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Thread: Word Of The Day

  1. #541
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    BICAMERAL adjective (bahy-kam-er-uh t)


    adjective

    1. Government. having two branches, chambers, or houses, as a legislative body.


    Quotes

    In five centuries it evolved by 1848 from a loose confederacy of almost sovereign states into a sovereign confederation with a bicameral legislature patterned on the U.S. model.
--*"Switzerland: Its Citizen Army Ably Guards Its Old Freedom," Life, September 4, 1939

“Absent such a bipartisan, bicameral agreement, we are reticent to support any budget resolution on the House floor,” a group of 20 moderates wrote in a letter to the leadership in late June.
--*Russell Berman,*"Why Republicans Can't Just Pivot to Tax Reform," The Atlantic, August 7, 2017



    Origin

    The closest Latin equivalent to bicameral is the adjective bicamerātus “double vaulted, with double arches.” The Latin prefix bi- derives from bis “two, twice.” In Old Latin the form was duis: Old Latin duidens “having two teeth, two-toothed; a sacrificial animal” becomes bidens in Latin. Likewise Old Latin duellum “war” becomes bellum in Latin. The Latin noun camera “vault, arched roof” comes from Greek kamára “vaulted chamber, covered carriage, vault (of heaven or a tomb).” Bicameral entered English in the 19th century.

  2. #542
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    Thooid
    adjective tho·oid \ˈthōˌȯid\

    Definition of thooid
    : resembling a wolf —used of a wolf, dog, or jackal as distinguished from the foxes or alopecoid members of the genus Canis

  3. #543
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    CATACHRESIS noun (kat-uh-kree-sis)

    noun

    1. misuse or strained use of words, as in a mixed metaphor, occurring either in error or for rhetorical effect.


    Quotes

    By catachresis ... I designate any indirection of meaning, any displacement or deviation from the sociolect, in short the whole system of ungrammaticalities described above, including traditional categories like tropes and figures but by no means limited to them.
--*Michael Riffaterre,*"The Interpretant in Literary Semiotics," Reading Eco: An Anthology, 1997

“No sane wholesome colours were anywhere to be seen except in the green grass and leafage; but everywhere those hectic and prismatic variants of some diseased, underlying primary tone” .... Can colours ever be “sane,” “wholesome,” “hectic,” or “diseased”? This rhetorical device is known as catacresis, the deliberate abuse of language, such as mixed metaphors.
--*Roger Luckhurst,*"Introduction," The Classic Horror Stories, 2013



    Origin

    Abūsiō (“abuse, misuse”) is the “pure” Latin word for “misuse of a word” in rhetoric; Latin catachrēsis is a direct borrowing from Greek katáchrēsis, which first meant “analogical extension of a term” (e.g., calling a joint of a grass or reed a “knee”). Katáchrēsis in Greek later acquired the sense “misuse of a word, misapplication of a word or phrase.” Hardly any two people agree on particular examples, one critic’s catachresis being another’s “striking” mixed metaphor. Catachresis entered English in the late 16th century.

  4. #544
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    WHOOSIS noun (hoo-zis)

    noun

    1. Informal. an object or person whose name is not known or cannot be recalled: It's the whoosis next to the volume control.
    2. Informal. a person or thing considered typical or illustrative: the usual paragraph about the party given by Mme. Whoosis.


    Quotes

    We'll forget about what the King sent whoosis--Abdulmecid.
--*Stanley Elkin,*George Mills, 1982

Compare the Phelps, Dillon, Hillyer, whoosis and whoosis, damn if I can remember their names, with the men whose point of view is excluded from the goddamn colleges and subsidized reviews....
--*Ezra Pound,*"To Douglas McPherson, September 2, 1939," The Letters of Ezra Pound 1907–1941, 1950



    Origin

    Whoosis is an alteration of the phrase “who's this.” It was first recorded between 1920–25.

  5. #545
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    FOSSICK verb (fos-ik)

    verb

    1. Australian. to hunt; seek; ferret out.
    2. Australian. Mining. to undermine another's digging; search for waste gold in relinquished workings, washing places, etc.
    3. Australian. to search for any object by which to make gain: to fossick for clients.


