
Kilnjoy- Rosina Leckermaul's Woodland Delight
Pilljoy- pain killer
MEANING: noun: A doctor, especially a surgeon.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old English saga (to cut with a saw) + ban (bone). Earliest documented use: 1837.
AWBONES - what a disappointing fillet
JAWBONES - how Samson made an ass of the Philistines
SOW BONES - how to grow skeletons
MEANING: noun: One who ruins other peopleâs enjoyment.
ETYMOLOGY: From spoil, from Old French espoille, from Latin spoliare (to rob), from spolium (booty, skin, hide) + sport, from disport (diversion), from Old French desport, from desporter, from des (away) + porter (to carry), from Latin portare (to carry). Earliest documented use: 1801.
'S POOL SPORT - water polo
SPOILS PORE - how acne begins
SOIL SPORT - two-year-olds making mud-pies
1. A fearless person.
2. A battleship armed with all heavy guns.
3. A thick cloth.
4. A warm garment made of thick cloth.
5. A type of acoustic guitar with a large body and loud sound.
ETYMOLOGY: Literally âfear nothingâ, from dread (fear), from Old English adraedan, ondraedan (fear) + nought (nothing), from naught, from na (no) + wiht (thing). Earliest documented use: 1573.
NOTES: Sense 1 is inspired from the 1573 English ship Dreadnought.
Sense 2 & 5 are from the 1906 battleship HMS Dreadnought which had heavy guns.
Sense 3 & 4 are from heavy garments worn on ships to protect from the elements.
BREADNOUGHT - can't afford even a crumb
DREADNOUGAT - I hate those chewy candies
READNOUGHT - illiterate
MEANING: adjective: Having contradictory thoughts about something or someone.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin ambi- (both) + valent (having a valence), from Latin valere (to be strong). Ultimately from the Indo-European root wal- (to be strong) that also gave us valiant, avail, valor, value, wieldy, countervail, valence, valetudinarian, and valorize. Earliest documented use: 1916. Being polyvalent is not an extreme version of ambivalent.
IAMBIVALENT - 1. I can react in two different ways;
BAMBIVALENT - can't make up his mind whether he likes the story of the orphaned baby deer, or not
AMBIVOLENT - tending to jump into an airplane and fly off in all directions
1. A hearty eater.
2. A hanger-on; parasite.
ETYMOLOGY: From trencher (a flat piece of wood on which food is served or carved), from Old French trenchier (to cut), from Latin truncare (to lop). Earliest documented use: 1590.
TRENCHGERMAN - un Boche
TREACHERMAN - Marvel's newest antihero; his super-power is betrayal
FRENCHERMAN - un Poilu
MEANING: adjective: Shrill; making a harsh grating sound.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin stridere (to make a harsh sound). Earliest documented use: 1843.
STRID-U-LAST - I was the last one to stride you, and now you're "it"
STRIDULART - graphic designs produced by a small strid
STRIDE, LANT - walk up boldly, then urinate in the beer
MEANING noun: A sophisticated man; a man belonging to fashionable society.
adjective: Worldly; fashionable.
ETYMOLOGY: From French mondain (socialite), from Latin mundus (world). Earliest documented use: 1833.
MONDRAIN - dyslexic painter of black-outlined rectangles filled with primary colors
MONDARIN - my 60s pop-singer (Mack the Knife, Splish-Splash and others)
MONDAIC - complaining because it's the first workday of the week
1. Without guile; sincere; simple.
2. Free of artificiality.
3. Lacking art or skill.
ETYMOLOGY: From art, from Latin ars (art) + less, from Old English leas (without). Earliest documented use: 1586.
TARTLESS - what the Queen was, after the Knave of Hearts stopped by
ARTLENS - lets you see the paintings better
ARTLOSS - "The Mona Lisa has been stolen!"
MEANING: verb tr.: To make antiseptic.
ANAGRAM: listerize = sterilize
ETYMOLOGY: Coined after Joseph Lister (1827-1912) surgeon and a pioneer of antiseptic medicine. Earliest documented use: 1888. Besides this word, some other things named after Joseph Lister are Listerine (originally a surgical antiseptic), the bacterial genus Listeria, and the slime mold genus Listerella.
LOSTERIZE (anagram: ZOSTERILE) - afflicted by re-activated Herpes zoster virus causing shingles obscuring the cornea, and therefore unable to see
(BTW, purists would reserve the word "anagram" for this kind of self-defining rearrangement. What you and I call an anagram, they would call a "transposal.")
LISZTERIE - anything composed by Franz Liszt
LISTPRIZE - what you get for paying the full amount for something
MEANING: adjective: Praising or admiring slavishly.
ANAGRAM: adulatory = laudatory
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin adulari (to flatter, to fawn upon, like a dog wagging its tail). Earliest documented use: 1587.
ODULATORY (anagram: LOUDATORY) - high-decibel speech after too much low-alcohol beer
ADULTORY - hanky-panky on the Conservative side of the aisle
ADULSTORY - the kind you have to put down after reading the first three pages
MEANING: noun: 1. Foolish, excited, or incoherent chatter.
2. A murmuring sound, for example of flowing water.
verb intr.: 1. To talk excitedly, excessively, or incomprehensibly.
2. To make a murmuring sound, as flowing water.
verb tr.: 1. To say something rapidly, excitedly, or incoherently.
2. To reveal something confidential carelessly.
ANAGRAM: babbled = blabbed
ETYMOLOGY: Probably from the repetition of the syllable ba, which occurs in a childâs early speech. Earliest documented use: 1250. The word babel (as in the Tower of Babel) has nothing to do with babbling or blabbing.
BABY LE - identifying a Vietnamese infant (anagam: BABELY)
B-ab BLUE - the color of a ÎČ-antibody
B-ABLE - worth a better grade than C, but not much
1. The transposition of letters, sounds, or syllables in a word. Example: aks for ask.
2. In chemistry, double decomposition.
ANAGRAM: metathesis = Itâs the same.
ETYMOLOGY: Via Latin from Greek metatithenai (to transpose), from meta- (among, after) + tithenai (to place). Earliest documented use: 1538.
MEGATHESIS - biggest damn dissertation ever! (anagram: GAME HEISTS)
MUTATHESIS - tendency to change
GETATHESIS - state your conjecture (anagram: ASSET EIGHT)
MEANING: verb intr.: To babble or to cry.
ANAGRAM: blate = bleat
ETYMOLOGY: For verb: Apparently an alteration of bleat, whose earlier pronunciation rhymed with the word great. Earliest documented use: 1878.
For adjective: From Scots blate (timid, sheepish). Earliest documented use: 1000.
BLOATE - obs. to become distended with gas (anagram: OBLATE)
BLATTE - (German, pl. of Blat) paper pages (anagram TABLET)
LbLATE - the pounds you inexorably acquire as you age (anti-gram*: BALLET)
*The opposite of an anagram: where an anagram is self-defining, an antigram is opposite-defining)
MEANING: noun: A member of a gang; a henchman.
ETYMOLOGY: Coined by Anthony Burgess in A Clockwork Orange, from Russian drug (friend). Earliest documented use: 1962.
DROHOG - a salt-water mollusc, native to islands in the North Atlantic
DROOGI - a pastry to be enjoyed with coffee
DRONG - a genetically modified pet, bred for strength
MEANING: adjective: Conspicuously obvious or offensive.
ETYMOLOGY: Coined by the poet Edmund Spenser (1552/1553-1599) in his epic poem The Faerie Queene, perhaps from Latin blatire (to chatter). Earliest documented use: 1596.
LA TANT - the one who owns la plum
BLEATANT - a ewe's sister (see also BAATANT)
(EWE TANT = former UN Secretary-General)
BLOATANT - full of gas (see also FLATANT)
HOTSY-TOTSY (also HOTSIE-TOTSIE)
PRONUNCIATION: (HOT-see TOT-see)
1. Just right; perfect.
2. Haughty; pretentious.
ETYMOLOGY: Coined by the cartoonist Billy DeBeck (1892-1942), famed for his comic strip Barney Google and Snuffy Smith. Earliest documented use: early 1920s. Another of his coinages that has found a place in English language dictionaries is heebie-jeebies.
HOOTSY-TOOTSY - traffic-jam of Bumper-Cars
BOTSY-TOTSY - Artificial Intelligence being playful
HOTSY-ROTSY - college Officers-in-Training in full dress uniform
MEANING: adjective: Very angry.
ETYMOLOGY: Coined by Lewis Carroll as a blend of fuming and furious in the poem Jabberwocky in the book Through the Looking-Glass. Earliest documented use: 1871.
FRUMP IOUs - dowdy old-fashioned statements of indebtedness
ARUMIOUS - like a lily, with a pungent odor
FORUMIOUS - tending to form large committees
MEANING: noun: 1. A pointless project funded as a political favor.
2. A holiday trip to an exotic location, disguised as a business trip.
3. Braided cord, made of plastic strips, fabric, etc.
verb intr.: 1. To do useless or trivial work.
2. To go on a business trip in which the real purpose is relaxation or fun.
3. To braid plastic strips, fabric, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: Coined by scoutmaster Robert H. Link. Earliest documented use: 1929.
NOTES: The original boondoggle was a braided cord made by Boy Scouts. In 1935, a New York Times article quoted someone criticizing a New Deal program to train jobless to make handicrafts as a boondoggle. Since then this sense of the word has become more common.
[noun (sense 3) is also known as "gimp," at least in parts of New England]
BOOND-OGLE - a leer from 007 Agent Jaames
BOONTOGGLE - the wish-granting switch
BOON-FOGGLE - a miasm on the far-flung marshes
MEANING: noun: A social gathering, typically involving folk music, dancing, and storytelling.
ETYMOLOGY: From Scottish Gaelic ceilidh and Irish cĂ©lidhe (visit), from Old Irish cĂ©ile (companion). Ultimately from the Indo-European root kei- (to lie, bed, dear), which also gave us city, cemetery, Sanskrit shiva, and incunabulum. Earliest documented use: 1875.
CEIPIDH - peeling potatoes, washing dishes, etc, in the Army (pronunciation: KAY-pee)
CEILISH - like a large salt-water mammal (pron. SEAL-ish)
1. a piece of plaster falling from the top of the room (pron: SEEL-ide)
2. the tide was much higher than I expected (pron: SEA-lied)
MEANING: noun: Soundness of mind, as expressed in moderation, self-control, and prudence.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek sophrosyne, from sophron (of sound mind, prudent). Earliest documented use: 1889
SOPHROSYNC - getting the timing right with the moderation, self-control, and prudence
SOPHOSYNE - second-year student, nostalgiacally speaking
SOPOROSYNE - a yawn
PRONUNCIATION: (SEG-way, SAY-gway)
MEANING: verb intr.: To make a smooth transition from one section or topic to another, in conversation, music, film. etc.
noun: A smooth transition from one section or topic to another.
ETYMOLOGY: From segue (there follows), third-person singular present of seguire (to follow), from Latin sequi (to follow). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sekw- (to follow), which also gave us sect, sequel, sue, suit, suite, execute, and society. Earliest documented use: 1740.
SEAGUE - when you get an ache and fever on the cruise to Bermuda
SENGUE - expression of gratefulness; the common response is "Yer welcome!"
SEQUE - 1. search for (pron. SÄK)
2. ham radio operator's call signal, meaning "Is anybody lisening? Please respond" (pron. SEE-KEW}
PRONUNCIATION: (ohr DERV)
MEANING: noun: An extra little dish outside of and smaller than the main course, usually served first.
ETYMOLOGY: From French hors (outside of), oeuvre (job or work). Earliest documented use: 1715.
HORSE OEUVRE - pulling a plow
HORS D'OUVRE - going around rather than opening; circumventing
SHOR'S D'OEUVRE - famed NYC restaurant, frequented by celebrities
PRONUNCIATION: (HAY-puh-nee, HAP-nee)
plural halfpence (HAY-puhns)
MEANING: noun: 1. A British coin representing half a penny.
2. A sum of half a penny.
adjective: 1. Worth half a penny.
2. Worth very little.
ETYMOLOGY: From Middle English halfpeny, from Old English h(e)alf + penig, penning. Earliest documented use: 1330.
_________________________________ALF P. ENNY
- Alfred P Doolittle's step-brotherHALF-PEONY
- a haploid flower of the genus PaeoniaHALPEN, NY
- a family with roots in Keuka Falls (in the Finger-Lakes region of upstate New York)
MEANING: noun: A fear of being alone.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek mono- (one) + -phobia (fear). Earliest documented use: 1880.
MINOPHOBIA - fear of Cretan kings who sacrifice teenagers to monsters in labyrinths
MONOPHIBIA - having only one bone in the lower legs
ONOPHOBIA - fear of hearing bad news
MEANING: noun: An abnormal craving for food.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek sito- (grain, food) + -mania (excessive enthusiasm or craze). Earliest documented use: 1882. The opposite is sitophobia.
SINEMANIA - abnormal fixation on movies
SINOMANIA - an abnormal fixation of things Chinese
SITHOMANIA - an abnormal fixation on Star Wars villains
PSITOMANIA - 1. an abnormal fixation on parrots; 2. an abnormal fixation on ESP
PRONUNCIATION: (ai-loor-uh-FOH-bee-uh, ay-)
MEANING: noun: A fear of cats.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek ailuro- (cat) + phobia (fear). Earliest documented use: 1905.
MAILUROPHOBIA - fear of getting prostate cancer
AXILUROPHOBIA - fear of armpits
ALLUROPHOBIA - fear of being attractive
ABLUROPHOBIA - My eyes! I can't see!
PRONUNCIATION: (py-roh-MAY-nee-uh, -MAYN-yuh)
MEANING: noun: An obsessive impulse to start fires.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek pyro- (fire) + -mania (excessive enthusiasm or craze). Earliest documented use: 1840.
PROMANIA - I'm just wild about professionals...
PYGOMANIA - ...and fascinated by backsides
PO ROMANIA - the river and the European country it doesn't flow through
MEANING: noun: A fear of being in a confined place or a restrictive situation.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin claustrum (lock, bolt, confined place) + -phobia (fear). Earliest documented use: 1879. The opposite is agoraphobia.
CLASSTROPHOBIA - fear of being the best of one's kind
CLUSTROPHOBIA - fear of being part of a bunch
CLAUSTROPHOBIA - fear of being the World's Best Santa
Pyromanina- hot little hands
PyromaniĂ±a - seĂ±orita with a hot temper ?
Plato is my friend â Aristotle is my friend â but my greatest friend is truth. If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants...
Claustrophibia- Musculskeletal stress. (When the tibia is broken it may cause edema. In some cases claustrophibia occurs.)
I came across Che Gelida Manina
recently during a project on The Three Tenors. Timing.
MEANING: noun: The trail of scent that lingers behind from a perfume; also, the degree to which it lingers.
ETYMOLOGY: From French sillage (wake, trail). Earliest documented use: early 1800s.
ILLAGE - the total amount of time spent being sick
SILLRAGE - uncontrollable fury at seeing dead insects right outside your window
SILTAGE - all that fine dirt clogging the harbor (see also FILLAGE)
Snillage- the effect of kindness and helpfulness
MEANING: noun: A system ruled by men.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin andro- (male), from Greek + -cracy (rule). Earliest documented use: 1903.
ADDOCRACY - government by accretion (see also ANDOCRACY)
AND/ORCRACY - government that goes two steps forward, one step back
ANY-ROCRACY - government at random
MANDROCRACY - you don't really want me to explain that, now do you?
