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TAMMANY

PRONUNCIATION: (TAM-uh-nee)

MEANING: adjective: Relating to political corruption.

ETYMOLOGY: After Tammany Hall in New York City, former home of the New York County Democratic Party, which was known for corruption. Earliest documented use: 1872.

NOTES: Tamanend or Tammany was a wise and peaceful Delaware Indian chief who became known as the “patron saint” of America. Many social clubs and societies were named after him. Tammany Hall in New York was one such place that evolved into a political machine notorious for its corruption. It was active from 1789-1967.
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TAMPANY - kettle drums (past tense)

TARMANY - like Br'er Fox's trap for Br'er Rabbit, after he grew up

YAMMANY - a whole lot of sweet potatoes

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GRAND GUIGNOL

PRONUNCIATION: (grahn gee-NYOL) [the first syllable is nasal]

MEANING: noun: An event, entertainment, etc., of a sensational or horrific nature.
adjective: Gruesome, grotesque, or horrifying.

ETYMOLOGY: From Le Grand Guignol (literally, The Great Puppet), a theater in Paris that specialized in such entertainment. Earliest documented use: 1905.
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GARAND GUIGNOL - puppet with a semi-automatic rifle

RAND GUIGNOL - a think-tank for French theater

GLAND GUIGNOL - puppet shows with horminal themes

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BASTILLE

PRONUNCIATION: (ba-STEEL)

MEANING: noun: A prison.

ETYMOLOGY: After Bastille, a fortress in Paris, that was used to hold prisoners. From Old French bastille (fortress), alteration of bastide, from Old Provençal bastir (to build). Earliest documented use: 1400.

NOTES: Bastille (French pronunciation: bas-TEE-yuh) was built in the 14th century and stormed on Jul 14, 1789, marking the beginning of the revolution. The anniversary (Bastille Day) is celebrated as a national holiday in France.
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BAST ISLE - spot of land in the Nile, populated by cats

BESTELLE - favorite girl friend

BAS-TILLER - the below-deck rod for turning the rudder

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HAWTHORNE EFFECT

PRONUNCIATION: (HAW-thorn i-FEKT)

MEANING: noun: An improvement in workers’ performance attributed to the special attention they received when singled out for a study.

ETYMOLOGY: After Hawthorne Works, a factory complex of the Western Electric Company, where this effect was observed. The complex was named after the original name of the town where it was located. Earliest documented use: 1958.

NOTES: In the 1920s, researchers studying a group of workers at the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company in Cicero, Illinois, observed something peculiar. They found that the productivity increased irrespective of the change in the direction of a variable. For example, the performance improved under brighter lights, but also when the lighting level was reduced. The researchers attributed this phenomenon to the workers’ perception that they were being given some attention. The very realization of being singled out for study motivated them to perform better.
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NAWT-HORNE EFFECT - honking in traffic accomplishes nothing

HAW! TH'ORNE EFFECT - when the French river overflow its banks it's simply laughable

HAST HORNE EFFECT - being able to go "beep-beep" makes a driver more aggressive (but see NAWT-HORNE EFFECT)

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QUOTENNIAL

PRONUNCIATION: (kwo-TEN-ee-uhl)

MEANING: adjective: Yearly.

ETYMOLOGY: From Latin quot (how many) + annus (year). Earliest documented use: 1878. A related word is quotidian (happening every day; commonplace).

USAGE: “The Dallas Cowboys defense has been a point of contention with fans over the past few years.”
Daniel Ruppert; Dallas Cowboys: Quality vs Quantity, the Quotennial Question; FanSided; Feb 14, 2017.
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DUOTENNIAL - twentyful

QUOTERNIAL - attributed to William R. Hamilton the system of imaginary numbers i, j, k with the properties ij=k, jk=i, ki=j, and i^2 = j^2 = k^2 = -1

QUITENNIAL - my yearly attempt to stop

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PHILOCYNIC

PRONUNCIATION: (fil-oh-SIN-ik)

MEANING: noun: A dog lover.
adjective: Fond of dogs.