    Quotes

    His mind, however, was a garbage bag; he could fossick in it and come up with a fact that nailed a piece of evidence to any number of courtroom walls.
--*Jon Cleary,*A Different Turf, 1997

In cooking there are a few guidelines, traditional combinations with roots in social history or environmental accident: apple may first have been matched with pork, for example, because ancient pigs used to fossick in the orchards, and their flesh may already have carried the hint of apple ...
--*Colin Tudge,*"Thoughts of Sorts: A matter of taste," New Scientist, September 28, 1978



    Origin

    The verb fossick is confined pretty much to Australia and New Zealand. As with many regional and dialect words, its etymology is unclear: the verb seems to be a regional British term fussock, fursick meaning “to fuss, fidget, bustle.” In Australia and New Zealand fossick originally meant to hunt for gold or other precious metals or precious stones by digging with a knife or by studying the ground for overlooked fragments. Fossick has an additional sense of hunting for or foraging for small items e.g., to fossick through a drawer for scissors. Fossick entered English in the 19th century.

  6. #546
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    GRAMARYE noun (gram-uh-ree)

    noun
    1. occult learning; magic.


    Quotes

    Whereas these kids, floundering as they were in the choppy, frigid waters of introductory gramarye, would have been lost without him.
--*Lev Grossman,*The Magician's Land, 2014

Thereupon the blocks of the barrel-vaulted ceiling began to glow with a pale, gentle lavender light that grew rapidly brighter until the entire cellar was clearly illuminated. That was gramarye.
--*Dave Duncan,*Demon Rider, 1997



    Origin

    Gramarye, from Old French gramaire “grammar,” originally meant “(Latin) grammar, learning in general,” and later “black magic.” The word was all but obsolete by the end of the 16th century. Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) revived the word in its sense of black magic or necromancy in his “Lay of the Last Minstrel” (1805). By the Middle Ages, when no one spoke Latin as a first language, gramarye was restricted to “high” learning, which included astrology, occult sciences, and magic. Gramarye entered English in the 14th century.
    Last edited by Altobelli; 09-09-2017 at 02:16 PM.

  7. #547
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    VAMOOSE verb (va-moos)

    verb
    1. Slang. to leave hurriedly or quickly; decamp.
    2. Slang. to leave hurriedly or quickly from; decamp from.


    Quotes

    "I swear to you, man to man, I did not come to Butte to stir up trouble. What more can I do to convince you?" "Leave town. Vamoose."
--*Ivan Doig,*Work Song, 2010

Somewhere east of the Wayne and west of Arness, the romantic Cowboy Hero was tracked down by a posse of hard-eyed realists and told to vamoose. It was time for a Truth about the Old West.
--*"For Young Readers: In the Days of the Cowboy," New York Times, February 14, 1971



    Origin

    Vamoose meaning “leave in a hurry” has long been associated with cowboys of the American West and Southwest in the 19th century. The American pronunciation væˈmus is an approximate pronunciation of Spanish vamos “let’s go!” The Spanish form derives straightforwardly from Latin vādāmus, the 1st person plural subjunctive used as a “hortatory subjunctive” (a 1st person imperative) of vādere “to go.” Latin vādere is related to English wade. Vamoose entered English in the 19th century.
    Last edited by Altobelli; 10-09-2017 at 01:34 PM.

  8. #548
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    ANTINOME noun (an-tuh-nohm)

    noun
    1. something that is contradictory or opposite to another; a logical contradiction.


    Quotes

    ... both terms of any antinome tend to become of equal importance. Thus Good-Evil; as soon as one has admitted the existence of evil, one is led inevitably to a dualism and a balance.
--*Malcom Cowley,*"To Kenneth Burke, March 13, 1922," The Long Voyage: Selected Letters of Malcolm Cowley, 1915-1987, 2014

His notion of the real value of the precious metals was the antinome, as it were, of his view that their cost prevented the supply of money in sufficient abundance; that they were too dear, in short, and ought to be discarded for a cheaper and more prolific medium.
--*"The Scot Abroad," Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, July 1856



    Origin

    The uncommon noun antinome (“contradiction, opposition”) is from the Greek preposition and combining form antí- “opposite; in opposition to” and the noun nómos “usage, custom, law.” Nómos derives from the Greek (and Proto-Indo-European) root nem-, nom- “to assign, allot, take.” The same root is the source of Greek nomós “pasture land, pasturage.” The root appears in Germanic, as in Gothic and Old English niman “to take” (surviving in English in the adjective numb “taken or seized with cold or pain”) and the German verb nehmen “to take.” Antinome entered English in the 19th century.