MEANING: noun: An arboretum of coniferous trees such as pines.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin pinetum (pine grove), from pinus (pine). Earliest documented use: 1828
SPINETUM - a place where small upright pianos are grown
OPINETUM - a place where opinions are thoughtfully digested
PRINETUM - very poorly pronounced Springtime in Paris
PINEMUM - a late-fall-flowering conifer
MEANING: noun: Someone who is very fond of teddy bears or collects them.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek arctos (bear) + -phile (lover). Earliest documented use: 1970.
ARC-TOP-TILE - cover your bathroom floor with the image of rainbows
ARCHOPHILE - lover of the Place d'Ătoile in Paris
ARCTOCHILE - the coldest region in South America
MEANING: noun: Work of little value, devised mainly to keep someone busy.
ETYMOLOGY: From make, from Old English macian (to make) + work, from Old English worc (work). Earliest documented use: 1911.
FAKE-WORK - like Wally in Dilbert
MANE-WORK - currying a horse
MAKE-WOK - manufacture Chinese cooking utensil
MAGE-WORK - spellcasting
1. A flexible, adaptable organization that lacks a formal structure.
2. An organization characterized by lack of planning, responding to problems as they emerge rather than anticipating and avoiding them.
ETYMOLOGY: Coined by Warren Bennis and Philip Slater in their book The Temporary Society. From Latin ad hoc (for this, i.e. for a particular purpose only) + -cracy (rule). Earliest documented use: 1966.
MADHOCRACY - government by jumping on a horse and riding off in all directions
ADHOCRACE - quick runoff after an elected official retires unexpectedly
A.B.HOCRACY - government by Bachelors of Arts
1. An element of culture, idea, behavior, etc., thatâs transmitted from person to person.
2. An image, video clip, etc. often with amusing caption, thatâs transmitted virally on the Internet.
From Greek mimeisthai (to imitate, copy); coined by the biologist Richard Dawkins in his book The Selfish Gene in 1976.
MOME - the kind of rath often found grabing out
MEMSE - a Parisian describing a borogove
MEMES- The sound of children waving their hands and begging to be called upon
1. Practicing abstinence from alcohol.
2. Total; absolute.
ETYMOLOGY: Coined by Richard Turner of Preston, England, in a speech calling for total abstinence, apparently as an emphatic form of the word total. Earliest documented use: 1833.
TWEETOTAL - utterly and unbearably cute, dainty, and quaint
TEYTOTAL - eight (the number of detective stories published by Elizabeth Mackintosh under her pseudonym)
FEE TO TAL - amount for Soviet chess champion Mikhial to play
MEANING: noun: Ignorant or uncultured people regarded as a class.
ETYMOLOGY: Coined by H.L. Mencken, as a blend of boob (a stupid person) + bourgeoisie (the middle class), from French bourgeois, from Latin burgus (fortress, fortified town). Earliest documented use: 1922.
BOOBO I SEE - Send In the Clowns
BO OBOISTE - Ms Derek really rocks on the double-reeds
BOOBO ISLE - colony for exiled victims of the Plague
Boo!poisie- Suprise poetry, read with a musical-aire
BOO, BOISE - Happy Halloween, all you folks in Idaho!
MEANING: noun: The study of human settlements, drawing on such disciplines as city planning, architecture, sociology, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: Coined by Constantinos A. Doxiadis (1913-1975), Greek architect and urban planner, from Greek oikistikos (of settlement), from oikizein (to settle), from oikos (house). Earliest documented use: 1968.
EEKISTICS - the study of mice
EXISTICS - the study of being
E-LISTICS - high-falutin' name for programming in LISP (name derived from LISt Processing)
Epistics- the quantifiable likelihood that there will be an adrenal medullary secretory response to stimulation of the medulla oblongata
Epistics- what mama knows
PRONUNCIATION: (blak dog)
MEANING: noun: Depression.
ETYMOLOGY: In the beginning, a black dog was a canine of dark complexion. Then it started to be used metaphorically to refer to a counterfeit coin, perhaps because such a coin was made of base metals (instead of silver or gold) that turn black over time. Eventually, the term began to be applied to depression. The lexicographer Samuel Johnson used the term in the 1780s for his own depression: âWhen I rise my breakfast is solitary, the black dog waits to share it, from breakfast to dinner he continues barking.â In modern times, Winston Churchill popularized the term when he used it to describe his own depression. Earliest documented use: 1665.
BLANK DOG - catatonia
BRACK DOG - an old salt
BACK DOG - a second Rottweiler, to guard the rear of the house
Slack Dog- one who does yoga
Block Dog- one who walks around the block once or twice
Brack Dog- one who is stupid, worthless, no good, goddamn, freeloading so of a birch. (With apologies, The Breakfast Club reference.)
MEANING: noun: A gullible or credulous person.
ETYMOLOGY: From French gobe-mouche (flycatcher, sucker), from gober (to suck or swallow) + mouche (fly). Earliest documented use: 1818.
GOBETOUCHĂ - throw your fencing match
GOOBEMOUCHE - peanut butter
GO BEM OUCH - Take that, you Bug-Eyed Monster!
1. A daydreamer or absent-minded person.
2. A fool or simpleton.
3. A congenitally deformed person.
ETYMOLOGY: From the earlier belief that a misshapen birth was a result of the effects of the moon. Earliest documented use: 1565.
MUONCALF - a kind of young bovine lepton, specifically with a charge of -1 and a spin of 1/2
MOONHALF - the left butt-cheek (or the right, if you prefer)
MONCALF - the back of my lower jambe
PRONUNCIATION: (PORK bar-uhl)
MEANING: noun: The spending of government funds on projects designed to ingratiate legislators with their constituents.
ETYMOLOGY: In the beginning, a pork barrel was a barrel for storing pork. Over time, it became synonymous with ready supply of money, and eventually with government projects or appropriations designed to please voters. Sometimes, the term is used, simply, as pork, instead of pork barrel. Earliest documented use: 1705.
PERK BARREL - like a job jar, only in reverse: stick in your hand and pull out a benefit (compare WORK BARREL)
FORK BARREL - eating utensils enough for the whole city
PORK BARBEL - what pigs use for strength-training
1. A horse-racing enthusiast.
2. A spectator at a contest.
3. An observer who offers uninvited advice or criticism.
ETYMOLOGY: A railbird is someone who watches horse races or training sessions from the railing along the track. Bird is slang for a person with a specific character, a peculiar person. Earliest documented use: 1793.
GRAILBIRD - one whose life is devoted to the search for the Holy
RAINBIRD - a totem of the Kwakiutl Indians of the Pacific Northwest, who brings water to the forests
RAILBIN RD - a road named for the storage yard it originally led to
MEANING: noun: A mental illness characterized by delusional fantasies of greatness, wealth, power, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek megal- (large, great) + Latin -mania (excessive enthusiasm or craze). Earliest documented use: 1885.
MEGANOMANIA - to be so agog about the Prince Harry's fiancĂ©e that you can't even spell her name
MEGA-LOAM-ANIA - i"m gonna have the best lawn ever when I put down all this great soil
MEDALOMANIA - an irrational drive to attain Eagle Scout
MEGALOMANGIA - a feast for the Emperor of Rome
Smegalomania- excessive enthusiasm for the ring
Regalomania- excessively entertaining or entertained
MEANING: adjective: Having a thin skin.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek lepto- (thin) + -dermous (skin). Earliest documented use: 1888. The opposite is pachydermous.
LEAPTODERMOUS - jumping out of one's own skin
LEPTODERMOUSE - Mickey, you've lost weight!
SLEPT-ODER-MOUS - snoozing small rodent on the river
'leptodormous- a sleep talker ("Of course, of course; just what I was going to remark myself.")
Just as long as he doesn't charge us 10/6 for that...
MEANING: adjective: Causing or produced by decay.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek sapro- (rotten) + -genic (producing). Earliest documented use: 1876.
SAPOROGENIC - giving rise to a Japanese Winter Olympics site
SAPROENIC - causing wine to turn to vinegar
'SPROGENIC - 's not antigenic (so it doesn't stimulate allergies)
'sprogenic- in support of aphaeresis
(even though I had an adverse stem cell reaction)
Just as long as he doesn't charge us 10/6 for that...
MEANING: adjective: Able to survive outside a host (as some bacteria and other parasites do).
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek ecto- (outside) + -genous (producing). Earliest documented use: 1883.
ECTOGENROUS - sharing one's wealth with the outside environment (see also ECOGENROUS)
ECTOGELOUS - with an external coating of Jell-O
PECTOGENOUS - for enlarging the female bust
MEANING: adjective: Capable of causing cancer.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek carcino- (cancer) + -genic (producing). Earliest documented use: 1916.
CALCINOGENIC- producing calcium deposits
CHARCINOGENIC - why you shouldn't eat VERY-very-well-done beef
CARCINOGENIE - See, this crab found an old lamp on the beach, and rubbed it, and...
1. Of or relating to Thomas Hobbes or his ideas.
2. Grim, selfish, unrestrained, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: After English philosopher and author Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), who in his book Leviathan displayed a grim, dog-eat-dog view of human nature. Earliest documented use: 1776.
HOBBESICAN - Calvin's declaration of quiet confidence
HOBOESIAN - like a vagrant
HOBBLESIAN - limping
1. Affected writing style.
2. Banter, especially of flirtatious nature.
ETYMOLOGY: After the French novelist Pierre de Marivaux (1688-1763), known for the verbal preciousness of his romantic comedies. Earliest documented use: 1765.
MARIV ADAGE - a pithy saying about evening in Jerusalem
MARDI VAUDAGE - Tuesday's nonsense
MARI VEAUDAGE - my husband can't talk about anything but veal
MEANING: noun: A literary style marked by extravagant imagery, elaborate metaphors, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: After the Italian poet Giovanni Battista Marino (1569-1625). Earliest documented use: 1867.
DARINISM - making everything you sing sound like "Mack the Knife"
MARTINISM - seven parts gin to one part vermouth, plus an olive, in a small glass, please
MARIANISM - 1. insisting on having a certified librarian;
2. hasn't been a really good contralto since Ms. Anderson
MEANING: adjective: Of or relating to Miguel de Cervantes, especially his satirizing of the chivalric romances.
ETYMOLOGY: After the Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616), best known for Don Quixote. Earliest documented use: 1760. Many of Cervantesâs characters have also become eponyms.
SERVANTIC - below-stairs shenannigans
CURVANTIC - what a good pitcher can make a baseball do
FERVANTIC - Portmanteau word, combining fervent and frantic
MEANING: adjective: Of or relating to the work of H.P. Lovecraft: terrifyingly monstrous and otherworldly.
ETYMOLOGY: After H.P. Lovecraft (1870-1937), writer of fantasy and horror fiction. Earliest documented use: 1940s
DOVECRAFTIAN - pacifistic
LONECRAFTIAN - always acting independently and without companion
LOVECRAFT? I CAN! - reply to the question "Who can teach me the art of a courtesan?"
Believe it or not metanoia
been discussed in this forum previously (if briefly). See here
MEANING: noun: A profound transformation in oneâs outlook.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek metanoia (a change of mind), from metanoein (to change oneâs mind). Earliest documented use: 1577.
- the sense of persecution that accompanies amphetamine useMETHANOIA (2)
- certainty that cow flatulence is omnipresent...and deliberateMELANOIA
- the conviction that one is going to die from a sun-related skin cancer
PRONUNCIATION: m (krem-no-FO-bee-uh)
MEANING: noun: A fear of precipices or cliffs.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin cremnos (overhanging cliff) + -phobia (fear). Earliest documented use: 1903.
CREMONOPHOBIA - fear of a northern Italian city
CREAM? NO! PHOBIA - fear of drinking coffee with anything in it
CEREMONOPHOBIA - adherence to ritual is the way to avoid fear; or, adherence to ritual causes fear. Can be read either way, depending on which side of the bed you got up on!
(yes, I know it has two additional letters, not just one)
MEANING: noun: Government by the mob; mob rule.
ETYMOLOGY: From Middle French ochlocratie (mob rule), from Greek ochlokratia (mob rule), from ochlos (mob) + -kratia (-cracy, rule). Earliest documented use: 1594.
OCHOCRACY - government by a Council of Eight
OCHS-OCRACY - government by a former New York Times publisher
OCCHIOCRACY - government by pun-loving voters ("the eyes have it")
(two changes in this one, also. Sorry; too tempting not to include!)
MEANING: noun: The tendency of things, beliefs, etc., to change into their opposites.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek enantio- (opposite) + dromos (running). Earliest documented use: 1917.
EVANTIODROMIA - The answer to "Uncle Dromia, Âżcomo se llama el Senor Hunter que escribiĂł 'The Blackboard Jungle'?"
ENFANTIODROMIA - one who likes little French kids
ENANXIODROMIA - tending to display one's innermost fears
PRONUNCIATION: (noun: OB-vuhrs, adjective: ob-VUHRS)
MEANING: noun: 1. The side of a coin, medal, etc. that has the main design.
2. The front or the principal side of anything.
3. A counterpart to something.
adjective: 1. Facing the observer.
2. Serving as a counterpart to something.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin obvertere (to turn toward), from ob- (toward) + vertere (to turn). Ultimately from the Indo-European root wer- (to turn or bend), which is also the source of words such as wring, weird, writhe, worth, revert, and universe. Earliest documented use: 1656.
NOTES: The front of a coin is called the obverse, the other side is the reverse. The obverse is also termed as the head because the front typically portrays the head of someone famous. The reverse side is known as the tail even though it doesnât show the tail of that famous person.
JOBVERSE - all conceivable opportunities for gainful employment
SOBVERSE - tragic poetry
OB VERNE - Jules' brother, the obstetrician
Why "elutriate"? Why not plain old "elute"?
verb tr.: To purify or separate, especially by washing or by straining.
From Latin elutriare (to wash out). Earliest documented use: 1731.
ELUCTRIATE - avoidable
ELUTRIAGE - using a filter to decide what's a goner, what's treatable, and what'll be OK without further intervention
ELUTHIATE - to saturate something with sulfur by passing it through a column of special resin
MELUTRIATE - to seprate honey into three portions
MEANING: verb tr.:
1. To put into difficulties.
2. To limit or restrict.
3. To make narrow.
ETYMOLOGY:From Old French estreit, from Latin strictus, past participle of stringere (to bind, draw tight). Ultimately from Indo-European root streig- (to stroke or press), which is also the source of strike, streak, strict, stress, and strain. Earliest documented use: 1552.
STRAPITEN - what you do after you place your kid in the carseat
STRANTEN - city in northeastern Prensylwania
STRAYTEN - perfect, but wandering
MEANING: verb tr.: To turn so as to show a different side.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin obvertere (to turn toward), from ob- (toward) + vertere (to turn). Ultimately from the Indo-European root wer- (to turn or bend), which is also the source of words such as wring, weird, writhe, worth, revert, and universe. Earliest documented use: 1583.
JOBVERT - to sabotage your employer
OBVENT - a surgical drain placed after a Caesarian section
OBERT - what Nan Bobbsey says to her twin brother in exasperation
MEANING: verb intr.:
1. To be about to happen; to loom.
2. To threaten or menace.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin impendere (to hang over), from in- (towards, upon) + pendere (hang). Ultimately from the Indo-European root (s)pen- (to draw, to spin), which is also the source of pendulum, spider, pound, pansy, pendant, ponder, appendix, penthouse, depend, and spontaneous vilipend, filipendulous, perpend, equipoise, pendulous, and pensive. Earliest documented use: 1627.
