Friday, December 28, 2007

Divigate

To ramble; digress.

source

Boilerplate

Boilerplate is any text that is or can be reused in new contexts or applications without being changed much from the original. The term dates back to the early 1900s, referring to the thick, tough steel sheets used to build steam boilers. From the 1890s onwards, printing plates of text for widespread reproduction such as advertisements or syndicated columns were cast or stamped in steel (instead of the much softer and less durable lead alloys used otherwise) ready for the printing press and distributed to newspapers around the United States. They came to be known as 'boilerplates'.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Jodhpurs

Jodhpurs are tight-fitting trousers that reach to the ankle, where they end in a snug cuff, and are worn primarily for horseback riding. The term can also refer to a type of short riding boot, also called a paddock boot or a jodhpur boot.

Jackdaw

The Jackdaw, sometimes known as the Eurasian Jackdaw or European Jackdaw, is one of the smallest species in the genus of crows and ravens.

e.g. Jackdaws love my big sphinx of quartz.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

prurient

having indecent desires; lascivious; curious about lewd subjects

source

Mawkish

1. Excessively and objectionably sentimental.
2. Sickening or insipid in taste.

source

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Fulminate

  • criticize severely; "He fulminated against the Republicans' plan to cut Medicare"; "She railed against the bad social policies"
  • come on suddenly and intensely; "the disease fulminated"
  • cause to explode violently and with loud noise
  • a salt or ester of fulminic acid

source

Friday, December 14, 2007

Contretemps

An unforeseen event that disrupts the normal course of things; an inopportune occurrence.

source

Matriculation

Matriculation, in the broadest sense, means to be registered or added to a list, from the Latin matrix. In Scottish heraldry, for instance, a matriculation is a registration of armorial bearings. The most common meaning, however, refers to the formal process of entering a university, or of becoming eligible to enter by acquiring the meeting prerequisites.

Wikipedia has an incredible article about this.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Redolent

means “smelling (of), giving off an odor (of)”

source

Friday, December 7, 2007

Paraprosdokian

A paraprosdokian (from Greek "para-", meaning "faulty" and "prosdokia", meaning "expectation") is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect, sometimes producing an anticlimax.

e.g. The car stopped on a dime, which unfortunately was in a pedestrian's pocket.

source on wikipedia

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Nebbish

a pitifully ineffectual, luckless, and timid person.

source

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Dilettante

dilettante (plural dilettantes or dilettanti)

  1. A person who enjoys the arts.
  2. An amateur, someone who dabbles in a field out of casual interest rather than as a profession or serious interest.
  3. A person with a broad but superficial interest in an art or a branch of knowledge. (Sometimes derogatory.)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Ichor

In Greek mythology, ichor (Greek ἰχώρ) is the mineral that is the Greek gods' blood, sometimes said to have been present in ambrosia or nectar. When a god was injured and bled, the ichor made his or her blood poisonous to mortals.

The term ichor is often misused in fantasy contexts by authors trying to find a different word for "blood" or "ooze", to the point that it has become cliché. Author Ursula LeGuin, in "From Elfland to Poughkeepsie", calls the term "the infallible touchstone of the seventh-rate."

Jacobin

In the sense of "promulgator of extreme revolutionary opinion", the word "Jacobin" passed beyond the borders of France and long survived the Revolution.

In the context of the French Revolution, a Jacobin originally meant a member of the Jacobin Club (1789-1794), but even at that time, the term Jacobins had been popularly applied to all promulgators of extreme revolutionary opinions: for example, "Jacobin democracy" is synonymous with totalitarian democracy. In contemporary France this term refers to the concept of a centralised Republic, with power concentrated in the national government, at the expense of local or regional governments. Similarly, Jacobinist educational policy, which influenced modern France well into the 20th Century, sought to stamp out French minority languages that it considered reactionary, such as Breton, Basque, Catalan, Occitan, Alsatian, Franco-Provençal and Flemish.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Reticulated

