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CORDILLERA

PRONUNCIATION: (kor-duhl-YER-uh)

MEANING: noun: A chain of mountains or mountain ranges.

ETYMOLOGY: From Spanish cordillera, diminutive of cuerda (cord), from Latin chorda (cord), from Greek khorde (gut). Earliest documented use: 1704.
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CORD ILL SERA - inoculants against umbilical cord disease
see also CORD ILLER - mine is sicker than yours

COR DILL SERA - inoculants against pickled heart

COR-DRILLER - a cardiologist who practices TMR (Trans-Myocardial Revascularization)

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BONDIEUSERIE

PRONUNCIATION: (bon-DYOO-zuh-ree)

MEANING: noun: A piece of banal religious art, devotional object, ornament, etc.

ETYMOLOGY: From French bondieuserie (religious knick-knack), from bon (good) + dieu (god). Earliest documented use: 1941.
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BLONDIE USER, I.E. - someone who takes advantage of Dagwood Bumstead's wife, I mean to say

BON-DIEUSE RITE - ritual of Benign-Goddess worship

BOND E.U. SERIES - Ian Fleming also wrote of his debonair agent's adventures on the Continent

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PAREDOLIA

PRONUNCIATION: (per-eye-DOH-lee-uh)

MEANING: noun: The tendency to see a specific pattern or meaningful images in random stimulus.

ETYMOLOGY: From German Pareidolien, from Greek para- (along) + eidolon (image), from eidos (form, idea). Ultimately from the Indo-European root weid- (to see), which also gave us wise, view, supervise, wit, eidetic, eidos, vidimus, previse, hades, guy, invidious, and vizard. Earliest documented use: 1962.
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PRE-IDOL IA - Des Moines before the Beatles' visit

PARSE "I DO," LIA - Lia, take apart that short sentence for me and tell me the meaning and function of each word

PARED ELIA - Charles Lamb has been peeled

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AKRATIC

PRONUNCIATION: (uh-KRAT-ik)

MEANING: adjective: Characterized by weakness of will that results in acting contrary to one’s better judgment.

ETYMOLOGY: From Greek akretes (powerless), from a- (without) + kratos (power, strength). Earliest documented use: 1896.
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AGRA TIC - I get a twitch every time I see the Taj Mahal

AKMATIC - nickname of a Russian-made 7.62mm semi-automatic rifle

ARRATIC - unpredictable

OKRATIC - full of gumbo

PAKRATIC - given to collecting and saving useless baubles

UKRATIC - the British Public's expectations of Brexit

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SATYAGRAHA

PRONUNCIATION: (suh-TYAH-gruh-uh, sut-YAH-gru-ha)

MEANING: noun: The policy of passive nonviolent resistance as a protest against injustice.

ETYMOLOGY: Coined by Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) in India’s freedom struggle, from Sanskrit satyagraha, from satyam (truth) + agraha (determination, insistence), ultimately from the Indo-European root ghrebh- (to seize or reach), which also gave us grasp and grab. Earliest documented use: 1920.
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SATYAGRAHAM - the silent struggle to market a new cracker

SATYR! AGRA! HA! - A bordello next to the Taj Mahal? Who knew?!

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MOON SHOT

PRONUNCIATION: (MOON shot)

MEANING: noun:
1. A mission to the moon.
2. A highly ambitious, unlikely project with great potential impact.
3. In sports, an act of hitting or throwing a ball very high.

ETYMOLOGY: From moon + shot, from Old English sceot/gesceot. Earliest documented use: 1949. Also, there’s an earlier citation from 1873, in the sense, lit by moonlight.
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MOOR SHOT - Oh, no! Othello's been assassinated!

NOON'S HOT - If you don't like it, stay out of Arizona!

MORON SHOT - 0.5 cc of this stuff injected will turn you into a gibbering idiot

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LIGHT-YEAR

PRONUNCIATION: (LYT yeer)

MEANING: noun:
1. A unit of length equal to the distance traveled by light in one year in a vacuum, about 5.88 trillion miles or 9.46 trillion km.
2. Very far, in distance or time.

ETYMOLOGY: From light, from Old English leoht + year, from Old English gear. Earliest documented use: 1888.

NOTES: A light-year is a unit of distance -- there’s no such unit as a heavy-year (nor is there a dark-year). To get a light-year’s worth of frequent-flier miles you’d need to travel between New York and Moscow only a little over a billion times.
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MIGHTY EAR - what it takes to hear a pin drop

FLIGHT-YEAR - how long a trip to Mars in an elliptical orbit would take

EIGHT-YEAR - a long-term car lease

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ROCKET SCIENCE

PRONUNCIATION: (ROK-it sy-uhns)

MEANING: noun
1. The science of rocket design, construction, and flight.
2. Something requiring advanced knowledge and intelligence.

ETYMOLOGY: From Italian rocchetta, diminutive of rocca (spindle, distaff) + science, from Latin scientia, present participle of scire (to know). Ultimately from the Indo-European root skei- (to cut or split), which also gave us schism, ski, shin, adscititious, conscientious, exscind, nescient, scienter, and sciolism. Earliest documented use: 1931.
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RACKET SCIENCE - for the very best in tennis equipment

POCKET SCIENCE - specialized knowledge possessed by pool hustlers

SOCKET SCIENCE - a wrenching field of study

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LIFT-OFF

PRONUNCIATION: (LIFT-of)

MEANING: noun:
1. The action of being airborne, such as that of a rocket, aircraft, etc.
2. The launch of a project, an initiative, etc.

ETYMOLOGY: From Old Norse lypta, from lopt (air) + off, stressed variant of the word of. Earliest documented use: 1907.
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LIFT ORFF - to adapt music from The Planets and claim you wrote it

LIFE TOFF - born with a silver spoon, and still rich and elegant

SIFT-OFF - the finals of the Pillsbury Flour contest

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SPACE CADET

PRONUNCIATION: (SPAYS kuh-det)

MEANING:\ . noun:
1. A trainee astronaut.
2. A person who behaves strangely or appears to be out of touch with reality.

ETYMOLOGY: From Robert Heinlein’s 1948 novel Space Cadet. Why the second sense of the term? The book inspired TV and radio shows and comics and the term became popular. Eventually, the meaning shifted and now a space cadet is one who is spaced out or has their mind in space, probably as a result of drug use. Earliest documented use: 1948. Other words coined by Robert Heinlein that have become words in the English language are grok and waldo.
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PACE CADET - Freshman in a New York city university (it also has a campus in Westchester)

APACE CADET - energetic, bustling trainee

SPACE CARET - editors' symbol for "insert a two-en quad here"

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