ISPEND - using Apple-pay much too much
LIMPEND - what you get when you dip the last quarter-inch of a piece of spaghetti into boiling water
HIMPEND - Good news, Honey, the ultrasound says we're having a boy!
MEANING: verb tr.: To give up an office or a position; to dismiss.
verb intr.: To resign.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old French demettre, from Latin demittere (to dismiss, relinquish, send away), from dis- (away) + mittere (to send). Earliest documented use: 1529.
DREMIT - the rapper pays his bill
DAMIT - 1. to tell beavers to obstruct a stream; 2. to swear at them afterwards
DEIT - what a dyslexic does to lose weight
DEFIT - to make one's clothes saggy-baggy (see DEIT above)
1. A benign tumor of the skin.
2. A large overcrowded city.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old English wen (tumor, wart). Ultimately from the Indo-European root wen- (to beat or wound), which also gave us the word wound. Earliest documented use: 1000.
NOTES: In 1822, William Cobbett, farmer, pamphleteer, journalist, MP, and a champion of rural England, nicknamed the rapidly growing London, The Great Wen.
iWEN - a benign tumor of the thumb, caused by excessive texting
SEN - half of a tiny licorice-flavored mouth-freshening lozenge, no longer made
WENU - 1. what you see if you look at the list of restaurant offerings upside down; 2. (French) past participle of WENIR
MEANING: verb intr.: To scatter out, spill, or disperse.
verb tr.: To dismiss or to disband an assembly, group, etc.
noun: A scattering or dispersal.
ETYMOLOGY: Of Scottish or Scandinavian origin. Earliest documented use: 1300.
SKAIRL - sound made by an Irish bagpipe
U. S. KAIL - American-grown leafy-green vegetable
ASKAIL - one more question and you're gonna get it...
MEANING: verb tr., intr.: To turn, swing, or slide in a particular direction.
noun: Such a turn, swing, or slide.
ETYMOLOGY: Of unknown origin. Earliest documented use: 1860.
'S LUES - "it's syphilis," elided
ST. LUE - city in eastern Missouri, for short
SULUE - it was a woman at the helm of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701
MEANING: verb tr.: To endure or suffer.
adjective: Tedious or dreary.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old English dreogan. Earliest documented use: before 1000.
NOTES: The word is sometimes seen in the phrase âto dree oneâs weirdâ, meaning to endure oneâs fate.
DREE - poet cummings got an honorary degree from his alma mater
DOEE - he who has been done unto
DREM - 1. Dorothy's aunt graduated from medical school;
2. Rapid-Eye-Movements during deep sleep, that rotate to the right
MEANING: noun: 1. A streak mark raised on the skin, as by a whip.
2. One of the series of ribs in a fabric such as corduroy.
3. A plank along the side of a wooden ship.
4. A horizontal band or strip, for example, around a woven basket.
verb tr.: 1. To mark with wales.
2. To fasten or secure.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old English walu (mark of a lash). Earliest documented use: 1024.
WABE - what to gyre and gimble in
WADLE - what infants in diapers do in warm calm shallow waters (portmanteau of waddle and wade)
WALET - to carry your dolars in
MEANING: noun: The study of body movements, such as gestures or facial expressions, as a form of communication.
ETYMOLOGY: Coined by the anthropologist Ray Birdwhistell (1918-1994). From Greek kinesis (motion), from kinein (to move). Earliest documented use: 1952.
KINESICK - I have arthritis of the tibia, and my ACL ain't too good either
KINESIBS - the calves are twins
DINESICS - supper is served just after 5:55
MEANING: noun: 1. One who believes that the existence of god is unknown or unknowable.
2. One who is noncommittal about something.
adjective: 1. Believing that the existence of god is unknown or unknowable.
3. Compatible with many platforms: not limited to a particular software, technology, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: Coined by the biologist Thomas Henry Huxley in 1869. From Greek a- (not) + gnosis (knowledge). Ultimately from the Indo-European root gno- (to know), which also gave us knowledge, prognosis, ignore, narrate, normal, know, can, notorious, notice, connoisseur, recognize, diagnosis, ignore, annotate, noble, narrate, anagnorisis (the moment of recognition), prosopagnosia (inability to recognize faces), and gnomon (raised arm of a sundial). Earliest documented use: 1869.
AGRO-STIC - a primitive plow
Ag-NOSIC - I know there's silver in this mine; I can just smell it!
WAGNOSTIC - eschew the philosophy of Theodore Roosevelt; correlate of "Speak loudly!"
PRONUNCIATION: (GOO-gol, -guhl)
MEANING: noun: A number equivalent to 1 followed by 100 zeros (10^100).
ETYMOLOGY: Coined by Milton Sirotta, nine-year-old nephew of the mathematician Edward Kasner. Earliest documented use: 1940.
GOĂDOL - a very large number, but incomplete
MOOGOL - head of a large dairy conglomerate
GOOGNOL - a grand British Punch-and-Judy show
*a googolplex is 10^googol, i.e. 1 followed by a googol zeroes
MEANING: noun: The unique essence of a person, place, or thing, especially as expressed in a work of art such as a poem.
ETYMOLOGY: Coined by the poet and priest Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) who, in turn, was inspired by the philosopher Duns Scotus (c. 1266-1308). Earliest documented use: 1868.
INSHAPE - the form of your concavity
INSCOPE - elected politicians deal with adversity
GINSCAPE - how the world looks after you've had too many martinis
MEANING: noun: A short description of a creative work, such as a book, film, etc. used for promotional purposes.
verb tr.: To write a brief description of a creative work.
ETYMOLOGY: coined by Gelett Burgess (1866-1951) for promoting his book Are You a Bromide?. The dust jacket of this book featured a Miss Belinda Blurb singing its praises. Earliest documented use: 1914
BOURB - a preferred drink for some, on current foreshortened lingo
BLURE - not as good for catching fish as an a-lure
BLEURB - running-back for the Cheeseheads football team
MEANING: noun: An illegal action, especially by a public official.
NOTES: Not all members of a family are alike though they may have things in common. Two sisters of malfeasance are:
nonfeasance: a failure to act where thereâs an obligation to
misfeasance: an unlawful exercise of a lawful act
ETYMOLOGY: From Anglo-Norman malfaisance (wrongdoing), from Latin malefacere (to do wrong), from mal- (bad) + facere (to do). Earliest documented use: 1663.
MALLFEASANCE - shoplifting
MELFEASANCE - voicing Warner Brothers cartoon characters
MALFEESANCE - demanding a kickback
MALFEASTANCE - gluttony
MAL Fe: A SEANCE - evil iron communicates with the spirits of the Dead
MEANING: noun: Favoritism shown to relatives and friends, especially in business or political appointments.
ETYMOLOGY From Italian nepotismo, from Latin nepos (grandson, nephew). Ultimately from the Indo-European root nepot- (grandson, nephew) that is also the source of the words nephew and niece. Earliest documented use: 1669.
NOTES: The word originated from the practice of popes in the Roman Catholic Church to confer important positions to their sons. Since a pope had taken the vow of chastity, his son was euphemistically called a nephew.
NEPHOTISM - 1. favoring the son of ones' siblings; 2. a murky way to run an enterprise (variant: NEPHELOTISM)
YEPOTISM - surrounding oneself with sycophants and yes-men. Antonym: NOPOTISM
NEROTISM - burning the city to fight the rat infestation
NYPOTISM - the Oldest Established Permanent Floating Poker Game In New York
MEANING: noun: Payment, salary, or fees from an office or employment.
ETYMOLOGY:From Latin emolumentum (profit, advantage), from ex- (out) + molere (to grind). Earliest documented use: 1480.
NOTES: Earlier an emolument was a millerâs fee for grinding corn. Today, emolument is what you get for the daily grind. What have emoluments got to do with the politics today? See this article from Time about the presidentâs violation of the foreign emoluments clause of the US Constitution.
EMPLUMENT - noun (or verb) covering of (or with) feathers (tar optional)
E-MONUMENT - a digital shrine
'EMOLUMEN - the brightness of an Englishman's blood
MEANING: noun: A secret cooperation for fraud, treason, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin colludere (to play together, to conspire), from col- (with) + ludere (to play), from ludus (play). Ultimately from Indo-European root leid- (to play), which also gave us allude, delude, elude, illusion, ludicrous, Ludo, ludic, and prelude. Earliest documented use: 1397.
NOTES: From the literal meaning âto play togetherâ to the current meaning âto conspireâ, this word has gone to the wrong side of town. But itâs not the only one. The word conspire means, literally, âto breathe togetherâ, meaning to be in harmony. We shouldnât insist that because a wordâs origin means so-and-so, the word should mean the same today any more than that because a person is born into a distinguished family he must be a fine person.
COLLES ION - a charged fracture of the distal end of the forearm
COLLUS ICON - the image representing the Collus Corporqtion
COL-FUSION - the Holy Grail of the End-Fossil-Fuel-Dependence coalition
MEANING: verb tr.:
1. To charge a public official with misconduct in office.
2. To challenge the credibility of someone.
ETYMOLOGY: From Anglo-Norman empecher (to ensnare), from Latin impedicare (to catch or entangle), from pedica (fetter), from pes/ped (foot). Earliest documented use: 1380.
NOTES: When someone is impeached, he has his foot caught in the law, literally speaking. From being on a pedestal (literally, foot of a stall) to getting impeached can be a short journey, but sometimes it takes a long time. Let the law do its job! Patience is rewarded.
Caveat: To impeach is to accuse, not [necessarily] to convict. Innocent until proven guilty, and all that.
WIMP EACH - not a spine to be found in the lot of 'em
I.M.PEI: ACH! - a Berliner's impatience at the Chinese-American architect
IMBEACH - to move far back up the sand, away from the breakers
MEANING: verb tr., intr.:
1. To renounce something.
2. To commit perjury.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old English forswerian, from for- (away, off) + swerian (to swear). Ultimately from the Indo-European root swer- (to speak), which also gave us the word answer. Earliest documented use: before 1000.
FORSKWEAR - forceful, definite, forthright
FORKSWEAR - what you do after you accidentally step on the wrong end of a pitchfork and it bounds up and whops you upside the head
FORSE WEAR - You put on those clothes or, so help me, you'll never...
CORSE WE AR - We're in favor of Motherhood and Apple pie, aren't we?
MEANING: verb tr.: To surround by a defensive structure, such as a rampart.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin circumvallare (to surround with a wall), from circum- (around) + vallum (rampart). Earliest documented use: 1661.
CIRCUMVILLATE - having finger-like projections all around the outside
CIRCUSVALLATE - Greatest Show on Earth, and with free parking, too!
CIRCUM-ALL-ATE - just about at everybody's dinnertime
MEANING: noun: A small spiked wheel at the end of a spur attached behind the boots of a rider and used to goad a horse.
verb tr.: To prick; to vex.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old French roele, from Latin rotella (small wheel), from rota (wheel). Earliest documented use: 1299.
ROWEO - cowboy regatta
RODEL - buckaroo singing style
ROWEE - the one acted upon by the rower
MEANING: verb tr., intr.: To push or move below something.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin subducere (to draw up, withdraw, remove), from sub- (below) + ducere (to draw, lead). Earliest documented use: 1556.
SUBDICT - mutter under one's breath
SiBDUCT - to kidnap your brother or sister
STUBDUCT - the air vent sticks out just far enough for you to hit it with your toe
MEANING: verb tr.: To thrash or bruise.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin contundere, from con- (with) + tundere (to beat). Earliest documented use: 1599.
CONFUND - Prisoners' Legal Assistance
COSTUND - knocked 'em both out at the same time
CONTUNA - how you eat a melt in Mexico City
PRONUNCIATION: (AP-uhl pol-ish)
MEANING: verb tr., intr.: To ingratiate oneself.
ETYMOLOGY: From the former practice of schoolchildren giving apples to their teachers. Earliest documented use: 1930s.
DAPPLE, POLISH - the last two steps in creating a pottery jar
AMPLE POLISH - what it takes to satisfy your Sergeant
APP: E-POLISH - let your iPhone teach you to speak like a Warsaw native
PRONUNCIATION: (FIG leef)
MEANING: noun: Something used to cover, usually inadequately, what may be shameful or embarrassing.
ETYMOLOGY: From the Biblical story (Genesis 3:7) in which Adam and Eve sew fig leaves to cover their nakedness. Earliest documented use: 1535.
FINGLE AF - Scottish Air Force base, artfully concealed in a cave in the Hebrides Islands
FIG LOAF - a giant-sized Fig Newton
BIG LEAF - a little-known but highly prized variety of marijuana
MEANING: noun: An informal transmission of information, rumors, gossip, etc., by word of mouth.
ETYMOLOGY: Shortening of grapevine telegraph, apparently from the spreading of a vine to the spread of a telegraph network and tendrils to wire coils. Earliest documented use: 1867.
FRA PEVINE - a little-known French monk from Marseilles
GRAF EVINE - a medieval Count from the Alsace-Lorraine region
GRAN PEVINE - a sports-car rally held on the Italian Riviera
PRONUNCIATION: (TOP buh-NAN-uh)
MEANING: noun: The leader of a company, group, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: From the use of bananas as a prop in burlesque shows. Earliest documented use: 1953. A person in a secondary role is called a second banana
TOP BANDANA - a kerchief for the crown of your head
TOPHA NANA - my Grandma has terrible gout
TOP MAĂANA - it's gonna be the best tomorrow ever!
TOMB ANANA - Lara Croft's unrecognized twin sister
1. Of or relating to plums.
2. Choice; desirable.
3. Rich and mellow (voice).
4. Carefully articulated and affected (accent), thought typical of the English upper class.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old English plume (plum). Earliest documented use: 1724.
PLUMBY - leaden
PLUMEY - feathery
PLUMNY - an island, off the coast of New York
PLUMPY - n., derogatory fat-shaming word
PLUMMA - another island, off the coast of Massachusetts
PLUMMx - yet more islands, off the coast of Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri - you get the idea!
MEANING: noun: A fear of dogs.
From Greek kyon (dog) + -phobia (fear). U timately from the Indo-European root kwon- (dog), which also gave us canine, chenille (from French chenille: caterpillar, literally, little dog), kennel, canary, hound, dachshund, corgi, cynic, cynosure, and canaille. Earliest documented use: 1879.
CYANOPHOBIA - fear of blue (and, by extension, fear of sadness)
CYNCPHOBIA - fear of doing things together
Y NO PHOBIA - fearless in Madrid
CYNPHOBIA - fear of doing wrong things
MEANING: noun: A collector of matchboxes, matchbooks, or their labels.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek phil- (loving) + Latin lumen (light). Earliest documented use: 1943.
PHILLUMENISN'T - doesn't collect matchboxes, matchbooks, or their labels
PHILLUTENIST - loves harp music
UPHILLUMENIST - lights up the mountains from down in the the valley
MEANING: adjective: Relating to the custom of living with the family of the husband.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin vir (man) + local. Ultimately from the Indo-European root wi-ro- (man), which also gave us werewolf, virile, virtue, virtuoso, werewolf, world, virago, virtu, German Weltanschauung (worldview), and Sanskrit veerya (brave). Earliest documented use: 1948.
VIRI-LO-CALF - socks just above the ankle
VIRULOCAL - a well-contained epidemic
SIRILOCAL - speaking directly into your iPhone
MEANING: noun: An irrational fear of disease.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek patho- (suffering, disease) + -phobia (fear). Earliest documented use: 1873. A synonym is nosophobia. A related word is hypochondria.