1. To make a net or network of.
2. To mark with lines resembling a network.

source

Note that there is no such thing as a reticulated chipmunk.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Dilatory

1.tending to delay or procrastinate; slow; tardy.
2.intended to cause delay, gain time, or defer decision: a dilatory strategy.

source

Choleric

Easily becoming angry.

wiki

Rangeland

Rangeland refers to expansive, mostly unimproved lands on which a significant proportion of the natural vegetation is native grasses, grass-like plants, forbs, and shrubs. Rangeland also consists of areas seeded to native or adapted introduced species that are managed like native vegetation. Rangelands include natural grasslands, savannas, shrublands, many deserts, tundra, alpine communities, coastal marshes, and wet meadows. Rangeland is generally arid, semi-arid, sub-humid or otherwise unsuitable for cultivation.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Dramaturge

In the theatre, a dramaturge or dramaturg holds a position that gained its modern-day function through the innovations of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, a playwright and theatre practitioner who worked in Germany in the 18th century.

The dramaturge's contribution was to categorize and discuss the various types and kinds of plays, their interconnectedness and their styles.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Planisphere


A planisphere is a star chart analog computer that can be adjusted to display the stars for any time and date.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Woonerf

A Woonerf in the Netherlands and Flanders is a street or group of streets in a town or city where pedestrians and cyclists have legal priority over motorists.

Haver

to equivocate; vacillate.

source

Monday, November 12, 2007

Lycanthropy

In folklore, lycanthropy is the ability or power of a human being to undergo transformation into a wolf. The term comes from Greek lykánthropos (λυκάνθρωπος): λύκος, lýkos ("wolf") + άνθρωπος, ánthrōpos ("man") (Rose, 230). The word can also be used transitively, referring to the act of transforming someone else into a wolf, or werewolf.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Atopy

Atopy (Greek ατοπία - placelessness) or atopic syndrome is an allergic hypersensitivity affecting parts of the body not in direct contact with the allergen.

wiki

Atopy

Atopy (Greek ατοπία - placelessness) or atopic syndrome is an allergic hypersensitivity affecting parts of the body not in direct contact with the allergen.

wiki

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Egress

A synonym for exit. The term was famously used by P. T. Barnum to move visitors along in his museum.

wiki

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Crenellations

Sequence of solid parts and the intervals between them along the top of a parapet, to facilitate firing and provide protection.

source
wiki

Diaphanous

semitransparent; clear.

source

Friday, November 2, 2007

Gemütlichkeit

a German abstract noun whose closest English equivalent is Cosiness. However, rather than basically just describing a place as not too large, well-heated and nicely furnished (a cosy room, a cosy flat), Gemütlichkeit connotes, much more than cosiness, the notion of belonging, social acceptance, cheerfulness, the absence of anything hectic and the spending of quality time in a place as described above.

wiki

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Revanchism

Revanchism (from French revanche, "revenge") is a term used since the 1870s to describe a political manifestation of the will to reverse territorial losses incurred by a country, often following a war. Revanchism draws its strength from patriotic and retributionist thought and is often motivated by economic or geo-political factors. Extreme revanchist ideologues often represent a hawkish stance, suggesting that desired objectives can be reclaimed in the positive outcome of another war.

wiki

Fen

A type of wetland that accumulates peat deposits. Fens are less acidic than bogs, deriving most of their water from groundwater rich in calcium and magnesium.

source

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Anoxic

Free of oxygen.

