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Thread: Word Of The Day

  1. #681
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    TURNCOAT noun (turn-koht)

    noun

    1. a person who changes to the opposite party or faction, reverses principles, etc.; renegade.


    Quotes

    A turncoat is the angry name for a convert, but you are no converts; how then can you be turncoats?
--*George Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton,*A Letter to the Tories, 1747


    With Roy comes big trouble, and aging sheriff Bill McNue (Scott McNairy) does his best to protect his people. But Frank and his gang are tearing up nearby towns hunting the turncoat, and a showdown looms.
--*Kelly Woo,*"6 things to know about 'Godless,' Netflix's star-packed limited-series western," Yahoo! News, November 21, 2017



    Origin

    There are several possibilities for the origin of turncoat. One is that two English barons in the early 13th century changed fealty to King John (c1167–1216), literally changing their coats of arms from one lord to another. Another is that during the siege of Corfe Castle (1645) during the English Civil Wars (1642–51), Oliver Cromwell’s soldiers turned their coats inside out to match the colors of the Royalist army. A similar expression “to wear the King’s coat,” dating from the mid-19th century, means “serve in the King’s army.” The now obsolete idiom “to be in someone else’s coat,” dating from the mid-16th century, meant the modern “to be in someone else’s shoes.” Turncoat entered English in the 16th century.

  2. #682
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    BOUSTROPHEDON noun (boo-struh-feed n)

    noun

    1. an ancient method of writing in which the lines run alternately from right to left and from left to right.


    Quotes

    Many of the old Greek inscriptions were written alternately from right to left and from left to right, turning the direction as one turns a plow in the field, and this style was called "boustrophedon" (turning like oxen).
--*Carl Vogt,*"Writing Physiologically Considered," The Popular Science Monthly, September 1881


    And although the zigzag boustrophedon style of writing had long since been replaced with lines running uniformly left to right, a brief, unrelated Roman experiment of SEPARATING∙WORDS∙WITH∙DOTS had by the end of the second century been abandoned in favor of the Greeks' monotonous, unspaced scriptio continua.
--*Keith Houston,*Shady Characters, 2013



    Origin

    Only students of ancient scripts, especially (but not exclusively) of ancient Greek, will know the meaning and etymology of boustrophedon “like the ox turns (in plowing).” The major components of the Greek adverb boustrophēdón are the nouns boûs (stem, bou-) “bull, cow, ox,” and strophḗ “a turn, twist.” In the earliest Greek writing (mid-8th century b.c.), the first line was written from right to left (“retrograde,” as always in Phoenician and Hebrew); the second line from left to right; the third line retrograde, etc. Boustrophedonic writing was obsolete in Athens and most other parts of Greece by the mid-5th century b.c. Boustrophedon entered English in the 18th century.

  3. #683
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    WATERSHED noun (waw-ter-shed)

    noun

    1. an important point of division or transition between two phases, conditions, etc.: The treaty to ban war in space may prove to be one of history's great watersheds.

    2. Chiefly British. the ridge or crest line dividing two drainage areas; water parting; divide.
    3. the region or area drained by a river, stream, etc.; drainage area.
    4. Architecture. wash.

    adjective

    1. constituting a watershed: a watershed area; a watershed case.


    Quotes

    For we stand, although the nation is unaware of the fact, upon a watershed of history; unless due care is taken we shall cross it blindfold and march on to a destination which is hidden from our gaze.
--*Ronald Clark,*Queen Victoria's Bomb, 1967


    Goethe’s time in Italy marked a watershed in his life.
--*Adam Kirsch,*"Design for Living: What's great about Goethe?" The New Yorker, February 1, 2016



    Origin

    Watershed may be an ordinary English compound, the element shed having the rare sense “a part made in one’s hair.” Watershed may also be a loan translation from the German compound Wasserscheide (Scheide in German means "boundary, border, limit, divide"). Watershed entered English in the 18th century.

  4. #684
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    HORSEFEATHERS (hawrs-feth-erz)

    interjection

    1. Slang. rubbish; nonsense; bunk (used to express contemptuous rejection).

    noun

    1. Slang. (used with a singular or plural verb) something not worth considering.


    Quotes

    At the risk of seeming disrespectful, I rise to cry: "Horsefeathers!"
--*John R. Tunis,*"Are Fraternities Worthwhile? No!" The Rotarian, September 1937

"Horsefeathers!" Gus snorted. "Why, that's the dumbest--"
--*Arnold Bateman,*"Gus," Boys' Life, April 1949



    Origin

    Horsefeathers is a polite euphemism, originally American, for the impolite horse****. The cartoonist William “Billie” De Beck (1890–1942) claimed credit for coining the word in 1928.