PATHOPHOBIA - 1. fear of staying on the beaten track; 2. fear of pity or sadness
PLATHOPHOBIA - fear of Sylvia
PATHOPHOEBIA - a sick little bird
PATHOPHONIA - laryngitis
MEANING: noun: Knowledge that cannot be obtained by normal means.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek para- (beyond) + gnosis (knowledge). Earliest documented use: 1933.
PAPAGNOSIS - the wisdom that comes from knowing one's father
PARAGONOSIS -1. forever the model of excellence; 2, a parasitic disease
PA RAGE: NO, SIS - Dad has just refused my sister's request, and in no uncertain terms
I'll be off the Web for a week; feel free to take over in the interval!
PRONUNCIATION -- (BI-ni-kuhl)
MEANING: noun: A container for housing instruments on a shipâs deck, in a car dashboard, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old Portuguese bitĂĄcola or Old Spanish bitĂĄcula, from Latin habitaculum (dwelling place), from habitare (to inhabit). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ghabh- (to give or to receive), which is also the source of give, gift, able, habit, prohibit, due, duty, adhibit, debenture, habile. Earliest documented use: 1622.
BIRNACLE - a container into which fits the mouthpiece-with-reed of a musical instrument such as a clarinet
BINANACLE - a frozen fruit-flavored confection, typically on two sticks
SINNACLE filled with a contemptuous disbelief in human goodness and sincerity
1. A short thick post on a ship or a wharf used for securing ropes.
2. A post used as a traffic control device.
ETYMOLOGY: Probably from Old Norse bole (tree trunk). Earliest documented use: 1844. The p-headed equivalent is pollard.
BOLLYARD - where the play beisbol in Baltimore
BOLTLARD - animal fat used to grease a fastener
LOLLARD - one who goes around maniacally laughing out loud for no reason
MEANING: noun: A fear of depths or of falling from a height.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek bathos (depth) + -phobia (fear). Earliest documented use: 1903. A related term is acrophobia.
The p-headed word is pathophobia (an irrational fear of disease). [but see below]
PATHOPHOBIA - fear of the beaten track
"BOAT-HO!"-PHOBIA - fear of encountering pirates
BATCHOPHOBIA - fear of small bunches
"BAH" O'PHOBIA - Irish fear of Scrooge
PRONUNCIATION: (bar-ag-NO-sis, ba-RAG-no-sis)
MEANING: noun: Loss of the ability to sense weight.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek baros (weight) + a- (not) + gnosis (knowledge). Earliest documented use: 1921. A synonym is abarognosis, antonym barognosis. The p-headed word is paragnosis (knowledge that cannot be obtained by normal means).
BAR AGNOSIA (or BAN AGNOSIS) - make education compulsory for all
BARRAGNOSIS - knowing a lot about bombardment
B.A. RAG? NO, SIS - I don't think my sibling should refer so disparagingly to her graduation gown...
noun: 1. An illegal payment, as in graft; 2. A crowd of people.
verb intr.: To take money dishonestly, especially from graft.
ETYMOLOGY: From Dutch boedel (property). Earliest documented use: 1833. Also see caboodle.
BOO, DDE - Surprise, Mr. President!
BOIDLE - Ms. Derek is between films at the moment
BOOK,LE - reading material obtained from Amazon de France
PRONUNCIATION: (OL-iv branch)
MEANING: noun: An offer or gesture of peace, reconciliation, or goodwill.
ETYMOLOGY: In Greek mythology, Athena, the goddess of wisdom, art, and warfare, gave Athens its first olive tree and hence Athens was named after her, or vice versa, i.e. Athena was named after Athens, depending on whether you believe god(s) and goddess(es) created humans or vice versa. Earliest documented use: 1400.
OLIVA BRANCH - Tony's father's side of the family
OLIVE RANCH - where Popeye's girlfriend raises cattle
OLIVE BRANCA - daughter of Ralph; who's still trying to make peace with 1951
MEANING: noun: 1. Money, especially in the form of bills.
2. A stupid or mentally impaired person.
3. A term of endearment.
4. Scraps remaining from a fabric that has been used to make a garment.
verb tr., intr.: 1. To get intoxicated.
2. To steal or pilfer.
3. To plagiarize.
ETYMOLOGY: For noun 4 & verb 2, 3: Of uncertain origin. Perhaps an alteration of the word garbage. Earliest documented use: 1703.
For everything else: From Anglo-Norman kaboche (head), from Latin caput (head). Earliest documented use: 1391.
CARB-AGE - everything is sugars and starches these days
CABLAGE - what brings your TV service
and three more taxi-themed entries
CAB-RAGE - drivers had it UP TO HERE with this traffic
CAB-BAGEL - New York taxi-driver's light breakfast
CABBAGO - backache after fourteen straight hours of driving
MEANING: adjective: Extremely stupid.
ETYMOLOGY: Alluding to the small size of a pea. The word pea is formed from the misinterpretation of the already singular word pease. The word pease is fossilized in childrenâs nursery rhyme âPease porridge hot, pease porridge cold.â Another mistakenly formed singular is the word cherry from the already singular cherise. Earliest documented use: 1942.
SEA-BRAINED - unable to think clearly because of the undulating surf and the winds, and possibly also seasickness
PEE-BRAINED - a piss-poor excuse for an intellect
PIE: A BRA IN ED - I always knew that talking horse was up to no good
PEAT-BRAINED - Just think, in another hundred million years it coulda been bituminous coal!
MEANING: verb intr.: 1. To grow rapidly.
2. To develop into the shape of a mushroom.
3. To collect wild mushrooms.
adjective: 1. Of or relating to mushrooms.
2. Developing or growing quickly.
ETYMOLOGY: From allusion to the rapid growth of mushrooms, some literally appearing overnight. From Old French mousseron, from Latin mussirion. Earliest documented use: 1440.
MUSTROOM - chamber in a winery where the grapes rest after they have just been pressed. Compare MASHROOM in a beer brewewry.
MUSHBROOM - for cleaning up after your dogs at Iditarod
MUSEROOM - where budding artists go for inspiration
MUSHROOM - right after the lambda shroom
PRONUNCIATION: (COUCH puh-tay-to)
MEANING: noun: A person who leads a sedentary life, usually watching television.
ETYMOLOGY: Why a couch potato? Why not a couch tomato or a couch pumpkin? The term was coined after boob tube, slang for television. One who watches a boob tube is a boob tuber and a tuber is a potato. According to the Bon AppĂ©tit magazine, the term was coined by Tom Iacino. Yesterdayâs couch potato is todayâs mouse potato, spending time in front of a computer screen, surfing the web. Earliest documented use: 1970s.
OUCH POTATO - too hot to hold
COACH POTATO - 1. supposed to teach you how to play, but all he does is warm the bench
2. more perks than First Class, but less expensive
COUGH POTATO - when by accident you inhale the crumbs from the bottom of the bag of chips
PRONUNCIATION: (NOO-speek, NYOO-)
MEANING: noun: Deliberately ambiguous or euphemistic language used for propaganda.
ETYMOLOGY: Coined by George Orwell in his novel 1984. Newspeak was the official language of Oceania. Earliest documented use: 1949.
USAGE:Oldspeak is the opposite of newspeak. For example, in 1984, the oldspeak âlabor campâ is called a newspeak âjoycampâ. But you donât have to go to fiction to find newspeak.
What is âtortureâ in oldspeak becomes âinterrogationâ, or even better, âenhanced interrogationâ in newspeak. While âwaterboardingâ itself is newspeak -- no, itâs not a water sport -- they go one step further and couch it as âenhanced interrogationâ. As if in regular interrogation one is suffocated with regular water while waterboarding, but in enhanced they use nothing less than Evian.
NOWSPEAK - the new Newspeak. See also NETSPEAK, NEOSPEAK.
FEWSPEAK - the utterances of a person who doesn't mince words
NEWSTEAK - Zymoveal (with apologies to Isaac Asimov)
NEWSPEEK - Read all about it! Take a look at tomorrow's Journal today!
MEANING: noun: An acceptance of two contradictory ideas at the same time.
ETYMOLOGY: From George Orwellâs novel 1984. Earliest documented use: 1949.
NOTES: Better to do double entendre than to doublethink.
DOUBLETHICK - passes the straw test - put a straw in vertically and let go, and see if it remains upright
DOUBT E-THINK - computers are not intelligent
DOUBLET MINK - a close-fitting fur vest
PRONUNCIATION: (big BRUTH-uhr)
MEANING: noun: An authoritarian person, organization, government, etc., that monitors or controls people.
ETYMOLOGY: After Big Brother, a character in George Orwellâs 1949 novel 1984. The term big brother for an elder brother has been documented from 1809.
BIG BROTHEL - Th Biggest Little Whorehouse in Texas
PIG BROTHER - one who prefers his soup made from pork stock
BING BROTHER - that would be Bob Crosby
MEANING: noun: A person regarded as nonexistent.
ETYMOLOGY: Coined as a noun in George Orwellâs 1949 novel 1984. Earliest documented use: 1646, as a verb meaning to depersonalize or to deprive of personhood. A synonym is nonperson.
UNDERSON - any male offspring except the oldest (cf. UPPERSON)
GUNPERSON - hyper-protective of he Second Amendment, as he sees it
UMP: E.R., SON - headline for the article about a Little Leaguer who was was hit by a pitch and may have suffered a concussion
MEANING: noun: Normal English usage, as opposed to propagandist, euphemistic, or obfuscatory language.
ETYMOLOGY: From George Orwellâs 1949 novel 1984. Earliest documented use: 1949.
O LAD, SPEAK - Say something already, kid!
OLDS PEEK - Grab a gander at that antique GM "Rocket 98" !
GOLD'S PEAK - Lessee now, that'd be about $1895 an ounce, back in 2011...
OLEDSPEAK - talk about those new screens made with Organic LEDs
MEANING: noun: A lively movement; caper.
verb intr.: To move in an exaggerated prancing manner.
ETYMOLOGY: Apparently imitative of the sound of a horseâs hooves. Earliest documented use: 1691.
SITTUP - what you do to develop your abs
TILTUP - what I do so I can see my monitor better
TINTTUP - what she does to her hair so she'll look younger
MEANING: noun: A session of a court or a verdict or an inquiry made at such a session.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old French asise, from asseoir (to seat), from Latin assidere (to sit), from ad- + sedere (to sit). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sed- (to sit), which also gave us sit, chair, saddle, soot, sediment, cathedral, preside, president, tetrahedron, surcease, assiduous, and sessile. Earliest documented use: 1297.
ASKIZE - what also aren't cloudy all day at my Home on the Range
APSIZE - how big the program is that I wrote for the smartphone
SASSIZE - dis
MEANING: noun: A blow on the head with a club.
ETYMOLOGY: Perhaps of imitative origin. Earliest documented use: 1786.
CRUENT - present indicative, third person plural of cruer, to designate as authoritative, especially regarding vineyards and viniculture
CORUNT - when there are two tiny little ones in a litter
CRUIT - what you hafta do to a yacht before you can race it
MEANING: noun: An ornament, such as a rosette or a knot of ribbons, worn as a badge on a hat, lapel, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: From French cocarde, from Old French coquarde, feminine of coquard (vain, arrogant), from coc (cock), of imitative origin. Earliest documented use: 1709.
NOTES: Not sure if cockade would become ade one day, but cockroach did turn into roach because the word has a supposedly dirty four-letter combination. In reality, the word is an anglicization of Spanish cucaracha.
Unfortunately, many schools and corporations will block this issue of A.Word.A.Day and as a result readers in those places will be deprived of this essential knowledge for success in modern life.
COCOADE - a chocolate-flavored cool drink
COCKADEE - an adult male chickadee
COOKADE - lets you use many chefs without spoiling the broth
1. Based on false reasoning.
2. Deceptive or misleading.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin fallere (to deceive). Earliest documented use: 1473.
SALLACIOUS - like this week's theme - sounds dirty, but gotcha.
FELLACIOUS - like this one. Portmento of hellacious fellas, meaning "a few good men, but all of 'em imps..."
MALLACIOUS - describing a delightful shopping place, unlike the similar-sounding but evil MALLICIOUS. Although that kind of place might have a great Food Court...
FALLA PIOUS - A religious holiday in Valencia, Spain. On March 19 Las Fallas commemorates Saint JosĂ© (the patron saint of carpentry) and the arrival of spring.
MEANING: noun: A boastful coward, buffoon, or rascal.
ETYMOLOGY: After Scaramouche, a stock character in commedia dellâarte (Italian comic theater popular from the 16th to 18th centuries). His Italian name was Scaramuccia (literally, skirmish) -- he was often getting beaten up by Harlequin. The word is ultimately from the Indo-European root sker- (to cut), which also gave us skirmish, skirt, curt, screw, shard, shears, carnage, carnivorous, carnation, sharp, scrape, scrobiculate (having many small grooves), incarnadine (flesh-colored), and acarophobia (fear of small insects; delusion that oneâs skin is infested with bugs). Earliest documented use: 1662.
SCARAMOUTH - souvenier of duelling (see also SCARABOUCHE)
SCARYMOUCHE - monster housefly
SCARAB-OUCH - beetle-bites sting!
PRONUNCIATION: (MOL-uh-tof KOK-tayl)
MEANING: noun: A crude bomb made of a bottle filled with a liquid fuel and fitted with a rag wick that is lighted just before the bottle is hurled.
ETYMOLOGY: After Soviet foreign minister, Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov (1890-1986). Earliest documented use: 1940.
NOTES: It could have been known a Skryabin cocktail. Molotov was born as Vyacheslav Skryabin, but he took the name Molotov (from Russian molot: hammer). During the Winter War between the USSR and Finland (1939-1940), when the Soviets received international criticism for the bombing of Helsinki, Molotov claimed they were delivering humanitarian aid. In response, the Finns sarcastically called those cluster bombs Molotov bread baskets.
If the Soviets were bringing bread to the party, the least the Finns could do was bring drinks. They called their makeshift incendiary devices Molotov cocktail and used them to destroy Soviet tanks.
MOLOTOV MOCKTAIL - 1. a non-alcoholic beverage for someone trying to stay away from alcohol;
2. Russian denigration of the World's Oldest Profession
MOZL-O'TOV COCKTAIL - a glass lifted in an Irish pub as a gesture of congratulations
B-MOL "OTOV COCKTAIL" - a fanciful cantata by JSBach, written in B-flat
PRONUNCIATION: (ROI-stuhr doi-stuhr)
MEANING: noun: A swaggering buffoon or reveler.
adjective: Engaged in swaggering buffoonery.
ETYMOLOGY: After Ralph Roister Doister, the eponymous main character of the playwright Nicholas Udallâs play written around 1552. From roister (to behave in a boisterous, swaggering manner), from Middle French rustre (boor), from Latin rusticus (rustic). Earliest documented use: 1592.
ROOSTER-D'OISTER - two cartoon fowl, a male and his sister Pearl; second cousins to Warner Bros. character Foghorn Leghorn.
ROISTER, DO I SU'ER? - I'm asking Attorney Roister whether or not I should file an action against the woman
ROISTER, DO I STAR? - Hey there, King baby, am I the most important person in the show?
1. An empty boaster.
2. Empty boasting.
3. Boastful behavior.
ETYMOLOGY: After Braggadochio, a boastful character in Edmund Spenserâs 1590 epic poem The Faerie Queene. Earliest documented use: 1594. Hereâs another word that came to us from the same book: blatant.