From Wikipedia:
Oceanic anoxic events occur when the Earth's oceans become completely depleted of oxygen (O2) below the surface levels. Although anoxic events have not happened for millions of years, the geological record shows that they happened many times in the past, and may have caused mass extinctions.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Aga

title of respect, as Hassan Aga; basic meaning is landlord

source

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Endogenous

The word endogenous means "arising from within", the opposite of exogenous.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Dovish

opposed to war, pacifist
definition

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Atavism

An atavism is a real or supposed evolutionary throwback

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Egregious

Extremely or remarkably bad
source

e.g. Give it a shot… see what happens! Live life to its fullest and try to regret at least one egregious error per day.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Asceticism

a life characterized by abstinence from worldly pleasures.

wiki

Peurile

Childish

Friday, October 12, 2007

Chicanery

  1. Deception by use of trickery.
  2. Trickery via quibbling and distraction.
from the wiktionary

Chicanery

  1. Deception by use of trickery.
  2. Trickery via quibbling and distraction.
from the wiktionary

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Saturnine

1. Gloomy or sullen in disposition.
2. Having a sardonic or bitter aspect.

source: dictionary.com

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Truncheon

A European club made of wood.

e.g. You can dance at a truncheon, but it is more commonly used as a cudgel.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Slattern

streetwalker: a prostitute who attracts customers by walking the streets.

source

Parbreak


vomit

Perambulate

  1. to walk about, roam or stroll
  2. To inspect (an area) on foot
wiki

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Resile

  1. Formal : To abandon a position, agreement or course of action.
  2. To bounce back or recoil
  3. To withdraw or retreat
source

Expurgation

The act of purging, or cleansing; purification from anything noxious, offensive, sinful, or erroneous. wiki

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Zeroshift

Zeroshift or seamless-shift gearbox is a type of automotive transmission which allows for changing gear without interruption of torque to the driving roadwheels. The Zeroshift principle was invented by Bill Martin, the company Zeroshift Ltd is based in Milton Keynes, England.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Incunabulum

An incunabulum is a book, single sheet, or image that was printed — not handwritten — before the year 1501 in Europe. These are very rare and valuable items. The origin of the word is the Latin incunabula for "swaddling clothes", used by extension for the infancy or early stages of something. The first recorded use of incunabula as a printing term is in a pamphlet by Bernhard von Mallinckrodt, De ortu et progressu artis typographicae ("Of the rise and progress of the typographic art"), (Cologne, 1639), which includes the phrase prima typographicae incunabula, "the first infancy of printing", a term to which he arbitrarily set an end, 1500, which still stands as a convention. wiki

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Boffin

In the slang of the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, boffins are scientists, engineers, and other people who are stereotypically seen as engaged in technical or scientific research. The word conjures up a stereotype of mature men in thick spectacles and white lab coats, obsessively working with complicated apparatus. Alongside eccentric genius, portrayals of boffins usually highlight a naive ineptitude in social interaction.
wiki

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Pibroch

A type of music native to the Scottish Highlands and performed on the Great Highland Bagpipe. wiki

Saturday, September 15, 2007

peripatetic

One who walks about; a pedestrian; an itinerant. wiki

Friday, September 14, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Preclude

To remove the possibility of doing something in advance. wiki

e.g. Being asleep at 8:15 AM precludes the possibility of getting to work by 8:30 AM.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Geodesic

A geodesic is the shortest path between two points on a given surface.

e.g. a geodesic on a plane is a straight line, while a geodesic on a sphere is an arc on a great circle.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Unconscionable

Unscrupluous.

e.g. I told my mom that flying in an airplane is unconscionable due to it's affect on the environment.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Presuppositionalism

A faith based christian belief that god exists and the bible is accurate and correct.

source

Friday, September 7, 2007

Besotted

Very drunk.

e.g. I love Friday! Time to get besotted.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Monday, September 3, 2007

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Antibrachial

Of the forearm. source

e.g. All this typing is giving me antibrachial pain.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia

Fear of the number 666.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Bricoleur

Inspired by the name of a local blog, Bricoleurbanism,

Bricoleur: French for do-it-yourselfer / tinkerer.

Also see:

Bricole: another word for catapult.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Gaffe vs. Guffaw

Gaffe:
A clumsy mistake.

Guffaw:
A loud outburst of laughter.