  5. #685
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    STARDUST noun (stahr-duhst)

    noun

    1. a naively romantic quality: There was stardust in her eyes.
    2. (not in technical use) a mass of distant stars appearing as tiny particles of dust.


    Quotes

    "I seem to remember you had a different opinion of her once." ... "I guess I must've had some stardust in my eyes. But that was a thousand years ago. ..."
--*Alan Hunter,*Gently with Love, 1975


    It sounds corny, but I got stardust in my eyes the first time I saw the boulevard.
--*Harold Robbins,*Never Enough, 2001



    Origin

    Stardust was first recorded in 1835–45.

  6. #686
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    SUSPIRATION noun (suhs-puh-rey-shuh n)

    noun

    1. a long, deep sigh.


    Quotes

    ‘Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother … Nor windy suspiration of forced breath ... That can denote me truly.
--*William Shakespeare,*Hamlet, 1603


    ... the breast dilated and swelled, as when one draws a heavy suspriation; no sound accompanied the motion.
--*"A Soldier's Recollections: A Ghost Story," Tait's Edinburgh Magazine, No. XIII, April 1883



    Origin

    English suspiration comes directly from Latin suspīrātiōn-, the stem of the noun suspīrātiō “a sigh,” a derivative of the verb suspīrāre “to fetch a deep breath, breathe out, exclaim with a sigh.” The combining form su- is a reduced form of the preposition and prefix sub “under, from under.” The Latin verb spīrāre “to breathe” is also the source of English spirit and sprite. Suspiration entered English in the 16th century.

  7. #687
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    DENOUEMENT noun (dey-noo-mahn)

    noun

    1. the outcome or resolution of a doubtful series of occurrences.
    2. the final resolution of the intricacies of a plot, as of a drama or novel.
    3. the place in the plot at which this occurs.


    Quotes

    Both the irrational-Nixon and the rational-Nixon theories lead to the same denouement: "My fellow Americans ... farewell."
--*Richard Reeves,*"Nixon in the Twilight Zone," New York, November 5, 1973


    Yet, inexorably, he must be carried on to the final grim denouement. Every step he took seemed to be charted in advance.
--*Arthur J. Burks,*"The White Wasp," All Detective, May 1933



    Origin

    Denouement is from the French word meaning literally “an untying,” equivalent to dénouer “to untie.” It ultimately derives from Latin nōdāre, derivative of nōdus “knot.” It entered English in the mid-1700s.

  8. #688
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    JANNOCK adjective (jan-uh k)

    adjective

    1. British, Australian Informal. honest; fair; straightforward.


    Quotes

    ... this beautiful damsel that lived in the kingdom of the great Mogul, had many suitors--sweethearts as we call them in Lancashire--but none of them was jannock but one ...
--*Samuel William Ryley,*The Itinerant; or, Memoirs of an Actor, Volume VI, 1817


    For instance, it was "scarcely jannock" of your reviewer to suggest that I borrowed part of my plot from some other novelist when he cannot in the nature of things know that I did so.
--*William Westall,*"To the Editor of The Speaker," The Speaker, April 26, 1902



    Origin

    Jannock “honest, straightforward” is a British and Australian word of recent origin and uncertain etymology, first recorded only in the 19th century.

  9. #689
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    SILVER-TONGUED adjective (sil-ver-tuhngd)

    adjective

    1. persuasive; eloquent: a silver-tongued orator.

    Quotes

    "Always speak to the folks in the back rows, my boy," said the silver-tongued orator, "and the rest will be sure to hear you."
--*Paul O'Neil,*"Grand Old King of the Senate," Life, March 26, 1965


    The American representatives were not fools, and before accepting such a proposal, they investigated it from all angles, but when they talked with silver-tongued Santa Anna, who knew English well enough to smother them with glibness at any difficult juncture, they convinced themselves that here was a noble patriot who wished only to end a disagreeable war on terms favorable to both sides.
--*James A. Michener,*Texas, 1985



    Origin

    Silver-tongued may be named for the pleasing resonance of a silver bell. Even more pleasing and eloquent, therefore, would be chrysostom or chrysostomos “golden-mouthed,” from Greek chrysόstomos, from chrysόs “gold” and stόma “mouth.” As an epithet, chrysostom is reserved for the ancient Greek philosopher and historian Dio (or Dion) Chrysostom (c40–c115 a.d.), but in particular for the Greek patriarch and Church Father John Chrysostom (c347–407). On the first page of Ulysses, the unreliable, malevolent narrator refers to Buck Mulligan, who has gold fillings in his teeth and a very bawdy wit, as chrysostomos. Silver-tongued entered English in the late 16th century.
    Last edited by Altobelli; 13-01-2018 at 01:15 AM.