ABRAGGADOCIO - incantation used by the Fairy Queene
BRAGGA-DO-CI-DO - egotistical square dancer
BRAGG ADO CIA - much fuss in the North Carolina fort but you're not cleared to hear it
I occasionally wonder - with many of this week's words - which came first, the behavior or the literary character...
1. Of or relating to Charles Dickens or his works.
2. Relating to social conditions marked by poverty, social injustice, mistreatment of children, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: After the novelist Charles Dickens (1812-1870), whose works portrayed poor social conditions of Victorian England. Earliest documented use: 1881. Many of Dickensâs characters have become eponyms themselves.
DICKENS,IVAN - Charles' Russian cousin
DICKENS I CAN - David Copperfield thinking positively
DUCKENESIAN - the nationality of Donald's South Pacific cousin [yes, that's two changes, not one]
1. A sound, similar to breaking wind, made by pushing the tongue between the lips and blowing air through the mouth.
2. A rejection, disapproval, or contempt.
ETYMOLOGY: Rhyming slang, raspberry tart âš fart. Earliest documented use: 1890. A synonym is Bronx cheer.
RASHBERRY - a berry known to activate allergies and make your skin red and itchy
GASPBERRY - a berry that makes you either flatulent or eructative, or both, and occasionally gives you a catch in your breath for good measure
RASP BEERY - Wallace's older brother Rasputin, to his friends
MEANING: noun: Hat.
ETYMOLOGY: Rhyming slang, tit for tat âš hat. Earliest documented use: 1927.
TIFFER - a spatter; one who engages in small quarrels
TITLER - one who uses a particular brand of golf ball
SITFER - what you do to have your portrait painted
TINFER - what the Woodsman's pet in Oz wears to protect it from the cold and rain
MEANING: noun: Cash.
ETYMOLOGY: Rhyming slang, Oscar Asche âš cash. Asche (1871-1936) was an Australian actor, director, and writer. Earliest documented use: 1917.
[Personally, I'd have thought of Wilde before I thought of Asche]
OS-EAR - when the auricular cartilage is calcified and rigid, like a bone
O, SCAT - what you say to chase away an exasperating cat
iOS CAR - a self-driving vehicle controlled by an iPhone
PRONUNCIATION: (buh-RAS-ik, bo-)
Also brassic (BRA-sik)
MEANING: adjective: Poor or broke.
ETYMOLOGY: Rhyming slang, boracic lint âš skint. Boracic lint was a type of medical dressing dipped in a solution of boracic/boric acid. See more at skint. Earliest documented use: 1959.
BORACID - a brand of boric acid (H3BO3)
BORN CIC - ...and some achieve Commander-in-Chief, and some...
BOREACIC - pertaining to the Southern Hemisphere
MEANING: noun: Clue.
ETYMOLOGY: Rhyming slang, Scooby-Doo âš clue. Scooby-Doo is a dog in television series and films. Earliest documented use: 1993.
from eating spoiled fishSCOO'BOY
- what the 2-year-old male Montessori student called himself'SCOOBA
- Havana is the capital of what big Caribbean island 100-odd miles south of Florida?
MEANING: adjective: Amusingly strange, comical, or clownish.
ETYMOLOGY: From French zani, from Italian zanni, a nickname for Giovanni. The term has its origin in the comedy theater commedia dellâarte popular in 16-18th century Italy. Giovanni, Italian form of the name John, was originally the generic name of the servant, a stock character who tried to mimic his master, himself a clown. Earliest documented use: 1596.
ZZNY - and you thought the city never sleeps ...so there!
CZANY - Austrian composer of School of Velocity and hundreds of other piano practice pieces, as he was known in Boston
NANY - a funeral song, as in a choral work by Brahms and a poem by Schiller
MEANING: noun: A grotesque or absurd person.
ETYMOLOGY: From Italian (Naples dialect) polecenella (a short, fat buffoon, principal character in Italian puppet shows), diminutive of pollecena (turkey pullet), ultimately from Latin pullus (young chicken). From the resemblance of punchinelloâs nose to a turkeyâs beak. Earliest documented use: 1662.
MUNCHINELLO a fat buffoon who eats all the time (see also PAUNCHINELLO}
PUNCHINJELLO - a gelatin dessert made with fruit punch (caution: if you try to spike it, the alcohol will prevent it from gelling)
PUNCHING 'ELLO - the practice of greeting friends with a knuckle to the upper arm
PUNCHLINE: LLO - (you make up this one)
MEANING: noun: A person characterized by arrogance, braggadocio, lack of self awareness, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: After Alazon, a stock character in ancient Greek comedy. Earliest documented use: 1911.
ALAMON - a square dance maneuver, akin to the Grand Right and Left
ALE-ZON - a new beer hall in Munich
ALARON - a trim tab on the tail of an airplane (usually one of a pair)
MEANING: noun: A person characterized by self-deprecation and awareness of irony.
ETYMOLOGY: After Eiron, a stock character in ancient Greek comedy. Itâs from Greek eiron (dissembler), which also gave us the word irony. Eiron is the opposite of Alazon. He uses self-deprecation and feigned ignorance to triumph over Alazon. Earliest documented use: 1872.
E-ICON - small image on a desktop or hand-held electronic device representing a program or file
ERRON - the subatomic particle from which all sins ultimately arise
ELIRON - a trim tab on the tail of an airplane (usually one of a pair) - see also ALARON, above
MEANING: noun: A swaggering, cowardly person, especially a soldier, policeman, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: After Capitano, a stock character in commedia dellâarte, from Italian capitano (captain), from Latin caput (head). Earliest documented use: 1594.
CARPITANO - a painful syndrome that is frequently the result of repetitive strain injury to the wrist
CAPRITANO - skin pigmentation due to sunbathing on an island off Italy (unless you spend too much time in the Blue Grotto)
CAPITALO - an upper-case letter frequently confused with a zero
MEANING: noun: 1. A servant girl.
2. A saucy sweetheart.
3. Any of various plants of the genus Aquilegia.
adjective: Of or relating to a dove, in innocence, gentleness, color, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: For noun 1, 2: After Colombina, a stock character in commedia dellâarte, the mistress of Harlequin. From Italian colombina (small dove, a guileless woman). Earliest documented use: 1723.
For noun 3: From the resemblance of an inverted flower to five doves. Earliest documented use: 1325.
For adjective: From Latin columba (dove, pigeon). Earliest documented use: 1656.
COLUMNINE - comes just before the tenth vertical row (see also COLUMEINE, the first vertical row in Berlin)
COLUMBIANE - a woman from BogotĂĄ
COLUMBRINE - what you use to make pickled colums
MEANING: noun: Red ocher, used for marking animals, coloring, etc.
verb tr.: 1. To mark or paint with red ocher.
2. To twist together or interweave.
3. To beat or to cause to have a worn-out appearance.
ETYMOLOGY: noun & verb 1: A variant of ruddle, from rud (red). Ultimately from the Indo-European root reudh- (red), which also gave us red, rouge, ruby, ruddy, rubella, corroborate, robust, rambunctious, roborant, russet, and robustious. Earliest documented use: 1325.
verb 2: From English dialect raddle (stick interwoven with others in a fence). Ultimately from the Indo-European root reidh- (to ride), which also gave us ride, raid, road, ready, and raiment. Earliest documented use: 1470.
verb 3: Origin unknown. Earliest documented use: 1677.
REDDLE - a red dye popular in the early 19th century. See Diggory Venn, the Reddleman, in Thomas Hardy's Return of the Native
FADDLE - something that enjoys a massive but short-lived popularity
RA:DDE - Eisenhower's very junior position at Columbia before he became President
MEANING: noun: Fine rain or drizzle.
verb intr.: 1. To rain in fine drops.
2. To leave suddenly.
3. To confuse.
ETYMOLOGY: noun, verb 1: From Middle English misellen (to drizzle). Ultimately from the Indo-European root meigh- (to urinate), which also gave us mist, thrush, mistletoe, and micturate. Earliest documented use: 1439.
verb 2: Of unknown origin. Earliest documented use: 1772.
verb 3: Of unknown origin. Earliest documented use: 1583.
MIZZLES - a viral infection with skin rash and fever, usually just a nuisance in childhood but potentially serious in adults
MOZZLE - fortune, often with "tov" ("good")
MIZZ-LEZ - what a lazy markzman tries to do
adjective: Odd or unconventional.
2. Any of various card games in which the objective is to make sets or sequences of three or more cards.
adjective: Origin unknown. Earliest documented use: 1828.
1. From rum (an alcoholic drink distilled from sugarcane products). Earliest documented use: 1843.
2. Origin unknown. Earliest documented use: 1910.
ARUMMY - lily-like
RUB MY... - any of several gestures my dog makes, asking to be stroked someplace not yet specified
1. former Governor of Massachusetts and Presidential candidate
2. city in upstate New York about 17 miles west-north-west of Utica
1. A pledge: something offered as a guarantee.
2. Something thrown down as a symbol of a challenge to fight. (See also: gauntlet)
To offer something as a guarantee of good faith.
Origin: From Old French g(u)age (to wage, gage), of Germanic origin. The Germanic w sound became g or gu in some French dialects. Thatâs the reason we have the doublets such as wage/gage, warranty/guarantee, ward/guard (also reward/regard), warden/guardian, war/guerre, and William/Guillaume. Earliest documented use: 14th century.
1. An instrument or criterion for measuring or testing.
2. The thickness or size of something. For example, diameter of a gun barrel, thickness of sheet metal, distance between the rails of a railroad track.
verb tr.: To measure or estimate.
Origin: From Old French gauge, or unknown origin. Earliest documented use: 1444.
Any of the varieties of plum, such as the greengage.
Origin: After William Gage, botanist who brought it to England from France. Earliest documented use: 1718.
GANGE - one river in India. Its source is in the North in the Himalayas near the border with Tibet, flows mainly from West to East and through Bangladesh before emptying into the Bay of Bengal
GRAGE - where you pahk the cah
GAGLE - a colection of gese
MEANING: noun: Someone high-spirited, quick-tempered, and outspoken.
ETYMOLOGY: Describing one who appears to spit fire. Earliest documented use: 1600. A synonym, also a tosspot word, is shitfire.
SPITFARE - what you roast and then eat at a barbecue. See also SPITFIRE above, PITFIRE, and (if the grill overturns) SPILTFIRE
SPITFORE - how the angry Scotsman warned he was about to tee off
SPLITFIRE - what Moses had to do to bring his people out of Egypt across the Red Volcano
MEANING: noun: Sleep.
ETYMOLOGY: Describing the literal shutting of oneâs eyes when sleeping. Earliest documented use: 1899.
SLUTEYE - what a hooker looks you over with
SHUTNEYE - a sweet-and-sour condiment eaten with many Indian foods
BHU-TEYE - what you use to lace up your footwear ( see also SHU-TEYE )
MEANING: noun: A cheap or inferior alcoholic drink.
ETYMOLOGY: From the possibility that a drink thatâs poorly made or adulterated could damage the internal organs of the drinker. Earliest documented use: 1632.
ROTMUT - mixed-breed attack dog
ROTGOUT - Uric-acid-metabolism disease with necrotizing tophi
RO-TOUT - hang by a rope and give tips on the races
MEANING: noun: A miser.
ETYMOLOGY: Describing someone who clutches money in a fist. From Old English clyccan (to clench) + fyst (fist). Earliest documented use: 1643.
CLUTCHIST - one who declines to use a car equipped with automatic transmission
CLUTCHFISH - how many flying aquatic birds catch their dinner
CRUTCHFIST - a painful hand that won't open after prolonged use of crutches
MEANING: noun: One who worries or complains about unimportant things: a fussy person.
ETYMOLOGY: From fuss (to worry or complain about trifles), of uncertain origin, perhaps an echoic word. Earliest documented use: 1921. A synonym, that is also a tosspot word, is fussbudget.
US-SPOT - our favorite trysting place
FUSES-POT - the rheostat (potentiometer) that used to go where the circuit-breakers are now
FUSSPORT - where Lucy van Pelt lives
MEANING: noun: A group of political, business, and financial interests engaged in exploiting the public.
ETYMOLOGY: From plunder (pillage), from German plĂŒndern (to loot) + bund, from German Bund (association). Earliest documented use: 1902.
BLUNDERBUND - bumblingly inept leadership
PLUMDERBUND - explore the depths of the Merkel government
PLUNDERBAND - a gang of hoodlums
MEANING: adjective: Stimulating the appetite.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek orexis (longing) + -genic (producing). Earliest documented use: 1907.
OREO-IGENIC - cookiemaker
T.REXIGENIC - ancestor of the Dinosaurs
OR EX-GENIC - alternatively, inheritable but outside the DNA
MEANING: noun: A repetition of words, especially for emphasis.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek palin (again) + -logy (words). Related words are palinode and palindrome. Earliest documented use: 1721.
PARLILOGY - halting French speech
PAULILOGY - the study of the various Popes Paul
1. bad words
2. the study of a small West African nation
3. wife of Father Lilogy
MEANING: noun: A 500th anniversary.
adjective: Of or relating to a 500th anniversary.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin quinque (five) + English centenary (100 years). Earliest documented use: 1877.
- celebrated about three months ago (see HERE
- strabysmus was recognized 500 years agoQUID CENTENARY
- what was celebrated one hundred years after the British Pound Sterling was introduced
MEANING: noun: An irrational fear of spiders.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek arakhne (spider) + -phobias (fear). Earliest documented use: 1925.
BARACH? NO! PHOBIA - your worst fear is that the President is a former black Senator from Illinois
A RANCH - NO PHOBIA - now that I'm a cattleman I'm not afraid of anything
ARACHNOPHONIA - belching
MEANING: noun: Anecdotal information gleaned from casual observation.
Example: My uncle has been smoking for 20 years and hasnât been diagnosed with cancer yet; that shows that cigarettes are safe.
ETYMOLOGY: A blend of anecdotal + data. From Greek anekdota (things unpublished), from an- (not) + ekdidonai (to publish), originally applied by the Greek historian Procopius to his unpublished memoirs of the Emperor Justinian and his consort Theodora. Earliest documented use: 1980s. A related term is cherry-picking. Also see anecdotage.
ANECODATA - absence of measurement of the environmental impact
A NERD AT A - the beginning of a tasteless joke
ANECDATE - a teenager's tale of last night's exploits (some might say, another tasteless joke)
MEANING: noun: A social welfare program in which those receiving aid are required to perform work.
ETYMOLOGY: A blend of work + welfare. Earliest documented use: 1968.
WORKFARCE - a sinecure
PORKFARE - Congressional largesse
WORKCARE - health benefits provided by your employer
MEANING: noun: A word re-interpreted as an acronym.
ETYMOLOGY: A blend of back + acronym. Earliest documented use: 1983.
NOTES: In a backronym, an expansion is invented to treat an existing word as an acronym. For example, some believe that the word NEWS is an acronym for North, East, West, and South. In reality, the word is coined from ânewâ as in: Whatâs new?
When naming something, sometimes a suitable name is chosen and then an acronym is retrofitted on top of it: USA PATRIOT Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism). The clunkiness of the expansion is a quick giveaway. How about forming a backronym for ACRONYM itself: A Contrived Result Of Nomenclature Yielding Mechanism?
Often, backronyms serve a useful purpose as mnemonics. For example, see Apgar score.
- Highly Appreciated Child Keeps Repairing Or Negating Your MistakesBACHRONYM
- Hofstadter's Contracrostipunctus
Acrostically Backwards Spells "JSBACH"MACKRONYM
- an extraordinarily large name, like "Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg
(That's "Webster Lake" to you. YCLIU)
MEANING: noun: A dull or slow-witted person.
