Thursday, November 29, 2007

Nebbish

a pitifully ineffectual, luckless, and timid person.

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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.

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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.

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Choleric

Easily becoming angry.

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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.

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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.

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Atopy

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

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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.

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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.

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Diaphanous

semitransparent; clear.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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