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HIPPODROME

PRONUNCIATION: (HIP-uh-drohm)

MEANING: noun: A stadium for horse races, chariot races, horse shows, etc.
verb tr.: To manipulate or prearrange the outcome of a contest.

ETYMOLOGY: From Greek hippos (horse) + dromos (running). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ekwo- (horse), which also gave us equestrian and equitant. Earliest documented use: 1549.

NOTES: Match fixing has been around for as long as humans have been having matches. Today’s word shows it going as far as ancient horse racing.
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WHIPPODROME - site of the National SadoMasochists Convention

HIP POD ROSE - where the attar is

HIPPO-DRONE - ...and you thought they couldn't even get off the ground!

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HORSE RACE

PRONUNCIATION: (HORS rays)

MEANING: noun:
1. The treating of a contest, especially an election, as if a sport, focusing on polls, perceptions, etc., instead of substantive issues, such as policies.
2. A close contest.

ETYMOLOGY: From horse, from Old English hors + race, from Old Norse (ras). Earliest documented use: 1586.
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MORSE RACE - contest to see who has the fastest "fist"

HOARSER ACE - the stunt pilot had a raspier voice after all that shouting (and smoking)

HER SERA, C.E. - she sells immunization supplies in the European Common Union

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CHIVALRY

PRONUNCIATION: (SHIV-uhl-ree)

MEANING: noun:
1. The ideal qualifications of a knight: courtesy, honor, bravery, gallantry, etc.
2. The institution of knighthood, a group of knights, a gallant deed, etc.

ETYMOLOGY: From Old French chevalerie, from chevalier (knight), from Latin caballus (horse). Earliest documented use: 1297.

NOTES: Chivalry sounds nice, but it hides a dark side. While pretending to treat women with courtesy, we also treat them as if they are less capable, in leadership, in intelligence, and so on. It took as late as 1919 for women to get the right to vote in the US, for example. As late as 2016, some people voted for an incompetent over a highly accomplished woman, because, in their view, a “man can do a better job than a woman”
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[Also known as a "cavalier" attitude - and for good etymological reason...]
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SHIVALRY - Code of the Streets: gangs agree - no guns, only knives during rumbles

CO-HIVALRY - when two bee colonies work together for mutual advantage (usually occurs when the respective Queens are twins)

CHIRAL-RY - inability to superimpose on one's mirror image. Think gloves.

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WAR-HORSE

PRONUNCIATION: (WAR-hors)

MEANING: noun:
1. A horse used in war. Also known as a charger.
2. An experienced, dependable person, thing, etc., one who has gone through many contests, battles, struggles, etc.
3. Something, such as a play, a piece of music, etc., that has been performed often to become hackneyed.

ETYMOLOGY: From war, from Old English (werre) + horse, from hors. Earliest documented use: 1586.
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WAX HORSE - Cetohippus, statue by Madame Toussaud

WART-HORSE - a chimera of half horse, half toad

WAR-NORSE - Odin and his buddies

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WRANGLER

PRONUNCIATION: (RANG-luhr)

MEANING: noun:
1. A cowboy who takes care of horses.
2. A person who engages in debates, quarrels, or disputes.
3. A person who handles animals, puppets, babies, unruly humans, etc., especially on a film set.

ETYMOLOGY: Probably partial translation of Mexican Spanish caballerango (groom or stable boy), from caballo (horse), from Latin caballus (horse). 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: 1518.
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P.R. ANGLER - a fisherman from San Juan

W RANGER - patrols the West

WRIANGLER - someone to whom everything looks somewhat askew

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CAT'S PAJAMAS

PRONUNCIATION: (CATS puh-JAH-muhz)

MEANING: noun: Something or someone truly excellent.

ETYMOLOGY: From cat + pajamas, from Hindi/Urdu pajama or payjama (loose-fitting trousers), from Persian pay (leg) + jama (garment). Earliest documented use: 1923.