ETYMOLOGY: Short for lunkhead, from lunk (a blend of lump + hunk) + head. Earliest documented use: 1867.
LUN, UK - Capital of England, in the vernacular
LUNIK - first Russian vehicle to the Moon
BLUNK - past participle of BLINK
MEANING: noun: History as seen from a womanâs point of view, one that doesnât obscure womenâs role.
ETYMOLOGY: A blend of her + history, from Latin histor (learned), ultimately from the Indo-European root weid- (to see), which is also the source of guide, wise, vision, advice, idea, story, and polyhistor. Earliest documented use: 1970.
CHER'S TORY - pop singer goes into British politics
HEARSTORY - why you take your kids to the library Reading Hour
HERO STORY - Leander will tell you all about it if you ask
MEANING: adjective: Rustic; folksy; countrified.
noun: Unleavened corn bread, baked or fried.
ETYMOLOGY: From English corn + Virginia Algonquian apones (bread). The s in apones was dropped to make the word singular. Some other originally singular words that again became singular in English are cherry (from French cerise) and pea (from Latin pisa). Earliest documented use: 1860.
ACORNPONE - unleavened bread, baked or fried, made of oak seeds. If sneered at, it's SCORNPONE; if eaten for breakfast it's MORNPONE
CORNBONE - an imaginative child's word for "cob"
CORNPOE - a rustic, folksy, countrified writer of horror tales and macabre verses
MEANING: noun: A sluggish marshy area of water, typically an overflow or tributary to a lake or river.
ETYMOLOGY: Via Louisiana French from Choctaw bayuk (small stream). Earliest documented use: 1766.
'AYOU ! - informal greeting in Brooklyn
BAY-O - the Shrimp Boat song ("...Daylight come and I want go home")
WAYOU - sign that points to the EXI
MEANING: noun: A chief or a leader.
ETYMOLOGY: From Eastern Abenaki sakama. Earliest documented use: 1613. A related word is sachem.
WAGAMORE - what your puppy's tail does to tell you he likes something
SAL AMORE - a crystalline love potion you sprinkle on food
SACAMORE - past tense of SYCAMORE; also, to catch up on your sleep
MEANING: noun: An independent, especially in politics.
ETYMOLOGY: From Massachusett mugquomp (leader, great man). Massachusett is a language in the Algonquian language family. Earliest documented use: 1828.
NOTES: The word mugwump was used in 1884 to describe a Republican who refused to support their presidential candidate James Blaine due to his reputation for corruption. These Republicans instead supported the Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland ensuring his victory.
The word is sometimes explained as denoting a person who sits on the fence, with his mug (face) on one side and wump (rump) on the other.
MUGDUMP - I told you, make it a garage, not a chimney!
SMUGWUMP - when you get whopped upside the head for arrogant supercilious condescension
MUGLUMP - a sugar cube
MEANING: noun: A person, object, group, etc. that serves as an emblem or symbol.
ETYMOLOGY: From Ojibwe/Ojibwa language of the Algonquian language family in North America. Earliest documented use: 1609.
TO THEM - where you send people's presents
TOTERM - how long a pregnancy should last
TOTLEM - what many drivers do to speeding cars
PROSOPOPEIA or PROSOPOPOEIA
1. A figure of speech in which an imaginary or absent person is represented as speaking or acting.
2. A figure of speech in which an inanimate object or something abstract is represented as possessing human form: personification.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin prosopopoeia, from Greek prosopopoiia (personification), from prosopon (face, mask), from pros- (facing) + ops (eye) + poiein (to make). Earliest documented use: 1550.
PROSOPOPERA - A figure of speech in which an imaginary or absent person avoids verse while singing
PROMOPOPEIA - advertisement for a succulent tropical fruit about 6-18 inches long, 4-12 inches in diameter, known as Papaya or sometimes Pawpaw.
PRO-STOP-OPEIA - in favor of interrupting travel frequently for a bathroom break
MEANING: noun: The amount of liquid by which a container falls short of being full.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old French ouillage/eullage, from ouiller/eullier (to fill a cask), from ouil (eye, hole), from Latin oculus (eye). Earliest documented use: 1444.
DULLAGE - over one hundred (all too often conflated with ILLAGE)
URL-AGE - the Day of the Internet Address
UGLAGE - repugnant appearance
PRONUNCIATION: (tromp loi)
1. A style of painting in which objects are rendered in extremely realistic detail, giving an illusion of reality.
2. A painting, mural, etc., made in this style.
ETYMOLOGY: From French, literally âfools the eyeâ, from tromper (to deceive) + le (the) + oeil (eye). Earliest documented use: 1889.
ROMPE L'OEIL - a sight for sore eyes
TROMPE L'OIL - Tweet: the US will unilaterally withdraw from OPEC
TROMPE L'OREIL - makeup that covers a multiple of sins
1. A small simple eye common to invertebrates.
2. An eyelike colored spot on an animal (as on peacock feathers, butterfly wings, fish, etc.) or on a leaf of a plant.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin ocellus (little eye), diminutive of oculus (eye). Earliest documented use: 1819
OTELLUS - beseeching the Oracle
OCELLES - not A or B or AB celles
BOCELLUS - a singular well-known tenor
1. The phenomenon of a personâs eyes appearing red in a photograph taken with a flash.
2. A late-night flight or overnight flight.
ETYMOLOGY: An airplane flight that takes place in the night is called a red-eye because it deprives travelers of a full-nightâs sleep and as a result may cause bloodshot eyes. Earliest documented use, for 1: 1966, for 2: 1964.
RED DYE - a pigment for imparting a red color (see also REDDLE)
RE-DYE - use it again
RED-EYRE - Jane's older brother
MEANING: noun: A happy ending, especially one in which, instead of an impending disaster, a sudden turn leads to a favorable resolution of the story.
ETYMOLOGY: Coined by J.R.R. Tolkien in a letter in 1944, from Greek eu- (good) + catastrophe, from kata- (down) + strophe (turning). Earliest documented use 1944.
NEUCATASTROPHE - recent disaster in Berlin
EUCALASTROPHE - the koalas have no source of food any more
EU, CAT, ASK RO PHE - hey Felix, inquire in the row after Upsilon
PS. Shouldn't the opposite of "catastrophe" be "anastrophe"? But that means something different. You want consistency? Don't look to language for it.
MEANING: noun: A fear or dislike of crowds.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek ochlos (mob) + -phobia (fear). Ultimately from the Indo-European root wegh- (to go or to transport in a vehicle), which also gave us ochlocracy, away, weigh, Norwegian, wag, wagon, devious, vex, pervious, walleyed, and earwig. Earliest documented use: 1885.
OCHSOPHOBIA - fear of the New York Times
OCULOPHOBIA - fear of eyeballs
OCALOPHOBIA - fear of Central Florida cities
MEANING: adjective: Relating to pigeons.
ETYMOLOGY: From Ancient Greek peristera (dove, pigeon). Earliest documented use: 1868. Some other peristeronic words are columbarium and columbine.
PERSISTERONIC - 1. related through my female sibling; 2. the robot just won't stop!
PERIMTERONIC - edgewise
'YPERSTERONIC - like the ultimate 'roid
MEANING: noun: A pretend or insignificant lover.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin amatorculus (a little lover), diminutive of amator (lover), from amor (love). Earliest documented use: 1731.
AMAT OCULIST - he loves his eye doctor
AMA TORCH LIST - the Spirit of Medicine lives, and these people have agreed to help carry it
A MOTOR C.U. LIST - the Consumers' Union's annual issue of Consumer Reports, devoted exclusively to automobiles
MEANING: noun: Self-denial.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin abnegation, from ab- (away, off) + negare (to deny), from nec (not). Earliest documented use: 1398.
AB-NEG ACTION - having the rarest of blood types
ABS-NEGATION - abdominal obesity
GABNEGATION - squelching of rumors
MEANING: adjective: Faked or fraudulent.
ETYMOLOGY: A corruption of the word triumph, from Old French triumphe, from Latin triumphus (triumph), from Greek thriambos (hymn to Dionysus). Also see, trumpery. Earliest documented use: 1728.
TRUMPED-UMP - "After review, the ruling on the field is reversed."
RUMPED-UP - skunk's position just prior to spraying
THUMPED-UP - my pillow is now ready for my nap
PRONUNCIATION: (STOR-mee PE-truhl)
1. One who brings trouble or whose appearance is a sign of coming trouble.
2. Any of various small sea birds of the family Hydrobatidae having dark feathers and lighter underparts, also known as Mother Careyâs Chicken.
ETYMOLOGY: The birds got the name storm petrel or stormy petrel because old-time sailors believed their appearance foreshadowed a storm. Itâs not certain why the bird is named petrel. One unsubstantiated theory is that it is named after St. Peter who walked on water in the Gospel of Matthew. The petrelâs habit of flying low over water with legs extended gives the appearance that itâs walking on the water. Earliest documented use: 1776.
STORE MY PETREL - I'm going on vacation - can you keep my bird for a while?
STORMY PETROL - wild oscillations in the price of fuel
MEANING: noun: A feeling of deep sadness; depression.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin melancholia, from Greek melancholia (the condition of having an excess of black bile), from melan- (black) + chole (bile). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ghel- (to shine), which is also the source of words such as yellow, gold, glimmer, gloaming, glimpse, glass, arsenic, and cholera. Earliest documented use: 1398.
NOTES: In earlier times it was believed that four humors controlled human behavior and an imbalance resulted in disease. According to this thinking, an excess of black bile secreted by the spleen resulted in melancholia or ill humor.
MELANCHOVIA - pizza made with honey and small salt-water fishlets
MELANCHORIA - a bad place to moor your boat
ME AN CHOLIO - down by the schoolyard, according to Paul Simon
MEL AND CHOLIA - a new Goth singing group
MEANING: adjective: Sadly thoughtful; wistful.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old French pensif (pensive), from penser (to think), from Latin pensare (ponder), frequentative of pendere (to weigh). Ultimately from the Indo-European root (s)pen- (to draw, to spin), which also gave us pendulum, spider, pound, pansy, pendant, ponder, appendix, penthouse, depend, spontaneous, vilipend, pendulous, ponderous, filipendulous, equipoise, prepend, and perpend. Earliest documented use: 1393.
PENSAVE - a 529 plan headquartered in Pittsburgh (see also PENGIVE)
SPENSIVE - costly (see also XPENSIVE)
PEN,SIRE - what the King uses to sign his edicts
MEANING: noun: One who sells things of questionable value in an aggressive or dishonest manner.
verb tr.: To sell something of questionable value aggressively or dishonestly.
verb intr.: To haggle.
ETYMOLOGY: From Middle Dutch word hokester (peddler), from hoeken (to peddle). Earliest documented use: 1200s.
HUCKSTEE - the victim
HUNKSTER - one sharp dude
SHUCKSTER - diffident hillbilly
MEANING: verb tr.: To puzzle or to mystify.
ETYMOLOGY: From Middle French matagraboliser. Earliest documented use: 1635.
PETAGROBOLIZE - to turn into 10^15 Groboli
ME TAG ROBOT IZE - I shall label the visual sensors used by Asimov's Daneel Olivaw
META-GLOBOLIZE - add to a spherical molecule (e.g. a buckyball) two radicals separated by 120 degrees (compare ortho- and para-globolize)
MEANING: adjective: Sloping downward from a center in all directions.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin quaquaversus, from quaqua (in all directions), from qua (in what direction) + versus (towards), from vertere (to turn). Earliest documented use: 1691.
QUAQUAHERSAL - practice for the stage production of Make Way For Ducklings
QUADQUAVERSAL - the joint between the driveshaft and the axle on a 4x4 vehicle
QUAQUAMERSAL - a preservative for vaccines made in duck eggs
1. A whim.
2. A fanciful contrivance.
ETYMOLOGY: Itâs a Scots term, but we know little about it beyond that. Earliest documented use: 1730.
SHIGMALEERY - a drunk describing his distrust for sums (or standard deviations)
WHIGMALEVERY - a mechanical voting machine with a bias for Liberalism
WHIGGALEERY - worried about a shimmy
MEANING: verb tr.:
1. To deceive.
2. To confuse.
ETYMOLOGY: Of unknown origin. Earliest documented use: 1703.
- redundant term for a tippleBAMBOODLE
- the proceeds of a muggingRAMBOOZLE
- Sly Stallone is just putting you on
MEANING: noun: Nonsense.
ETYMOLOGY: Of unknown origin. Earliest documented use: 1834.
FLAYDOODLE - an idle drawing used to strike people across the shoulders and neck
FLAPOODLE - a Miami dog
FLAPNOODLE - waving linguini
MEANING: noun: 1. The bow with which the fiddle is played.
2. Something insignificant.
interj.: Nonsense. (typically used as a plural)
ETYMOLOGY: From fiddle, from Old English fithele + stick, from Old English sticca. Earliest documented use: 1400s.
NOTES: The use of the word to refer to something of little value may be related to the fact that the verb fiddle has a contemptuous meaning: to fiddle is to do something frivolous, to do something aimlessly. How did the bow of a violin end up being a synonym for nonsense? No one knows, but any comedian would tell you that words ending in a K sound are funny. And when you have a word starting with F and ending in K, well, it would be a crime not to employ it as an interjection
FIDDLETICK - something is rattling in my Stradivarius
FIDDLESTINK - my violin smells awful
RIDDLESTICK - a scytale
MEANING: noun: An unaccented beat before the first beat of a measure.
adjective: Cheerful; optimistic.
ETYMOLOGY: From up + Old English beatan (beat). Earliest documented use: 1869.
PUPBEAT - animal cruelty
UMPBEAT - what you want to do when he blows a call
PbEAT - cause of lead poisoning
MEANING: verb tr.:
1. To compose or arrange music for performance by an orchestra.
2. To arrange elements of a situation to achieve a desired result.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin orchestra, from Greek orkhestra, from orkheisthai (to dance). Earliest documented use: 1858.
OR CHESTER ATE - d'ya think maybe Chester skipped dinner?
ORCHESTRAFE - The airplanes are attacking Symphony Hall
PORCHES RATE - a nice veranda will enhance the curb appeal of your house
PRONUNCIATION: (KAHN-suhrt pich)
1. A tuning standard for musical instruments in which the note A above middle C is assigned a frequency of 440 cycles per second (audio).
2. A state of being tensely alert or ready.
ETYMOLOGY: From concert, from French concerter, from Italian concertare (harmonize) + pitch, probably from Old English pic. Earliest documented use: 1735.
CONVERT PITCH - proseytizing spiel
CONCERT MITCH - Mr Miller, the oboist, will present concerti by Albinoni, Bach, Cimarosa, and Handel
CONCERT PITAH - pocket breads will be available at intermission
TROMBENIK or TROMBENICK
noun: A lazy or a boastful person.
MEANING: noun: A lazy or a boastful person.
ETYMOLOGY: From Yiddish tromba (trumpet, horn) + -nik (suffix denoting a person associated with a particular quality, group, etc., e.g. nudnik). The English equivalent is a person tooting oneâs own horn. Earliest documented use: 1931.
TROMBON-ICK - I get nauseated just listening to horn music
TROMBENICE - brass player from the south of France
ROMBENIK - a square who sees things from a different angle
MEANING: verb tr.: To put into motion or action; to activate; to motivate.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin actuare (to actualize), from actus (act), past participle of agere (to drive or do). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ag- (to drive, draw, or move), which also gave us act, agent, agitate, litigate, synagogue, ambassador, agonistes, ambage, axiomatic, cogent, incogitant, exigent, exiguous, and intransigent. Earliest documented use: 1594.