  9. #549
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    SINECURE noun (sahy-ni-kyoo r)

    noun
    1. an office or position requiring little or no work, especially one yielding profitable returns.
    2. an ecclesiastical benefice without cure of souls.


    Quotes

    He thinks it better to be idle at his father's expense than to do a little work for a handsome salary," said Mr. May; "everything is right that is extracted from his father's pocket, though it is contrary to a high code of honour to accept a sinecure.
--*Margaret Oliphant,*Phoebe, Junior, 1876

... Governor James E. McGreevey, courageously or foolishly, proclaimed Baraka [poet] laureate, a sinecure worth ten thousand dollars a year ...
--*Nick Paumgarten,*"Goodbye, Paramus," The New Yorker, October 14, 2002



    Origin

    Sinecure comes from the Medieval Latin phrase (beneficium) sine cūrā “(benefice) without cure," i.e., an ecclesiastical post that does not involve the cure of souls, or seeing to the needs of parishioners. Sinecures were used and abused in patronage. Sinecure entered English in the 17th century.

  10. #550
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    CONCATENATION noun (kon-kat-n-ey-shuh n)

    noun
    1. a series of interconnected or interdependent things or events.
    2. the act of concatenating.
    3. the state of being concatenated; connection, as in a chain.


    Quotes

    We're nothing but “a fortuitous concatenation of atoms.”
--*Lucy Maud Montgomery,*Anne of Ingleside, 1939

Owing to an unfortunate concatenation of circumstances, Stilton is viewing me with concern. He has got the idea rooted in his bean that I've come down here to try to steal Florence from him.
--*P. G. Wodehouse,*Joy in the Morning, 1946



    Origin

    Concatenation comes straight from the Late Latin noun concatēnātiō (stem concatēnātiōn-) “connection, sequence” (literally “chaining together”), a derivation of catēna “chain.” The Italian and Spanish words for “chain” (catena and cadena, respectively) far more closely resemble the Latin original than does the modern French chaîne (the English source for “chain”), which passed through the stages chaeine (Old French), from caeine (Old North French), from Latin catēna. Concatenation entered English in the early 17th century.
    Last edited by Altobelli; 13-09-2017 at 09:14 AM.

  11. #551
    As in CONCATENATION - we finish fourth and go into the Champions League?

  12. #552
    Quote Originally Posted by Altobelli View Post
    VAMOOSE verb (va-moos)

    verb
    1. Slang. to leave hurriedly or quickly; decamp.
    2. Slang. to leave hurriedly or quickly from; decamp from.


    Quotes

    "I swear to you, man to man, I did not come to Butte to stir up trouble. What more can I do to convince you?" "Leave town. Vamoose."
--*Ivan Doig,*Work Song, 2010

Somewhere east of the Wayne and west of Arness, the romantic Cowboy Hero was tracked down by a posse of hard-eyed realists and told to vamoose. It was time for a Truth about the Old West.
--*"For Young Readers: In the Days of the Cowboy," New York Times, February 14, 1971



    Origin

    Vamoose meaning “leave in a hurry” has long been associated with cowboys of the American West and Southwest in the 19th century. The American pronunciation væˈmus is an approximate pronunciation of Spanish vamos “let’s go!” The Spanish form derives straightforwardly from Latin vādāmus, the 1st person plural subjunctive used as a “hortatory subjunctive” (a 1st person imperative) of vādere “to go.” Latin vādere is related to English wade. Vamoose entered English in the 19th century.
    As in Parish to de Boer at Turf Moor? Vamoose!

  13. #553
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    MICKLE adjective (mik-uh l)

    adjective
    1. Archaic. great; large; much.