NOTES: In the 1920s, in the US it was fashionable to coin terms on the pattern of x’s y (where x is an animal) to describe something cool or awesome. Some synonyms of today’s term are bee’s knees, dog’s bollocks, cat’s meow, and cat’s whiskers.
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CATS PA JAMES - "...and I think - I think I shall call him Jim / 'cause I am so fond of him!" - A A Milne

CATSPAW AMAS - he's a dummy, but you love him anyway

SCAT'S PAJAMAS - a love-hate relationship

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ZENO'S PARADOX

PRONUNCIATION: (ZEE-noz PAR-uh-doks)

MEANING: noun:
1. Any of various paradoxes proposed by Zeno, dealing with change and motion.
2. The appearance of getting closer and closer to a goal, but never reaching there.

ETYMOLOGY: After the Greek philosopher Zeno of Elea (c. 490-430 BCE) who proposed a number of paradoxes as defense of the doctrine of his teacher Parmenides.

NOTES: The best-known among Zeno’s paradoxes is that of a race between Achilles and a tortoise. Achilles runs faster, but the tortoise has a headstart. By the time Achilles reaches the tortoise’s starting position, the tortoise has moved forward. By the time he reaches the tortoise’s new position, the tortoise has moved farther, even though the gap is now smaller.

According to the paradox, Achilles would never catch up with the tortoise because the tortoise would always be a little ahead, no matter how small the gap. Yet, we know Achilles does catch up with the tortoise (he is Achilles, not a hare). How does he do it? By not dozing off in his high school calculus and understanding the concept of limits: if you add up that infinite sequence of increasing smaller spans he traveled, you get a finite distance.
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ZEN'S PARADOX - What is the sound of one hand clapping?

ZERO'S PARADOX - division, in the field of real numbers

ZENO SPARED OX - The ox was to be slaughtered as a sacrifice to Zeus, but instead it was sent off into the wilderness carrying all our sins. There it met and was adopted by Paul Bunyan, and the rest is his story...

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GODWIN'S LAW

PRONUNCIATION: (GOD-winz law)

MEANING: noun: The idea that as a debate progresses, it becomes inevitable that someone would compare another to Hitler or the Nazis.

ETYMOLOGY: Coined by Mike Godwin (b. 1956). Earliest documented use: 1991.

NOTES: Lawyers don’t make laws, but a lawyer once did make a “law”. Back when people lived in caves, they used something called the Usenet to engage in discussions with people around the world. These discussions involved passionate arguments and debates on humanity’s deep yearnings and moral dilemmas. Is it pronounced gif or jif? Is Mac better or PC? Does it take one space or two after a period? The Who vs. Led Zeppelin. vi vs. emacs?

A lawyer named Mike Godwin coined an adage that stated: “As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.” Since then Godwin’s law has served as a useful reminder that whenever a comparison to Hitler or Nazis is made, the discussion is over and the one making such a comparison loses.

There is, however, an exception. When actual Nazis (or as our president calls them, “very fine people”) are involved in a discussion, invoking Godwin’s law doesn’t mean anything. Godwin himself has stated that many times.
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GOODWIN'S LAW - Discussion of business is not allowed at the dinner table! (or was that Nero Wolfe's Law?)

GODWIN'S LAWN - mixed fescues, no doubt

GOD, WINSLOW - That, Mr Homer, is what's missing from your paintings

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CHILD'S PLAY

PRONUNCIATION: (CHYLDZ play)

MEANING: noun: Something trivial; a task easily accomplished.

ETYMOLOGY: From child, from Old English cild + play, from Old English plegan. Ultimately from the Indo-European root dlegh- (to engage oneself), which also gave us pledge, plight, and indulge. Earliest documented use: 1275.
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CHILD'S PLAN - When I grow up I'm gonna be a fireman...or a rocket pilot!

CHILE'S PLAY - original title for Evita; most memorable song was "Don't Cry for Me, Valparaiso"

CHILD'S PLAY - the 305 Ballads that minstrels have drawn on for 150 years

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PLATO'S CAVE

PRONUNCIATION: (PLAY-tohz kayv)

MEANING: noun: An illusory place or experience.

ETYMOLOGY: After the allegory of Plato’s cave in which people imprisoned there see shadows and assume that to be their reality. Earliest documented use: 1683.
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PLATO SCARE - We're having a big test on Ancient Greek tomorrow

PLATO'S CAVE - "Beware the Ides of March, Socrates!"

PLATH'S CAVE - where Sylvia went to hide from the world

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