ACLU ATE - dinner with the American Civil Liberties Union
ACQUATE - get to know somebody when you have a stuffed nose
ACTLATE - pretend you didn't arrive on time
MEANING: verb intr.: To have a discussion, especially with an opposing party.
noun: A discussion, especially between opposing groups.
ETYMOLOGY: Apparently from French parler (to talk), from Latin parabolare (to speak or talk), from parabola (speech). Earliest documented use: 1490.
PPARLEY - to discuss softly
PARLET - a capable but young golfer
PORLEY - not very well
MEANING: verb intr.: 1. To speak rhetorically.
2. To speak in a pompous manner.
verb tr.: 1. To recite with eloquence.
2. To state with passion.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin declamare, from de- (intensive prefix) + clamare (to shout). Earliest documented use: 1374.
E-CLAIM - file for benefits (insurance, Social Security, etc) via computer
DECLAM - remove bivalve molluscs
DEFLAIM - extinguish
DELAIM - successful outcome at Lourdes
PRONUNCIATION: (dy-VAR-uh-kayt, -kit for adjective)
MEANING: verb intr.: To branch off or diverge.
adjective: Branched off or diverging widely.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin divaricare, from dis- (apart) + varicare (to straddle), from varicus (straddling). Earliest documented use: 1623.
DIVARIATE - dependent on two and only two factors
DIVA, RICH, ATE - coloratura soprano with a lot of money went to dinner
DIVARICARE - Senator Divari's Universal Health Care proposal
MEANING: verb tr.: To pledge, pawn, or mortgage.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin impignorare/impignerare (to pledge), from pignus (pledge, pawn, mortgage). Earliest documented use: 1639.
I'M PIG, NO RAT - Stefan Patsis is reducing his cast of characters
IMP, IGNORE AT E - you young rascal, pay no attention after the fifth letter
IMPUGN ORATE - You're such an untrustworthy speaker
MEANING: adjective: Soft and smooth like velvet.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin velutum (velvet). Earliest documented use: 1826.
DELUTINOUS - removing a stringed instrument
MELUTINOUS - thick and viscous, like honey
VELUMINOUS - dim and attenuated, like light through thick, creamy paper
MEANING: adjective: Weird; supernatural; eerie.
ETYMOLOGY: Of uncertain origin. Perhaps from Old English elf + rice (realm). Earliest documented use: 1508.
EL DITCH - the Panama Canal (in Panama)
END RITCH - the goal of all fairy tales
ELD WITCH - Hermione, 80 years later
PRONUNCIATION: (klooj, kluhj)
MEANING: noun: An inelegant, improvised solution to a problem.
verb tr.: To improvise a haphazard solution to a problem.
ETYMOLOGY: Of uncertain origin. Earliest documented use: 1962.
NOTES: The first documented use of the word is from a 1962 article by Jackson W. Granholm in Datamation magazine: âHow to Design a Kludgeâ. That much is certain, but after that things get a bit fuzzy. Various origins have been suggested: German, Scots, military jargon, from the name of a paper feeder, but until we know definitely, weâll just have to be content with saying: origin unknown.
K-LUNGE - a quick thrust with a sharp weapon, that may turn abruptly in any of several directions
BLUDGE - to beat severely with a blunt object
K-LUDE - slang for a sedative drug popular the 60s (methaqualone)
MEANING: adjective: Relating to very dry conditions.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek xeros (dry). Earliest documented use: 1926.
EXERIC - and now known as Eberhart
XENIC - 1. Warrior Princessoid; 2. worthy of stopping a photographing the view
FERIC - petaining to Element Numbe 26 in its +3 state
MEANING: adjective: Easily seen through or understood.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin transpicere (to see through), from trans- (across) + specere (to look). Ultimately from the Indo-European root spek- (to observe) which also gave us suspect, spectrum, bishop (literally, overseer), espionage, despise, telescope, spectator, spectacles, conspectus, frontispiece, omphaloskepsis (navel gazing), perspicaciousness, perspicuous, prospicient, soupcon (a very small amount), speciesism, specious, and speculum. Earliest documented use: 1638.
TRAINSPICUOUS - every car is a vibrant and different primary color
TRANS-PIC-UO-UP - if you're feeling blue after changing your gender this will make you feel better
TRANS-PICROUS - the alternating configuration of picric acid (cf. cis-picrous)
MEANING: noun: A fetter or shackle.
verb tr.: To restrain.
ETYMOLOGY: Of unknown origin. Earliest documented use: 1275.
GYRE - to go round and round like a dog (or a gyroscope) - see Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky
YVE - a singular Saint Laurent
AYVE - what the Allied sailor said, confirming victory in Europe in World War Two
MEANING: noun: 1. One that is believed to bring bad luck.
2. A state of bad luck.
verb tr.: 1. To cast a spell on.
2. To bring bad luck upon.
ETYMOLOGY: Of uncertain origin. Perhaps from jynx wryneck, a bird that was used in witchcraft. Earliest documented use: 1911.
EIN X - marks der Spot, in Berlin
OINX - what pigs does
JEN-X - people born between the mid-60s to the early 80s, as they sloppily refer to themselves
MEANING: noun: A clumsy or stupid person.
ETYMOLOGY: From Yiddish klots (wooden block), from German Klotz (wooden block). Earliest documented use: 1968. Donât confuse this word with kludge. A Yiddish synonym is schlemiel.
KLOTZ - what stops you from bleeding
KLUTO - a midwestern dog is following a New York City dog and has misadventures (from a 1971 movie)
KLETZ - a bumbling Yiddish musician trying to play the clarinet
MEANING: adjective: Each; every.
ETYMOLOGY: From ilk (each), from Old English ylc + a (indefinite article). Earliest documented use: 1200.
MILKA -kitchen-English for "latte"
INKA - prefix for "dinka-doo" popularized in the Forties and Fifties by Jimmy Durante
ILKAT - Felix is sick
MEANING: adjective: Called or named.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old English geclypod, past participle of (ge)clypian (clepe). Earliest documented use: 950.
YCWEPT - what Elmer Fudd did, hunting Bugs Bunny (that Wascally Wabbit)
YSLEPT - took a nap,, first- or third-person depending on whether you pronounce the Y as a long I or a long E
CYCLEPT - struck hard by a one-eyed monster
MEANING: adjective: Expressing beliefs or opinions forcefully or positively as if they were true.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin dogma (tenet), from Greek dogma (opinion), from dokein (to seem good, think). Ultimately from the Indo-European root dek- (to take, accept), which also gave us dignity, discipline, doctor, decorate, docile, deign, condign, doxy, heterodox, and philodox. Earliest documented use: 1605.
DOGMATTIC - the place to store old, outdated authoritarian ideas
DOHMATIC - the verbal behavior of Bart Simpson
DOG MA TICK - the reason Fido is persistently infested by disease-carrying insects
MEANING: verb tr.:
1. To purify by means of rituals or ceremonies.
2. To remove undesirable people from an organization, especially in an abrupt or violent manner.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin lustrare (to make bright). Ultimately from the Indo-European root leuk- (light), which also gave us lunar, lunatic, light, lightning, lucid, illuminate, illustrate, translucent, lux, lynx, pellucid, lucubrate, lutestring, limn, levin, and lea. Earliest documented use: 1623.
DUSTRATE - how much it costs to clean the house
LUSHRATE - percentage of the population that has alcohol-use disorder
LU'S TRADE - he swapped WHAT for WHAT?
MEANING: noun: A whirlwind or whirlpool.
ETYMOLOGY: From French tourbillon (whirlwind), from Latin turbo (spinning top, whirl), from Greek turbe (turmoil, confusion). Earliest documented use: 1477.
FOURBILLION - approximate number of seconds since 1891 (US)
TOURBULLION - what you can't do in Fort Knox, KY
TOUR BILL ICON - what you click on to pay for your vacation trip
1. Out of line; lopsided; out of whack.
ETYMOLOGY: Of uncertain origin. The term is used in the American south. Perhaps from anti- (against) + goggling, from goggle (to look obliquely). Perhaps influenced by the folk etymology âagainst Godâ. Earliest documented use: around 1900.
ANTIGON-LIN - Orestes' drama is recast in Federalist America and done in Rap
ANTIGODLING - I hate that baby Eros with his bow and arrow
ANTIGODLINE - No, I don't think a direct phone to Heaven would be a good idea
MEANING: verb tr.: To please or gratify.
ETYMOLOGY: From Italian aggradare (to please), from Latin aggratare, from gratus (pleasing, grateful). Earliest documented use: 1590.
AGGERATE - properly described, after previously having been over-hyped
AG ORATE - the Attorney General will speak...
AGOG RATE - ..and how many people are waiting eagerly to hear it
MEANING: noun: An extreme softness, smoothness, or delicacy, especially in works of art, sculpture, music, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: From Italian morbidezza (softness, smoothness), from morbido (soft, smooth), from Latin morbidus (diseased), from morbus (disease). Ultimately from the Indo-European root mer- (to rub away or to harm), which also gave us morsel, mordant, mortal, mortgage, nightmare, amaranth, amaranthine, daymare, mortify, premorse, and ambrosia. Earliest documented use: 1624.
MORBIDEZRA - American poet writing about death, disease, and unhappiness
AMOR B.I.D. EZZA - fall in love two times every day, Ezzy!
MORBIDEZIA - the black sheep of the Addams Family; second cousin to Itt and Morticia
MEANING: verb tr., intr.: To shout or utter loudly.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin vox (voice) + ferre (to bear). Earliest documented use: 1548.
VOICI-FERATE - to exclaim loudly in French "Here it is!"
VOCIFERRATE - to speak in a steely voice, which brooks no refusal
VOCIFERANTE - how much it costs to play at the Vocifer Poker Palace
VOCO-FER-ATE - I call for an octet in Rome
MEANING: verb tr.: To place side by side for comparison or contrast.
ETYMOLOGY: Back-formation from juxtaposition, from Latin juxta (near, next) + French poser (to place). Ultimately from the Indo-European root yeug- (to join), which is also the ancestor of junction, yoke, yoga, adjust, enjoin, rejoinder, junta, junto, syzygy, jugular, jugulate, subjugate, zeugma, and rejoinder. Earliest documented use: 1851.
JUXT S'POSE - let's pretend
JUXTAPPOSE - that's redundant!
JUNTA POSE - the rulers put it there
MEANING: noun: A detective.
ETYMOLOGY: After the name of a detective in the 1863 play
The Ticket-of-Leave Man by Tom Taylor. The character also
appeared in the comic strip Hawkshaw the Detective
by Gus Mager. Earliest documented use: 1863.
HAWKSLAW - the relationship between size and force on a solid object,
as described by Robert Hawks in the 17th Century
("Stress is proportional to Strain")
HAWKSHAWL - what Hawkwoman wears when she's chilled
HAWKSHOW - a convention of falconers
MEANING: noun: A 500th anniversary. (Also known as a quincentenary)
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin quingenti (five hundred), from quinque (five) + centum (hundred). Earliest documented use: 1884.
QUINCENTENARY - worth a nickel (formerly "duocentenary" (as in "Put your two cents in") but what with inflation and all...)
RUINGENTENARY - causing the downfall of an otherwise fine fellow
QUINRENTENARY - increasing the monthly payment by a factor of five after the property emerges from the Rent Control laws
1. A writer or teller of fables.
2. A liar.
ETYMOLOGY: From French fabuliste, from Latin fabula (talk, tale, legend), from fari (to speak). Earliest documented use: 1593.
FLABULIST - prospective customers for the new Fitness Center
FAQULIST (or FACULIST)- what the teaching staff are most likely to need to answer
FIBULIST - one who smites enemies with a lower-leg-bone (as opposed to Samson, who used the jawbone of an ass)
MEANING: noun: A fool.
ETYMOLOGY: Of uncertain origin. Perhaps alteration of numbskull, remodeled after Humpty Dumpty. Earliest documented use: 1985.
LUMPTY - it's done at 4 PM with a cube of sugar
NUMSTY - the pigpen is awash with novacaine
NEMPTY - what you get your nickel deposit back for
[the first syllable is nasal]
MEANING: noun: A person who lives on income from rent, interest, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: From French rentier (a person of independent means), from rente (private income). Earliest documented use: 1650.
R-MENTIER - where Mademoiselle comes from (Hinky-dinky-par-lay-voo) (can be sung)
RENTIFER - hire a Christmas tree
RUNTIER - smaller and misshapen and less vigorous
RONTIER - all's quiet at the outermost known edge ( no âš )
MEANING: noun: 1. A contemptible person.
2. An informer.
3. A strikebreaker.
verb intr.: 1. To inform against someone.
2. To fail to do something promised.
3. To stop working.
ETYMOLOGY: The origin of the term is not certain. One theory suggests itâs named after Pinkerton, a private security company whose agents were hired to break up strikes late in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Another possibility is that itâs from German slang Fink (finch), used by students for other students who were not affiliated with a fraternity (i.e., they were free birds). Earliest documented use: 1903.
FLINK - what connects an E with a G
FANK - a young child's expression of gratitude
FIN-KO - Monsieur Louis ended ze boxing match wiz a knock-out
MEANING: noun: A vain, conceited person.
ETYMOLOGY: Alluding to a personâs having a high opinion of themselves, as having a big swelled head. From swell, from Old English swellan + head, from Old English heafod (top of the body). Earliest documented use: 1845.
SWELLHEAR - what happens when you the organ pedal press
WELLHEAD - where the oil comes out of the ground
SWELL-HEX-AD - Weasleys' Joke Shop has a great promotion for their new jinx in both the Quibbler and the Daily Prophet
adjective: Having characteristics of both rural and urban life.
A blend of rural + urban, from Latin rus (country) and urbs (city). Earliest documented use: 1915.
FURBAN - one goal of PETA
QURBAN - list of Thou Shalt Nots in Arabic
RUMBAN - 1. Prohibition
2. pertaining to a Cuban dance
MEANING: noun: An irregularly curling or looping line, string, etc.
verb tr., intr.: 1. To make an irregularly curling or looping line.
2. To squirm or wriggle.
3. To scribble.
ETYMOLOGY: Perhaps a blend of squirm + wriggle. Earliest documented use: 1804.
SQUIGGLER - someone who catches queer eels
QUIGGLE - a Quidditch maneuver whereby the Snitch you thought you had trapped veers unpredictably
SHUIGGLE - what you do with your toes in the shoe-store fluoroscope machine
MEANING: noun: Financial support or other compensation given by one member of an unmarried couple to another after separation.
ETYMOLOGY: A blend of pal and alimony, from Latin alimonia (sustenance), from alere (to nourish). Ultimately from the Indo-European root al- (to grow or to nourish), which also gave us adolescent, adult, old, alumnus, altitude, enhance, coalesce, prolific, outre, and hauteur. Earliest documented use: 1977.
MALIMONY - 1. Financial support or other compensation given to your mother
2. Financial support or other compensation given with bad intentions
HALIMONY - Financial support or other compensation given to your estranged computer
FPALIMONY - Financial support or other compensation given with a large payment up front,
followed subsuquenly by much smaller payments
PRONUNCIATION: (GES-ti-mayt for verb; -muht for noun)
MEANING: verb tr.: To make an estimate based on guesswork.
noun: An estimate based on guesswork.
ETYMOLOGY: A blend of guess + estimate. Earliest documented use: 1936.
GUESTIMATE - try to figure out how many are coming for dinner
GUESS TIME ATE - ...and how long it took to eat it
GUESSTIVATE - how long should my summer vacation be?
