Thursday, April 30, 2015


illicit (comparative more illicit, superlative most illicit)

  1. (law) Lacking licitness, but not invalid.
    The bigamous marriage, while illicit, was not invalid.
  2. Breaking social norms.
  3. Unlawful.

Usage notes

Licit and valid are legal terms to be compared, especially in terms of canon law. With bigamy, if there is an innocent party, the innocent party is validly married; the problem is with the guilty party, who has entered into an illegal second marriage without first divorcing the earlier spouse. The marriage is valid in canon law (and often, civil law), but the guilty party goes to jail nonetheless, in that the marriage is illicit (and illegal), and the innocent party routinely receives a fast annulment and the full sympathy of the court. A corollary is that the children born of such unions are inherently legitimate.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

garage queen

garage queen

A rarely driven car that is in mint or near mint condition, is only driven in fair weather (no rain/snow), and is kept in the garage, usually washed and waxed, under a cover.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


A lawgiver is a person who draws up, introduces, or enacts a code of laws for a nation or people.

Monday, April 27, 2015


Superfecundation is the fertilization of two or more ova from the same cycle by sperm from separate acts of sexual intercourse. The term superfecundation is derived from fecund, meaning the ability to produce offspring.

Heteropaternal superfecundation occurs when two different males father fraternal twins. When the parents of fraternal twins are involved in a paternity suit, the odds are about 1 in 40 that the children are actually half-siblings.

Sunday, April 26, 2015


Superfetation (also spelt superfoetation - see fetus) is the simultaneous occurrence of more than one stage of developing offspring in the same animal. In mammals it manifests as the formation of an embryo from a different menstrual cycle while another embryo or fetus is already present in the uterus. When there are two separate instances of fertilisation during the same cycle, it is known as superfecundation.

Superfetation is claimed to be common in some species of animals, but is extremely rare in humans. In mammals it can occur only where there are two uteri, or where the menstrual cycle continues through pregnancy. The risk with superfetation is that the second baby is often born prematurely, which can increase its odds of experiencing lung development problems.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


The Subantarctic is a region in the southern hemisphere, located immediately north of the Antarctic region. This translates roughly to a latitude of between 46°60° south of the Equator. The subantarctic region includes many islands in the southern parts of the Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean, especially those situated north of the Antarctic Convergence. Subantarctic glaciers are, by definition, located on islands within the subantarctic region. All glaciers located on the continent of Antarctica are by definition considered to be Antarctic glaciers.

Friday, April 24, 2015


Fenya (феня) or fenka (фенка) is a Russian cant language used among criminals. Originally it was a cryptolanguage of ofenyas or ofenes, old Russian peddlers, and had a number of names. There are no convincing explanations about the origins of the words "ofenya" and "fenya". In modern Russian language it is also referred to as blatnoy language (Russian: блатной язык), where "blatnoy" is a slang expression for "criminal". It is also widely used in "thieves' songs".

The grammar is Russian; the vocabulary has changed over time.

The original fenya consisted of broken Russian words borrowed from Greek and other foreign languages.

Thursday, April 23, 2015


fress (third-person singular simple present fresses, present participle fressing, simple past and past participle fressed)

  1. To eat without restraint; eat heartily.
From Yiddish פרעסן (fresn) or German fressen (to devour, gobble), from Middle High German vrezzen, from Old High German frezzan (to devour, eat up), from Proto-Germanic *fraetanan (to eat up), from Proto-Germanic *fra- (intensive and perfective prefix) + Proto-Germanic *etanan (to eat), equivalent to for- +‎ eat. Cognate with Old English fretan (to devour). More at fret.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


georgic (plural georgics)

  1. A rural poem; a poetical composition on husbandry, containing rules for cultivating land, etc.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Tetrachromacy is the condition of possessing four independent channels for conveying color information, or possessing four different types of cone cells in the eye. Organisms with tetrachromacy are called tetrachromats.

In tetrachromatic organisms, the sensory color space is four-dimensional, meaning that to match the sensory effect of arbitrarily chosen spectra of light within their visible spectrum requires mixtures of at least four different primary colors.

Most birds are tetrachromats. Tetrachromacy is also suspected among several species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, arachnids and insects.