ETYMOLOGY: From Greek philo- (loving) + kyon (dog). Ultimately from the Indo-European root kwon- (dog), which is also the source of canine, chenille (from French chenille: caterpillar, literally, little dog), kennel, canary, hound, dachshund, corgi, cynosure, and cynic. Earliest documented use: 1830.
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PHILOCYGNIC - noun: a lover of baby swans

PHYLOCYNIC - skeptical about classification systems

PHILO CYNIC - a fictional detective who believed that people are motivated purely by self-interest rather than rather than for honorable or unselfish reasons; written by S S van Dyne and popular in the 1920s and 30s.

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OBVIATE

PRONUNCIATION: (OB-vee-ayt)

MEANING: verb tr.: To render unnecessary; to remove, avoid, or prevent.

ETYMOLOGY: From Latin obviare (to act contrary), from ob- (against) + via (way). Ultimately from the Indo-European root wegh- (to go or to transport), which also gave us pervious, ochlophobia (a fear of crowds), and ochlocracy (mob rule). Earliest documented use: 1567.
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OBVIGATE - a blatant, even conspicuous political scandal

OBI-ANTE - Ben Kenobe threw in a chip to start the next pot

OB VIA TEN - the obstetrician drove through on I-10

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MAMAGUY

PRONUNCIATION: (MA-muh-gai)

MEANING: verb tr.: To tease or deceive, especially by flattery.
noun: An instance of this.

ETYMOLOGY: From Spanish mamar gallo (to suckle a rooster).

NOTES: The word has nothing to do with a mama or a guy. It is from Caribbean English, especially from Trinidad. It has its origins in cock-fighting, apparently referring to a rooster who is gently sucking at his opponent instead of pecking him with force.
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GAMAGUY - the male of the third class in Orwell's Brave New World, after the alphas and the betas

MAMAGUM - Bloody Mary occasionally chews something besides betel nuts

MATAGUY - What I did in a bar. He said he's a bullfighter, Escami-something.

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DIPLOMATICS

PRONUNCIATION: (dip-luh-MAT-iks)

MEANING: noun: The study of documents, especially historical documents, in an effort to authenticate, date, interpret, etc.

ETYMOLOGY: From Latin diploma (a letter of recommendation or an official document), from Greek diploma (a folded paper). Ultimately from the Indo-European root dwo- (two) that also gave us dual, double, doubt, diploma (literally, folded in two), twin, between, redoubtable, dubiety, diplopia, and didymous. Earliest documented use: 1808.
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Variations on a Theme:

DIPLOMAT ICE - must be broken before the negotiations can begin

DUPLOMATICS - statesmanship by liars, who speak with with forked tongue

BIPLOMATICS - wordless statesmanship (ask Marcel Marceau how it's done)

DIPLOMATTICS - meetings are held upstairs in the garret

DIPLOMATINS - and they start first thing in the morning

DOPLOMATICS - the ambassador is an idiot

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MISERICORD

PRONUNCIATION: (mi/muh-ZER-i-kord)

MEANING: noun:
1. Compassion, pity, or mercy.
2. Something to provide support to a standing person.
3. A place where rules are relaxed.
4. A dagger used to deliver the death stroke to a seriously wounded person.

ETYMOLOGY: From Old French misericorde, from Latin misericordia (pity or mercy), from misereri (to pity) + cor (heart). Ultimately from the Indo-European root kerd- (heart), which also gave us cardiac, cordial, courage, concord, cordate, accord, discord, record, and recreant. Earliest documented use: 1230.
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MISER IS ORD - the administration at O'Hare Airport won't spend a penny on improvements

MISS R.I. - C OR D? - Is it the third or the fourth contestant who lives in Newport?

MISER I CARD - proof that I'm a first-class cheapskate

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