MEANING: noun: A device that appears to be strange, makeshift, or complicated.
ETYMOLOGY: Perhaps a blend of contrive + trap + invention. Earliest documented use: 1825.
CONTRA-PION - a new subatomic anti-particle
CON-TRAP-TIN - a thief could cut his way out of it with a pair of scissors (compare CON-TRAP-IRON)
CONTRAPATION - working against your employer
CONT.RATION - your meal will arrive on schedule
MEANING: adjective: Having the power to attract; appealing.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin allicere (to entice). Earliest documented use: 1613.
- one who tries to lose weight by taking orlistat ALLICENT
- her parents couldn't decide whether to name her after Grandma Allison or Grandma Millicent
MEANING: adjective: Drooping, nodding, or bending forward.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin cernuus (bowing). Earliest documented use: 1653.
- pedantic, predictable, monotonous, and thoroughCERNulous
- like a microcosm of atomic physicistsCORNUOUS
MEANING: adjective: Yellow or yellowish.
ETYMOLOG: From Greek xanthos (yellow). Earliest documented use: 1817. Two related words are xanthodontous (having yellow teeth) and Xanthippe (a nagging woman).
EXANTHIC - with a rash on the skin, like measles or chickenpox
PANTHIC - feline. (Better still, if called by a panthic, don't anthic)
XANTNIC - who comes down the chimney on December 25
1. Preying on other animals.
2. Seeking to exploit others.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin praedari (to prey upon), from praeda (booty). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ghend-/ghed- (to seize or to take), which is also the source of pry, prey, spree, reprise, surprise, osprey, prison, impregnable, impresa, prise, and reprehend. Earliest documented use: 1665.
PREDATIOUS - occurring before, especially before acknowledgments of debt
PREFACIOUS - tending to give lengthy and tedious introductory remarks
PRUDACIOUS - conspicuously prim and proper, not to say Victorian
MEANING: adjective: Strongly urging.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin hortari (to urge). Ultimately from the Indo-European root gher- (to like or want), which also gave us yearn, charisma, greedy, and exhort. Earliest documented use: 1623.
ORTATIVE - piecemeal
SHORTATIVE - abbreviated
SORTATIVE - categorizing
HORATATIVE - defending bridges despite overwhelming odds
MEANING: noun: Morning song, poem, or music.
ETYMOLOGY: From French aubade (dawn serenade), from Spanish albada (aubade), from Latin albus (white). Ultimately from the Indo-European root albho- (white), which is also the source of oaf, albino, album, albumen, elflock, and albedo. Earliest documented use: 1678.
AMBADE - walking distance
AUBADUE - should have been done yesterday
ANUBADE - requested by Mr Garg
DAUBADE - paintings by a 3-year-old
MEANING: noun: A study of people in a group, identifying patterns, connections, etc.: a collective biography.
ETYMOLOGY: From German Prosopographie, from Latin prosopographia, from Greek prosopon (face, mask), from pros- (facing) + ops (eye) + -graphy (writing). Earliest documented use: 1577.
PROSTOPOGRAPHY - pictures of an unsuccessful fourth-and-goal run
PROSONOGRAPHY - in favor of ultrasound examinations
PROTO-PO-GRAPHY - the imaging of the river is in its infancy
PROSOAPOGRAPHY - we need a catalog of soap sculptures
1. A hairpiece.
2. An imitation or sham.
ETYMOLOGY: From French postiche (hairpiece, fake), from Italian posticcio (counterfeit), from Latin appositus, past participle of apponere (to put near), from ponere (to put). Ultimately from the Indo-European root apo- (off or away), that also gave us after, off, awkward, post, puny, aphelion, apheresis, apograph, apopemptic, apophasis, and aposematic. Earliest documented use: 1854.
POST-RICHE - a member of the bourgeoisie whose money is all gone
ĂSTICHE - Austrian citizen (female)
POSTICLE - frozen dessert fence-picket-on-a-stick
MEANING: noun: An expedition to observe (or, in the past, to hunt) wild animals in their natural habitat.
verb intr.: To go on such an expedition.
ETYMOLOGY: From Swahili safari (journey), from Arabic safari (of a journey), from safar (journey). Earliest documented use: 1859.
SAFARUS - a solo expedition to observe wild animals in their natural habitat (fem. SAFARA)
SOFARI - an introductory phrase describing my immediate past
SAMARO - a mispronounced Chevy muscle car
1. Lump or a large amount of something.
ETYMOLOGY: For 1: Probably from Middle French gobe/goube (mouthful, lump). Earliest documented use: 1382.
For 2: Probably from Irish and/or Scottish Gaelic gob (beak, mouth). Earliest documented use: 1568.
For 3: Probably from gobshite (a worthless person), from gob (lump) + shite (feces). Earliest documented use: 1910.
OOB - v.t., to help a patient get Out Of Bed during a hospital stay
GSB - a dyslexic British playwright, author of Pymgalion and others
GOK - identified GOK's Disease, a common malady without a cure ("What's wrong with him? God Only Knows")
1. A splinter.
2. A tiny amount of something.
3. A thin or slight person.
4. An annoying or troublesome person.
ETYMOLOGY: Probably from Middle Low German or obsolete Dutch schelf (flake, splinter, or scale). Earliest documented use: 1610.
ASKELF - how to find your way to Santa's Workshop
'SKERF - what you call the blade's-width of sawdust lost by cutting wood
SKEEF - a small flat-bottomed open boat with a pointed bow and square stern, sailing under the Spanish flag
MEANING: noun: 1. A tile laid in overlapping rows to cover walls or roofs.
2. A small signboard indicating a professional office. Used in the phrase âto hang oneâs shingleâ.
3. A womanâs close-cropped haircut tapering from the back of the head to the nape.
4. Waterworn pebbles found on a beach.
5. A place where such pebbles are found.
verb tr.: 1. To cover with shingles or to lay out something in an overlapping manner.
2. To cut hair in a shingle.
3. To squeeze or hammer puddled iron to remove impurities.
ETYMOLOGY: For noun 1-3 & verb 1-2: From Latin scindula (a thin piece of wood). Earliest documented use: 1200.
For noun 4-5: Of uncertain origin. Earliest documented use: 1513.
For verb 3: From French cingler (to whip or beat), from German zĂ€ngeln, from Zange (tongs). Earliest documented use: 1674.
SHINOLE - a brand of brown shoe polish
SPHINGLE - the Sphinx's daughter
SHIGGLE - combination of shimmy and wiggle, close to a modern-day twerk
PRONUNCIATION: (PLEE-nuhm, PLEN-uhm)
1. An assembly in which all members are present.
2. A space in which air or another gas is at pressure greater than the atmospheric pressure.
3. A space filled with matter, as contrasted with vacuum.
4. A space, above the ceiling or below the floor, that serves as a receiving chamber for heated or cooled air.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin plenus (full). Earliest documented use: 1674.
UP-LE-NUM - French for "Long Live What's-his-Name!"
PELENUM - soccer star couldn't feel anything on his forehead after so many years of trauma there
PHENUM - charges for services
MEANING: verb tr.: 1. To advise.
2. To interpret or explain.
noun: 1. Advice.
2. An account or a narration.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old English rÇŁdan (read). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ar- (to fit together), which also gave us army, harmony, article, order, read, adorn, arithmetic, rhyme, and ratiocinate. Earliest documented use: before 450.
REDER - someone who peruses only abridged books
RENE - jargon for a kidney
RE-BE - undergo reincarnation
MEANING: noun: The study of fungi.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek myco- (mushroom, fungus) + -logy (study). Earliest documented use: 1836.
MYOLOGY - the study of muscles
MY COLOGN - my vial of scent is not quite full
MYCRO-LOGY - Sherlock's brother is sluggish today
MYCOLONY? - Why, I come from Massachusetts, thank you for asking
MEANING: noun: One who loves cats.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek ailuro- (cat) + -phile (lover). Earliest documented use: 1914.
-- There have been some serious ailurophiles over the years. Examples: Ben Rea of UK who left $13 million to his black cat Blackie or Maria Assunta of Italy who also left $13 million to her black cat Tommaso.
-- If there are any black cats reading this, I recommend they use Google to find their nearest aging ailurophile millionaire having a net worth of $13 million. Or they could just start a YouTube channel.
--The opposite of an ailurophile is ailurophobe.
A FLUROPHILE - my dentist (he sees so many fewer cavities since fluoride)
in Cockney accent
A short Japanese poem
I love to listen
AILEROPHILE - those trim tabs make my plane fly so much more smoothly
OROGENY - making mountains
MEANING: noun: Folding and faulting of the earthâs crust resulting in mountain formation.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek oro- (mountain) + -geny (formation). Earliest documented use: 1890.
OTOGENE - the DNA determinant of ear shape
FROGENY - tadpoles
OWOGE, NY a dyslexic town in Tioga County, on the Susquehanna River, about 17 miles west of Binghamaton
MEANING: adjective: Living close to the ground, as certain plants.
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek epi- (upon) + -geal (relating to earth), from ge (earth). Earliest documented use: 1861.
A-PIG-EAL - no ham, no bacon. Boaring.
E-PAGEAL - Amazon Kindular
EPI-GOAL - everyone should be able to afford to carry emergency anaphylaxis therapy
MEANING: adjective: Well-developed and able to leave the nest soon after hatching.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin nidi- (nest) + -fugous (fleeing). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sed- (to sit), which is also the source of nest, sit, chair, saddle, assess, sediment, soot, cathedral, and tetrahedron. Earliest documented use: 1902.
NOTES: The opposite of nidifugous is nidicolous (remaining with parents for a long time after birth). Etymologically speaking, these words apply to birds, but thereâs no reason you canât use them elsewhere. For example, if your adult child suggests living in your basement, you could simply say, âDonât be nidicolous!â
NIDIFUNGOUS - the nest is covered with mold
MIDIFUGOUS - the ecdysiast has a short skirt that flies off easily
Ni-di-F-U-GOUS - made with nickel, two atoms of fluorine, and uranium
MEANING: noun: A bullfrog -- a heavy-bodied frog having a deep resonant croak. Also known as bloody noun.
ETYMOLOGY: Of imitative origin. Earliest documented use: 1910.
BROODNOUN - a swarm of bullfrog tadpoles
BLOODNOUS - our French relatives
BLOODNOON - when a solar eclipse occurs precisely at midday and everything looks reddish just prior to totality
MEANING: noun: A member of a sodality (a fellowship or association).
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin sodalitas (fellowship), from sodalis (companion). Earliest documented use: 1794.
NOTE: A sodalist is not a list of Coke, Pepsi, and other carbonated beverages.
SODALAST - Mama's Rule, so you won't spoil your appetite for dinner
ODALIST - a poet of limited repertoire
Ć KODALIST - available models and prices of a Czech automobile
MEANING: adjective: Depraved.
noun: A wicked person.
verb tr.: To disapprove or condemn.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin reprobare (to disapprove), from re- + probare (to test, approve), from probus (good). Ultimately from the Indo-European root per- (forward), which also gave us paramount, prime, proton, prow, probative, probity, reproof, reprove, German Frau (woman), and Hindi purana (old). Earliest documented use: 1532.
NOTE: Remember, to reprobate does not mean to probate again.
REPRONATE - turn your hand palm down, again
REPROGATE - political scandal at the Artificial Insemination center
REPROTATE - the art gallery sells prints of the collection in its gift shop
1. An accessory, equipment, gear, etc. associated with an activity or style of living.
2. A subordinate part.
3. In law, rights belonging to a principal property (for example, the right of way).
ETYMOLOGY: From Anglo-Norman apurtenance, from Latin appertinere (to appertain), from ad- (near) + pertinere (to belong), from per- (through) + tenere (to hold). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ten- (to stretch), which also gave us tense, tenet, tendon, tent, tenor, tender, pretend, extend, tenure, tetanus, hypotenuse, pertinacious, detente, countenance, distend, extenuate, and tenable. Earliest documented use: 1377.
NOTE: Appurtenance is not the opposite of purtenance, which means entrails of an animal.
APPURTENANCY - just rented the apartment to Mr Appur
APP-URGENANCE - high pressure techniques to induce you to make purchases from your smartphone
AP: PURETEN ANTE - News flash: it'll cost you $10 to play at this poker table, and the bill has to be clean and unsullied
verb tr.: To place next to or side by side: to juxtapose.
From Latin apponere (to put near), from ad- (near) + ponere (to put). Ultimately from the Indo-European root apo- (off or away), which is also the source of after, off, awkward, post, and puny. Earliest documented use: 1593.
AP POST - dispatch from the news agency
ATP-OSE - sugar with a high-energy phosphate bond
AM POSE - pretending to be irritable until you've had enough coffee
PRONUNCIATION; (o-KAY, O-kay)
MEANING:adjective: 1. Satisfactory; not very good or very bad.
4. In good health.
noun: Approval or permission.
verb: To authorize or approve.
adverb: In a satisfactory manner.
interjection: Used to express acknowledgment or agreement.
In the 1830s, in Boston, there was a fad of making abbreviations; also of using jocular misspellings. So âall correctâ became of âoll korrectâ which became abbreviated to OK.
The word would have ended as a fad, but along came US President Martin Van Buren (1782-1862). During his re-election campaign of 1840, his supporters adopted the word OK as a nickname for him (short for Old Kinderhook; he was born in Kinderhook, New York) and the word has lived on ever since, not only in the English language, but most of the languages around the world. Earliest documented use: 1839.
Itâs OK. Itâs an all-American word. And like many things made in America, itâs used everywhere. Not bad for a two-letter word. It can work as an adjective, noun, verb, adverb, interjection, and probably anything else that your imagination can conjure. Itâs not often that a whole book is written about a single word. Check out OK: the Improbable Story Of Americaâs Greatest Word.
- what a Cockney goes into when he's short of cashAK
- half of an anti-aircraft barrageOKA
- a goose, whose eggs were made into a musical instrument when dried out and emptied and perforated just so...thousands of years ago
1. A decisive blow or remark.
2. Something exceptional or outstanding.
ETYMOLOGY: Of unknown origin, apparently from sock. Earliest documented use: 1830.
NOTES: The word sockdolager has an unusual claim to fame in US history. It turned out to be the cue on which John Wilkes Booth fired his shot at the 16th US President, Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), in Fordâs Theater. Lincoln was watching the play Our American Cousin and Booth, an actor himself and aware of the dialog, knew the line that brought the loudest burst of laughter from the audience was:
âWell, I guess I know enough to turn you inside out, you sockdologising old man-trap.â
Booth fired his gun at that precise moment to muffle the loud noise of his shot with the guffaws from the audience.
SOCKO LAGER - the beer is outstanding
SOCK DOWAGER - the old lady is about to get beat up
SOCK DOLL AGER - the hand puppet is starting to look decrepit
PRONUNCIATION: (TED-ee bear)
1. A stuffed toy in the shape of a bear.
2. Something or someone (especially a large or hairy person) who resembles a teddy bear in appearance or being endearing.
ETYMOLOGY: After US President Theodore âTeddyâ Roosevelt (1858-1919). Earliest documented use: 1906.
NOTES: The story goes that, on a hunting trip, Teddy Roosevelt wasnât able to find an animal to kill. So his people found a black bear and tied the poor animal to a tree inviting Teddy to shoot. Teddy refused (but instead ordered his people to kill the bear to put him out of his misery). Inspired by this a toymaker created a stuffed bear and called it Teddyâs bear. It sold!
TODDY BEAR - my stuffed animal likes a drink (unlike his brother, <