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18 June 2008 @ 10:54 am
megillah

[muh-gil-uh
for 2. also Seph. Heb. muh-gee-lah]


1. American English Slang
a. a lengthy, detailed explanation or account
b. a lengthy and tediously complicated situation or matter

2. Hebrew a scroll, esp. the one containing the Book of Esther. Others are the Book of Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, the Book of Ruth, and the Book of Lamentations.


EtymologyCollapse )

Just give me the facts, not a whole megillah.
 
 
11 June 2008 @ 11:33 am
gabardine

[gab-er-deen, gab-er-deen]

1. is a tough, tightly woven fabric used to make suits, overcoats, trousers and other garments. The fiber used to make the fabric is traditionally wool, spun into a worsted yarn, but may also be cotton, synthetic or mixed. The fabric is smooth on one side and has a diagonally ribbed surface on the other. Gabardine is a form of twill weave.
2. (usually in the plural) trousers made of flannel or gabardine or tweed or white cloth
3. a loose coverall (coat or frock) reaching down to the ankles (esp. British use)

Etymology
= "fine worsted cloth," 1904, earlier gaberdine "long, coarse outer garment" (1520), from Spanish gabardina, from Old French gauvardine "pilgrim's garment", Middle French galverdine, which is perhaps from Middle High German wallevart "pilgrimage," in the sense of "pilgrim's cloak." The Spanish form was perhaps influenced by gabán "overcoat" and tabardina "coarse coat."

History: Burberry gabardineCollapse )

Info from:
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/gabardine
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=gabardine
http://www.fashionoffice.org/collections/burberry.htm
 
 
09 June 2008 @ 11:46 pm

snuggery


[snuhg-uh-ree]

(n): Chiefly British
A snug position or place.


 
 
08 June 2008 @ 11:36 pm

concupiscent


[kon-kyoo-pi-suhnt, kong-]

(adj):
1. lustful or sensual.
2. eagerly desirous.

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

--from "The Emperor of Icecream" by Wallace Stevens
 
 
08 June 2008 @ 09:47 am

neologism


[nee-ol-uh-jiz-uhm]

1. A new word, expression, or usage.
2. The creation or use of new words or senses.
3. Psychology The invention of new words regarded as a symptom of certain psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia.
4. Theology A new doctrine or a new interpretation of scripture.

Some recent neologisms are: ansible and xenocide (both coined by Orson Scott Card), blog, chav, truthiness and d'oh (in popular culture), aspirin, linoleum, and crock pot (in commercial adverts).

"Many neologisms have come from popular literature, and tend to appear in different forms. Most commonly, they are simply taken from a word used in the narrative of a book; a few representative examples are: "grok" (to achieve complete intuitive understanding), from Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein [. . .] Sometimes the title of the book will become the neologism, for instance, Catch-22 (from the title of Joseph Heller's novel). Also worthy of note is the case in which the author's name becomes the neologism, although the term is sometimes based on only one work of that author. This includes such words as "Orwellian" (from George Orwell, referring to his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four) [. . .] Another category is words derived from famous characters in literature, such as "quixotic" (referring to the titular character in Don Quixote de la Mancha by Cervantes), a "scrooge" (from the main character in Dickens's A Christmas Carol), or a "pollyanna" (from Eleanor H. Porter's book of the same name). [. . .] Lewis Carroll's poem "Jabberwocky" has been called "the king of neologistic poems" because it incorporated dozens of invented words." --wikipedia
 
 
 
07 June 2008 @ 12:53 am

illeism



(n): the tendency in some individuals to refer to themselves in the third person.

Wikipedia.com has a cool list of famous illeists. Among the listed are: Julius Caesar, Norman Mailer (in The Fight), Elmo (Sesame Street), Bob Dole, Groundskeeper Willie, Jesus Christ (possibly; it's a disputed term), Dobby, Joseph Stalin, Gollum, Richard Nixon (as "The President"), and Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski.
 
 
06 June 2008 @ 07:48 am

callipygous


[kal-uh-pahy-guhs]

(adj): having well-shaped buttocks.

The Callipygian Venus or Venus Kallipygos, (Greek: Ἀφροδίτη Καλλίπυγος Aphrodite Kallipygos, "Aphrodite of the Beautiful Buttocks"), is a type of nude female statue of the Hellenistic era. It depicts a partially-draped woman, raising her light peplos to uncover her beautiful hips and buttocks, and looking back and down over her shoulder, perhaps to evaluate them. --The Free Dictionary (best online dictionary I have found!)
 
 
05 June 2008 @ 07:39 am

asterism


[as-tuh-riz-uhm]

(n):
1. Printing Three asterisks in a triangular formation used to call attention to a following passage.
2. Astronomy A cluster of stars smaller than a constellation.
3. Mineralogy A six-rayed starlike figure optically produced in some crystal structures by reflected or transmitted light.
*   *
*

Pleiades

asterism in a ruby
 
 
04 June 2008 @ 11:54 am
contumacious

[kon-t(y)oo-MAY-shuhs]

adjective: obstinate; stubbornly disobedient; rebellious; persistently, willfully, or overtly defiant of authority. Often used in a legal context to refer to lawyers, witnesses, plaintiffs, defendants, etc., who refuse to obey the Court's orders.

contumacious derives from Latin contumax, contumac-, "insolent", "stubborn", "obstinate"; usage since 16th century

If you are contumacious to the Court,
And if, when questioned, you refuse to answer,
Then by the Statute you will be condemned
To the peine forte et dure! To have your body
Pressed by great weights until you shall be dead!
And may the Lord have mercy on your soul!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Complete Poetical Works (1893)

Sources:
http://www.contumacious.org/
Word of the Day Archive
Word suggestion from Bob from Boston
 
 
03 June 2008 @ 11:42 am

Stillicide



(n): A continual falling or succession of drops; rain water falling from the eaves.

Whatever in my field of vision dwelt
An indoor scene, hickory leaves, the svelte
Stilettos of a frozen stillicide–
Was printed on my eyelids' nether side
Where it would tarry for an hour or two,
And while this lasted all I had to do
Was close my eyes to reproduce the leaves,
Or indoor scene, or trophies of the eaves.
— Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire


short note on origin:Collapse )