  10. #690
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    PSEUD noun (sood)

    noun

    1. Informal. a person of fatuously earnest intellectual, artistic, or social pretensions.

    adjective
    1. Informal. of, relating to, or characteristic of a pseud.


    Quotes


    But many of his students thought him a pseud for his high diction and his passion for complicated European writers.
--*Tobias Wolff,*Old School, 2003


    He hated the idea of being considered a pseud when it came to food and drink, but there were those who thought him overenthusiastic on both counts.
--*Tim Heald,*Poison at the Pueblo, 2011



    Origin

    Pseud is a derogatory colloquialism derived by shortening from pseudointellectual. It dates from the mid-20th century.

  11. #691
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    Ok Alto, my latest word is 'Yarkshur'

    What is the correct way of pronouncing this weird word, and bear in mind we're all Northerners together here, but this sounds like gobblegook Lancy toss to me.

  12. #692
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    The best thing to come out or Yarkshur besides you Acido and a few Weeds fans who frequent this board is.. . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . the M62

  13. #693
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    Yes I agree Alto, the M62 is a quality motorway!!. Whereas the M1 is totally over rated of course.

  14. #694
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    VATIC adjective (vat-ik)

    adjective

    1. of, relating to, or characteristic of a prophet.


    Quotes

    ... I can't escape the feeling that Yeats knew, in the vatic, unwitting way of poets.
--*Marcel Theroux,*Strange Bodies, 2013


    An ominous vatic feeling had persisted throughout the rest of the evening, which was doubly unsettling to Laurel Manderley ...
--*David Foster Wallace,*"Mister Squishy," Oblivion, 2004



    Origin

    The Latin noun vātis or vātēs “soothsayer, prophet, poet, bard” is probably a borrowing from a Celtic language (it has an exact correspondence in form and meaning with Old Irish fáith “seer, prophet,” from Proto-Celtic wātis). The Latin noun and Celtic root wāt- are from a Proto-Indo-European root meaning “to be spiritually aroused.” One of the Germanic forms of this root appears in the Old English adjective wōd “raging, crazy,” which survives in modern English in the adjective wood. Vatic entered English in the early 17th century.

  15. #695
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    NONVIOLENCE noun (non-vahy-uh-luh ns)

    noun

    1. the policy, practice, or technique of refraining from the use of violence, especially when reacting to or protesting against oppression, injustice, discrimination, or the like.

    2. absence or lack of violence; state or condition of avoiding violence.


    Quotes

    At the center of nonviolence stands the principle of love.
--*Martin Luther King, Jr.,*Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, 1958


    Fifty years ago, the civil-rights movement understood that nonviolence can be an effective weapon even if—or especially if—the other side refuses to follow suit.
--*Hendrik Hertzberg,*"Partisanship, by the Bye," The New Yorker, February 23, 2009



    Origin

    Nonviolence was first recorded in the 1830s.

  16. #696
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    DECATHECT verb (dee-kuh-thekt)

    verb

    1. to withdraw one's feelings of attachment from (a person, idea, or object), as in anticipation of a future loss: He decathected from her in order to cope with her impending death.


    Quotes

    It is getting easier now for me to decathect from Eugene.
--*Patricia Marx,*Him Her Him Again The End of Him, 2007


    According to Freud, bereavement was not complete until the mourner was able to withdraw the emotional attachment to the deceased (decathect) and reinvest that emotional energy into a new relationship or, at least, back into life.
--*J. William Worden,*"Theoretical Perspectives on Loss and Grief," Death, Dying, and Bereavement, 2015



    Origin

    Decathect is an extremely rare word in English, used only in Freudian psychology. It is formed from the common prefix de-, signifying privation or removal, and the very rare verb cathect “to invest emotional energy.” Cathect is a derivative of the adjective cathectic (from Greek kathektikόs “capable of holding or retaining”), from the noun káthexis “holding, possession, retention.” The English noun cathexis is an arcane translation or partial translation of Sigmund Freud’s Besetzung, a common, ordinary word in German meaning “(military) occupation, cast (of a play),” from the verb besetzen “to occupy, stock, fill.” Decathect entered English in the 20th century.

