Posts Tagged ‘words’

face partsWhat DO you call that thing which is, you know, that, er, doohickey, a “thing that’s too unimportant to have a name of its own, or whose name you have for the moment forgotten”?

One word is veeblefetzer:

A word usually used facetiously as a placeholder name for any obscure or complicated object or mechanism, such as automobile parts, computer code and model railroad equipment.

A 19th-century Yiddish language slang word with limited usage is generally accepted as the origin. Read the rest of this entry »

Select-Language-iconThere is a movement at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, which I once visited, to “bring a collection of old school words back into the modern-day vernacular.” They are:

Caterwaul – A shrill howling or wailing noise.
Concinnity – The skillful and harmonious arrangement or fitting together of the different parts of something.
Flapdoodle – Nonsense.
Knavery – A roguish or mischievous act.
Melange – A mixture of different things.

Obambulate – To walk about.
Opsimath – A person who begins to learn or study only late in life.
Philistine – A person who is hostile or indifferent to culture and the arts, or who has no understanding of them.
Rapscallion – A mischievous person.
Subtopia – Monotonous urban sprawl of standardized buildings.

Caterwaul and philistine I use as often as possible, myself.

Arthur asked: “But who’s championing the case of the words we should lose?”
Read the rest of this entry »

apothic crush

My friend Dan, always with a question, writes:

Apothic: A mysterious word. Searching Google, apothic is used for a lot of commercial enterprises, particularly a cheap red California wine that appears to be popular. It also pops up as a scent, as an alternative medicine peddler, a carpentry shop, etc. But mostly the wine.

Urban Dictionary gives “beautiful or stunning,” but there’s only one entry which makes that definition highly suspect. The word “apoth” appears to have nothing to do with it, that is an archaic derogatory term for someone who is an apothecary, plus apoth is also a Northern English local word meaning “silly.” Not to be confused with aphotic, which means “unfathomable depth.” My spell checker keeps trying to make the word apothem, which is a line drawn in a polygon from the center to one of the sides.

So in desperation I checked the wine maker’s site, and found Apothic Red Wine is put out by Gallo. (Urp.) On their site I found, “Inspired by “Apotheca,” a mysterious place where wine was blended and stored in 13th century Europe…” So I find Wiktionary which defines apotheca as a warehouse or repository. But then I see “apotheca” appropriated as a coffee house and as another herb peddler, flower seller, a hair shop, etc.

So finally I zeroed in. Read the rest of this entry »

WordsMelanie says: “Here’s my Christmas gift to you a tad late. Hope you like :)”

Who is someone in your life who helped to give you confidence? How did they do it?

The first to come to mind was my second, primary high school girlfriend. Not only was she fearless, her boldness was infectious. I was a really “good” kid, and she was a lot more challenging of authority. I’ve been a troublemaker ever since.

Then a couple years after I broke up with the Okie, she called me pretty much out of the blue, and she needed her detective skills to find me. She helped me put my head back together, because my self-confidence was pretty shot.

If you were only allowed to give one gift in your life, who would you give it to and what would it be?
Read the rest of this entry »

apollo11-yesterday-03Nudiustertian pertaining to the day before yesterday; it has nothing to do with strippers and nakedness. I’ve also discovered that, in the same linguistic family, hesternal relates to yesterday, and hodiernal pertains to to today.

“The OED goes on to gives its only example of the use of the word in a sentence from 1647, taken from the ever-popular The simple cobler of Aggawam in America, written by Nathaniel Ward. Read the rest of this entry »

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