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GROBIAN

PRONUNCIATION: (GROH-bee-uhn)

MEANING: noun: A coarse, buffoonish person.

ETYMOLOGY: From German Grobian (boor, lout), a fictional patron saint of boorish and vulgar people, from German grob (coarse, vulgar). In Latin, Grobianus. Earliest documented use: 1621.
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GROBEAN - what Jack the Giant Killer started with

GYROBIAN - early candidate for describing Igor Sikorsky's invention

GRABIAN - describing momeraths, who possess this skill to a high degree (according to Lewis Carroll)

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SCHEHERAZADE

PRONUNCIATION: (shuh-her-uh-ZAHD, -ZAH-duh, -dee)

MEANING: noun: A storyteller, especially one who tells long, entertaining stories.

ETYMOLOGY: After Scheherezade, the wife of a king in One Thousand and One Nights. Earliest documented use: 1851.

NOTES: In One Thousand and One Nights, a collection of stories from the Middle East, the king Shahryar discovers his wife being unfaithful. He learns that his brother’s wife is unfaithful as well. He kills his wife and decides to take revenge on all women by marrying a virgin every day and having her executed the next morning so she never gets an opportunity to cheat. One day it’s the turn of Scheherezade, the vizier’s daughter, to be the bride. She asks the king if she could say farewell to her sister Dunyazad first. The king agrees and the sister, who has been prepared in advance, asks Scheherezade to tell a story. The story is engrossing and the king is awake listening. Scheherezade stops the story just before dawn saying there’s no time left to finish. The king spares her life to find out what happened. The next night she finishes the story and starts another, even more captivating story. And so it goes for 1001 nights and by that time the king has fallen in love with her beauty and intelligence and makes her the queen.

Sheherazade is the patron saint of television script writers, who decide just where to put commercial breaks in a TV show.
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SCHEHERANADE - what drunken Romeo sang to Juliet on her balcony

SCHNEE-RAZADE - a particularly beautiful ski excursion in the Bavarian Alps

SHE/HE A ZADIE - the father's biological gender was never conclusively proved

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RED QUEEN HYPOTHESIS

PRONUNCIATION: (red kween hy-POTH-uh-sis)

MEANING: noun: The hypothesis that organisms must constantly adapt and evolve in order to survive in an evolutionary arms race.

ETYMOLOGY: Proposed by the biologist Leigh van Valen (1935-2010). Earliest documented use: 1973.

NOTES: In Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass the Red Queen tells Alice: “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.”

Evolutionary biologist Leigh van Valen used that as a metaphor to describe how competing species must keep up with one another. For example, in a predator and prey relationship, if the prey evolves to run faster, the predator must keep up or go extinct.
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RED QUEEN HYPO THIS IS - Yoda says he uses it to shoot up a Jedi drug

RED QUEEN HYPNO-THESIS - she was under post-hypnotic suggestion when she said those irrational things in the courtroom

REO QUEEN HYPOTHESIS - I hear the Speedway group was masterminded by her behind the scenes

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RODOMONT

PRONUNCIATION: (RAH-duh-mont)

MEANING: noun: A vain boaster.

ETYMOLOGY: After Rodomonte, the boastful king in Orlando Innamorato by Matteo Boiardo and the sequel Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto. Earliest documented use: 1592. A related word is rodomontade.
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R.O. DUMONT - Robert Orrin Dumont, the black sheep of the family

ODO, MONT. - a town in Montana whose boundaries keep shifting

FRODO, MONT - another town, whose citizens were profoundly influenced by The Hobbit

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GLAD HAND (or GLAD-HAND)

PRONUNCIATION: (GLAD hand)

MEANING: noun: A hearty welcome or greeting, often insincere.
verb tr., intr.: To greet warmly, often insincerely.

ETYMOLOGY: From glad, from Old English glaed (bright, cheerful) + hand, from Old English hand. Earliest documented use: 1895.

NOTES: Glad-handing is typically associated with politicians, used-car salesmen, and their ilk. There’s often a hidden agenda: they are not greeting so enthusiastically because they are delighted to see you, rather they want something from you. You’d never find a dog glad-handing or glad-pawing you (cats, maybe). When they come running, tails wagging, to greet you at the front door, they mean every bit of it.
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GO LAD HAND - Cheers for Odell Beckham the rugby star

LAD HAND - the kid who helps out on the farm

GLAD HANK - Aaron after # 715

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FINGERPOST

PRONUNCIATION: (FING-guhr-post)

MEANING: noun:
1. A post with one or more signs pointing toward one or more places.
2. Something or someone serving as a guide.

ETYMOLOGY: From the resemblance of the sign to the fingers of a hand. Earliest documented use: 1738.

NOTES: A fingerpost is a post with long thin boards pointing toward various locations. These boards may look like fingers on a hand, hence the name. Sometimes these boards actually terminate in a pointing finger. The Oxford English Dictionary lists another sense of the word fingerpost: a parson or a member of the clergy. As this citation from the A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1785 tells it:
“Finger post, a parson, so called, because like the finger post, he points out a way he probably will never go, i.e. the way to heaven.
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SINGERPOST - my job as resident vocal soloist

FINGERPEST - someone with a very low threshold for flipping people the bird...

GINGERPOST - an extremely tentative Facebook entry

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CHIROCRACY

PRONUNCIATION: (ky-ROK-ruh-see)

MEANING: noun: Government that rules by physical force.

ETYMOLOGY: From Greek chiro- (hand) + -cracy (rule), alluding to a rule by a strong hand or a heavy-handed rule. Earliest documented use: 1677.
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CAIROCRACY - government by Egypt

SHIROCRACY - government by Hobbits

CHIROCRAZY - when your specialist in spinal manipulation claims to cure cancer, heart disease, and diabetes

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BAREKNUCKLE

PRONUNCIATION: (BER-NUHK-uhl)

MEANING: adjective, adverb
1. Without using boxing gloves.
2. Rough; unrestrained by rules or scruples.

ETYMOLOGY: From bare, from Old English baer + knuckle, diminutive of Middle Low German knoke (bone). Earliest documented use: 1883.
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BAREKNICKLE - overgrowth on the bottom of an Scottish boat

BAREN UNCKLE - my mother's brother is having a problem getting his wife pregnant

BAREK NICKLE - a five-cent coin with the likeness of Former President Obama on the obverse

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MANUMISSION

PRONUNCIATION: (man-yuh-MISH-uhn)

MEANING: noun: Release from slavery, servitude, or restraint.

ETYMOLOGY: From Latin manumittere (to free), from manus (hand) + mittere (to let go). Ultimately from the Indo-European root man- (hand), which also gave us manual, manage, maintain, manicure, maneuver, manufacture, manuscript, command, manure, manque, legerdemain, and mortmain. Earliest documented use: 1452.
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MAN OMISSION - concern for others, all too often

MANUFISSION - splitting by hand, as for example a log

MANY MISS ION - and without them there would be no chemistry

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FROWARD

PRONUNCIATION: (FRO-wurd/urd)

MEANING: adjective: Difficult to deal with; contrary.

ETYMOLOGY: From Middle English fro- (away, from) + -ward (moving or facing in a specific direction). Earliest documented use: 1340.

NOTES: If you recall the phrase to-and-fro (which is short for “to and from”), you can easily sense where froward is going. It’s the opposite of toward. Over time, the senses of the two words have shifted so they are not antonyms any more.
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UROWARD - where the bladder specialist admits patients

PRO-WARD - 1. I'm improving, and might even go on the Tour soon!
2. ...and against Roebuck

FRO-WAND - how Hobbits do magic

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