    Quotes

    O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies / In plants, herbs, stones, and their true qualities ...
--*William Shakespeare,*Romeo and Juliet, 1623

Many a little makes a micle.
--*William Camden,*Remaines, Concerning Britaine, 1614



    Origin

    English mickle and much have many variants in Old and Middle English. Both words derive from the very widespread Proto-Indo-European root meg- (and its variant megh-) “great.” This root is clearest in the Greek adjective mégas “great, large” (as in “megabit” and “megabyte”). The root appears in the Latin adjective magnus “great” (as in “magnify, magnanimous”). The variant megh- appears in Sanskrit as maha-, familiar in mahārājā ”great king.”

  14. #554
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    SENSORIUM noun (sen-sawr-ee-uh m)

    noun

    1. a part of the brain or the brain itself regarded as the seat of sensation.
    2. the sensory apparatus of the body.


    Quotes

    The ringing of the bell and the rap upon the door struck likewise strong upon the sensorium of my uncle Toby, but it excited a very different train of thoughts ...
--*Lawrence Sterne,*The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Volume II, 1759

When Carlotta plugged into the electronic universe of the Pacifican media network, the immediate ground-level world outside faded almost at once from the surface of her mind as her sensorium went multiplex and electronic.
--*Norman Spinrad,*A World Between, 1979



    Origin

    The Late Latin noun sēnsōrium is a derivative of the verb sentτre “to discern by the senses, perceive, feel.” Sensorium is a rare word, first occurring and probably coined in the sense “seat or organ of sensation" by the Roman statesman and philosopher Boëthius (475?-525? a.d.), in his commentary on Aristotle’s Topics. By the 17th century sensorium meant “the seat or organ within the brain where sensations or perceptions were united.” Nowadays sensorium refers to the areas of the brain that receive, process, and interpret incoming sensory information, enabling the individual to be consciously aware of the outside world.

  15. #555
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    CERVINE adjective (sur-vahyn, vin)

    adjective
    1. resembling or characteristic of deer; deerlike.
    2. of deer or the deer family.
    3. of a deep tawny color.


    Quotes

    At that moment, the taxidermist appeared to be working on a deer head mount. ... It looked grotesquely unnatural, a cervine version of Frankenstein.
--*Yann Martel,*Beatrice and Virgil, 2010

To which she replied sweetly, shaking that fine cervine head ...
--*Lawrence Durrell,*Livia; or, Buried Alive, 1978



    Origin

    The English adjective cervine comes directly from Latin cervτnus “pertaining to a deer” (cervus). Latin cervus means “stag, deer” and derives from a complicated Proto-Indo-European root ker- (with many variants) “uppermost part (of the body), head, horn.” The same root yields Latin cornū “horn” (as in unicorn and in corn in the sense “thickening and hardening of the skin on a toe”), cervτx “neck,” and cornea (horny coating or tissue). In Germanic the root appears as her-, source of English horn, hart (the animal), and hornet. Cervine entered English in the 19th century.

  16. #556
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    MASSCULT noun (mas-kuhlt)

    noun
    1. the forms of culture, as music, drama, and literature, as selected, interpreted, and popularized by the mass media for dissemination to the widest possible audience.


    Quotes

    Folk Art grew mainly from below, an autochthonous product shaped by the people to fit their own needs, even though it often took its cue from High Culture. Masscult comes from above. It is fabricated by technicians hired by businessmen.
--*Dwight MacDonald,*"Masscult and Midcult," Against the American Grain: Essays on the Effects of Mass Culture, 1962

In today's marketplace, however, elitism has no value -- money has become the only yardstick. Thus High Culture lusts after the market share of Masscult.
--*Michiko Kakutani,*"The Trickle-Down Theory," New York Times, September 22, 1996



    Origin

    Masscult (from “mass culture”) and midcult (from “middlebrow culture”) were coined by Dwight Macdonald (1906-82) in his essay “Masscult and Midcult” (1960). Macdonald was an American journalist, social critic, and political radical. He opposed mass media because they exemplified mediocrity and their only standards were popularity.

  17. #557
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    CLANDESTINE adjective (klan-des-tin)

    adjective
    1. characterized by, done in, or executed with secrecy or concealment, especially for purposes of subversion or deception; private or surreptitious: Their clandestine meetings went undiscovered for two years.