  17. #697
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    PARALIPSIS noun (par-uh-lip-sis)

    noun

    1. Rhetoric. the suggestion, by deliberately concise treatment of a topic, that much of significance is being omitted, as in “not to mention other faults.”


    Quotes

    Paralipsis ... is a Greek term that translates to “leave to the side.” It’s thought to be an ironic way for a speaker to say two things at once. For example, say you wanted to imply that your coworker takes too many coffee breaks without actually accusing him wasting time at work. You might say something like, “I'm not saying that he drinks more coffee than anyone else in the office, but every time I go to the break room, he’s in there.”
--*Jennifer Mercieca,*"There’s an insidious strategy behind Donald Trump’s retweets," The Conversation, March 8, 2016


    After listing all the glories of Newark, all the familiar set pieces from his novels, after making sly and constant denials that he would dwell on any of it—a rhetorical move, he admitted, known as paralipsis—Roth finally settled into his real theme of the night: death.
--*David Remnick,*"Philip Roth's Eightieth-Birthday Celebration," The New Yorker, March 20, 2013



    Origin

    The rhetorical term paralipsis comes from Late Latin paralīpsis, which dates from the 3rd century and is a direct borrowing of Greek paráleipsis, a rhetorical term used and possibly coined by Aristotle in his Rhetoric to Alexander (also known by its Latin title Rhetorica ad Alexandrum). Preterition and apophasis are equivalent terms. Paralipsis entered English in the 16th century.

  18. #698
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    HEARTSOME adjective (hahrt-suh m)

    adjective

    1. Chiefly Scot. giving cheer, spirit, or courage: a heartsome wine.
    2. Chiefly Scot. cheerful; spirited.


    Quotes

    ... Pauline ... ended with a silvery laugh that made the silence musical with its heartsome sound.
--*Louisa May Alcott,*Pauline's Passion and Punishment, 1863


    As he looked, the warm, red sun came out lighting up with a heartsome warmth the whole gray day.
--*Rebecca Harding Davis,*Margret Howth, 1861



    Origin

    Heartsome was first recorded in the 1560s.

  19. #699
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    ENFANT TERRIBLE noun (ahn-fahn te-ree-bluh)

    noun

    1. French. an outrageously outspoken or bold person who says and does indiscreet or irresponsible things.
    2. French. an incorrigible child, as one whose behavior is embarrassing.
    3. French. a person whose work, thought, or lifestyle is so unconventional or avant-garde as to appear revolutionary or shocking.


    Quotes

    I am the enfant terrible of literature and science. If I cannot, and I know I cannot, get the literary and scientific big-wigs to give me a shilling, I can, and I know I can, heave bricks into the middle of them.
--*Samuel Butler,*The Notebooks of Samuel Butler, 1912


    In fact, he closely resembled Mrs. Littlejohn's uncle, Jeremy Uprichard, the obstinate and domineering enfant terrible of an otherwise charming and happy family.
--*George Bellairs,*Death in the Night Watches, 1946



    Origin

    In French enfant terrible means “terrible child,” one whose language and behavior are embarrassing to adults. From the beginning of the appearance of enfant terrible in English in the mid-19th century, the phrase has also referred to adults who embarrass or compromise their party or faction by outrageous speech or behavior, especially artists or other creative people notorious for their unconventional lifestyle.

  20. #700
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    DOODLESACK noun (dood-I-sak)

    noun

    1. a bagpipe.


    Quotes

    You wouldn't happen to have brought a shawm or a doodlesack with you, by any chance? Or even a kazoo?
--*Charlotte MacLeod,*The Silver Ghost, 1988


    Kurdis put his hands to his kannel, the piper blew into his doodle sack and the assembled crowd moved across the courtyard.
--*Friedebert Tuglas (1886–1971),*"The Mermaid," The Poet and the Idiot And Other Stories, translated by Eric Dickens, 2007



    Origin

    Doodlesack, a respelling of German Dudelsack “bagpipe,” literally “bagpipe sack,” is a rare word in English. The German word is, or seems to be, a derivative of dudeln “to tootle” (unless the verb is a derivative of the noun). Even in German Dudelsack appears not to be a native word but is likely to be a borrowing from a Slavic language, e.g., Polish and Czech dudy “bagpipe.” Doodlesack entered English in the mid-19th century.
    Last edited by Altobelli; 20-01-2018 at 02:37 PM.

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