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MICRIFY

PRONUNCIATION: (MYK-ruh-fy)

MEANING: verb tr.: To make small or insignificant.

ETYMOLOGY: From Greek micro- (small) + -ficare (to make). Earliest documented use: 1836.
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MICRIFT - Sherlocks's older brother?

MICTIFY - to add urine (see LANT)

MICKIFY - to make mousy

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CYNICAL

PRONUNCIATION: (SIN-i-kuhl)

MEANING: adjective:
1. Believing that people are motivated primarily by self-interest.
2. Behaving in a selfish manner, callously violating accepted standards.
3. Pessimistic; jaded; negative.
4. Contemptuous; mocking.

ETYMOLOGY.
From Latin cynicus, from Greek kynikos (like a dog), from 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, and cynosure cynophilist, cynophobia, philocynic, cynegetic, and cynosure. Earliest documented use: 1588.
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CYGNICAL - baby-swan-like.

BYNICAL - a housing for a ship's compass and a lamp

MY NICAL - what permits me to talk for as long as I want on the pay phone in the booth. (Well, 60 years ago, anyway. There aren't any more pay phones any more, or booths, either. Alas, poor Superman...)

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LEMMING

PRONUNCIATION: (LEM-ing)

MEANING: noun:
1. Any of various small, thickset, short-tailed, furry rodents.
2. One who mindlessly conforms or follows, especially toward disaster.

ETYMOLOGY: From Norwegian and Danish lemming, from Old Norse lómundr/læmingi/læmingr. Earliest documented use: 1607.

NOTES: Lemmings do not go lemming. It’s a myth that lemmings jump off a cliff into water in an act of mass suicide.
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LE MING - the precious old Chinese relic in the Louvre

BEM MING - Flash Gordon's serial nemesis was a Merciless Bug-Eyed Monster

LEMMINY - how your tea tastes when you add too much citrus

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SERPENTINE

PRONUNCIATION: (SUHR-pen-teen/tyn)

MEANING:
adjective: 1. Of or relating to a snake.
2. Winding, twisting, or coiling.
3. Intricate; cunning; treacherous.
verb intr.: To move or lie in a winding course.
noun: 1. Something winding, twisting, or coiling.
2. A dull green mineral with a texture resembling the skin of a snake.

ETYMOLOGY: From Latin serpens, present participle of serpere (to creep). Earliest documented use: 1400.
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TERPENTINE - paint thinner containing limonene

SERP ENGINE - Solar Emitting Rotary Propulsion motor

SIR PENTINE - eponymous Knight of the Five-Sided Table

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JACKRABBIT

PRONUNCIATION: (JAK-rab-it)

MEANING: noun: Any of various hares having long ears and very long hind legs.
verb intr.: To move or begin to move very quickly.
adjective: Moving or beginning to move very quickly.

ETYMOLOGY: A combination of jackass + rabbit. Earliest documented use: 1863, in a figurative use: 1922.

NOTES: The word jackrabbit is a misnomer. A jackrabbit is a hare, not a rabbit. It is called a jackrabbit because of its long ears, as if those of a jackass. The metaphorical use is from a jackrabbit’s sudden movement. This has given us the slang “jackrabbit start” meaning a start in which a person accelerates very quickly as a traffic light turns green, maybe even before the light has turned. Like most animal-related metaphors, this unfairly maligns our furry friends. There have been no reported sightings of jackrabbits jumping a red light.
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JACK, RABBI - John, meet my spiritual advisor

PACK RABBIT - a leveret capable of carrying large loads

JA, CRAB BIT - Were you able to trap that crustacean, Hans?

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CHEVACHEE

PRONUNCIATION: (shuh-vuh-CHEE/SHAY)

MEANING: noun: An expedition, raid, or campaign.

ETYMOLOGY: From French chevauchée (ride), from cheval (horse), from Latin caballus (horse). Earliest documented use: 1380.
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CHE VACHE - a Cuban cow

CHEVA CHEER - Hooray for Cheva!

cc: EVA CHEE - Send Ms Chee a copy of this message

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PLUTOGRAPHY

PRONUNCIATION: (ploo-TAH-gruh-fee)

MEANING: noun: The genre that chronicles the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

ETYMOLOGY: From Greek pluto- (wealth) + -graphy (writing). Earliest documented use: 1985.
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PHUTOGRAPHY - high-speed image of spitting

POUTOGRAPHY - pictures of spoiled brats making dissatisfied faces

PLUSOGRAPHY - charts showing nothing but increases

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MINIATE

PRONUNCIATION: (MIN-ee-ayt)

MEANING: verb tr.:
1. To decorate a manuscript, book, etc., with colors, gold, silver, etc.
2. To paint in red, titles, headings, or important parts of a book or manuscript.

ETYMOLOGY: From Latin miniatus (illuminated), past participle of miniare (to color red with cinnabar), from minium (cinnabar, a red mineral of mercury). Earliest documented use: 1610.
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MINI-ATE - what she had for dinner (cf. MIKI-ATE, which is what he had for dinner)

SIN: I ATE - I need absolution for being so heavy

MINI-AWE - what one experiences when distinctly unimpressed

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IRREDENTIST

PRONUNCIATION: (ir-i-DEN-tist)

MEANING: noun: One advocating the restoration of territory that earlier belonged to one’s country.

ETYMOLOGY: During the late 1800s and early 1900s in Italy, an irredentist was someone who advocated for restoration of Italian-speaking districts in other countries to Italy. The word is from Italian irredentista, from the phrase Italia irredenta (unredeemed Italy), from Latin redimere (to redeem). Earliest documented use: 1882.
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SIR RE-DENTIST - knight whose trademark is to make yet another ding in your armor

IRKED ENT-IST - got your otorhinolaryngologist annoyed at you

IRREPENTIST - one with no qualms whatsoever

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RECURSE

PRONUNCIATION: (ri-KUHRS)

MEANING: verb tr., intr.
1. To describe, define, or perform something in terms of itself.
2. To perform an operation by repeated application of a technique, such that the results of the first step are put through the same technique again.

ETYMOLOGY: From Latin recurrere (to run back), from re- (again) + currere (to run). Earliest documented use: 1965.
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RECUSE - gives the actor his line a second time

RECURVE - the dreaded Serpentine pitch (baseball)

E-CURSE - used by Draco Malfoy and crew during the pandemic

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