    Quotes

    Mr. Felt drew on his espionage experience in 1972 when he insisted that the Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward take circuitous routes to their clandestine meetings in an underground parking garage and use elaborate communications signals that were recounted by Mr. Woodward and Carl Bernstein in their book "All the President's Men."
--*David Johnston,*"Behind Deep Throat's Clandestine Ways, a Cloak-and-Dagger Past," New York Times, June 4, 2005

The director of the CIA reluctantly stepped in. "Sir, that is one of the inherent risks of clandestine operations. …"
--*Stephen Coonts,*Cuba, 1999



    Origin

    Clandestine comes from Latin clandestīnus meaning “secret, hidden” from clam meaning “secretly.” The -stīnus element is probably modeled after intestīnus meaning “internal.” Clandestine entered English in the 1560s.

  18. #558
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    OCEANICITY noun (oh-shuh-nis-i-tee)

    noun
    1. the degree to which the climate of a place is influenced by the sea.


    Quotes

    “Three cold, miserable countries,” said Louis when he heard the title of this paper as it was delivered in a preliminary version, and indeed what characterises them are their high northern latitudes ... and their extreme oceanicity, which modifies the cold with rain-laden winds from a relatively warm sea.
--*T. C. Smout,*"Energy Rich, Energy Poor: Scotland, Ireland and Iceland, 1600–1800," Exploring Environmental History: Selected Essays, 2009

... the heavier rainfall and generally greater oceanicity of this region may more than cancel out its greater warmth, compared with the southeast.
--*Derek Ratcliffe,*The Peregrine Falcon, 1980



    Origin

    Oceanicity was first recorded in the 1930s. The -ity suffix is used to form abstract nouns expressing state or condition and ultimately derives from Latin.

  19. #559
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    SHOFAR noun (shoh-fer)

    noun

    1. a ram's horn blown as a wind instrument, sounded in Biblical times chiefly to communicate signals in battle and announce certain religious occasions and in modern times chiefly at synagogue services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.


    Quotes

    On the last Rosh Hashanah Spencer celebrated in the temple, he convinced Rabbi Zimmerman to let him bring in the New Year with a call from the shofar that would rattle the windows.
--*Paul Beatty,*Tuff, 2000

... I cannot conceive of anything on earth would upset her more than if she missed hearing the shofar blown at synagogue.
--*Sholem Aleichem,*"The White Scape Hen," Nineteen to the Dozen, translated by Ted Gorelick, 1998



    Origin

    A shofar or ram’s horn is blown during the Jewish high holy days of Rosh Hashanah (usually September) and Yom Kippur (ten days after Rosh Hashanah). Shōphār in Hebrew means “ram’s horn”; the development in meaning is ram (the animal) to ram’s horn to this horn used as a musical instrument. Shofar entered English in the 19th century.

  20. #560
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    POLYHISTOR noun (pol-ee-his-ter)

    noun
    1. a person of great and varied learning.


    Quotes

    Most could not read, in contrast to Falcon, a polyhistor who spent twenty hours a week pouring over old tomes when the weather was fair--this, because as captain he could not bear having anyone, especially his first mate, correct him.
--*Charles Johnson,*Middle Passage, 1990

For writings so full-bodied as those he was to give to the world, it was necessary that he should step into literature as already himself a polyhistor or accomplished universal scholar; and, when he did step conspicuously into literature, it was in fact as already such a polyhistor.
--*David Masson,*"Masson's Interpretation of Carlyle," The Popular Science Monthly, December 1885



    Origin

    The English combining form poly- meaning “much, many” is also a combining form in Greek, with the same meanings, and is very familiar from such words as polygon (Greek polýgōnon “polygon,” literally “many-angled, many-kneed”) and polygamy (Greek polygamía “frequent marriage, polygamy”). The second element, -histor, comes from Greek ístōr (also hístōr, and in some dialects wístōr), which means “one who knows the law, a judge; learned, skilled.” Hístōr also appears in history (Greek, historía “investigation, the published results of an investigation”). The is-, his-, and wis- are the usual Greek phonetic developments of the Proto-Indo-European root weid- “to see, know,” source of Greek ideîn (from wideîn) “to see” and eidénai (from weidénai) “to know,” Latin vidēre “to see,” English wit, unwitting, and Slavic (Czech) vědět “to know” and vidět "to see." Polyhistor entered English in the 16th century.
    Last edited by Altobelli; 21-09-2017 at 10:43 AM.

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