Monday, April 20, 2015


imbue (third-person singular simple present imbues, present participle imbuing, simple past and past participle imbued)

  1. (transitive): To wet or stain an object completely with some physical quality.
    The shirt was imbued with his scent.
  2. In general, to act in a way which results in an object becoming completely permeated or impregnated by some quality.
    The entire text is imbued with the sense of melancholy and hopelessness.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


In contemporary linguistics, agglutination usually refers to the kind of morphological derivation in which there is a one-to-one correspondence between affixes and syntactical categories. Languages that use agglutination widely are called agglutinative languages. For example, the Hungarian word hajókon `on ships' may be divided into a root hajó with two endings -k and -on expressing respectively the plural number (hajó-k `ships') and the location `on' something (hajó-n `on a ship'). Moreover, the ending -n is so regular that the Hungarian Wiktionary simply marks this case as "-on/-en/ön" (in English it is called superessive). In contrast to this, in the Czech translation v lodích, the location is expressed by a combination of a separate word (a preposition v `in') and the locative plural ending ích which is added to the stem loď `ship' and cannot be subdivided into a part expressing plural and a part expressing the locative case. Therefore Czech is not an agglutinative language.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


wastrel (plural wastrels)

  1. (dated) One who is profligate, who wastes time or resources extravagantly.

Friday, April 17, 2015


Drunkorexia is a non-medical term describing the self-imposed starvation or binge eating/purging combined with alcohol abuse among college females.

Research has focused on drunkorexia among college women, but it is also found among men. One study shows that college students are doing this more often so they don't have to worry about weight gain from drinking. A study done by the University of Missouri found that 30% of female college students exhibit drunkorexia. The study found that men are more likely to participate in drunkorexia in order to save their money for buying alcohol instead of food. According to the study, students who restrict calories prior to alcohol consumption do it to prevent weight gain (67%) and to get drunk more quickly (21%).

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Polonization (or Polonisation) (Polish: polonizacja) was the acquisition or imposition of elements of Polish culture, in particular, Polish language, as experienced in some historic periods by non-Polish populations of territories controlled or substantially influenced by Poland. As with other examples of cultural assimilation, it could either be voluntary or forced and is most visible in the case of territories, where the Polish language or culture were dominant, or their adoption could result in gaining of prestige or social status. Such was the case of the nobility of Ruthenia and Lithuania throughout the ages. To certain extent Polonization was also administratively promoted by the authorities, particularly in the period following the World War II.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Hypernatremia or hypernatraemia (see American and British English spelling differences) is an electrolyte disturbance that is defined by an elevated sodium level in the blood. Hypernatremia is generally not caused by an excess of sodium, but rather by a relative deficit of free water in the body. For this reason, hypernatremia is often synonymous with the less precise term, dehydration.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hyperemesis gravidarum

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is a severe form of morning sickness, with "unrelenting, excessive pregnancy-related nausea and/or vomiting that prevents adequate intake of food and fluids." Hyperemesis is considered a rare complication of pregnancy but, because nausea and vomiting during pregnancy exist on a continuum, there is often not a good diagnosis between common morning sickness and hyperemesis. Estimates of the percentage of pregnant women afflicted range from 0.3% to 2.0%.

Monday, April 13, 2015


Ostsiedlung (German = settlement in the east), also called German eastward expansion, was the medieval eastward migration and settlement of Germans from modern day western and central Germany into less-populated regions and countries of eastern Central Europe and Eastern Europe. The affected area roughly stretched from Slovenia to Estonia, and eastwards into Transylvania. In part, Ostsiedlung followed the territorial expansion of the Holy Roman Empire and the Teutonic Order.

Sunday, April 12, 2015


The launeddas (also called triple clarinet or triplepipe) is a typical Sardinian woodwind instrument, consisting of three pipes. It is polyphonic and played using circular breathing. An ancient instrument, dating back to at least the 8th century BC, launeddas are still played during religious ceremonies and dances (su ballu). Distinctively, they are played using extensive variations on a few melodic phrases, and a single song can last over an hour, producing some of the "most elemental and resonant (sounds) in European music".

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Phlebotomy ("to cut a vein" in Greek) is the process of making an incision in a vein. It is associated with venipuncture, the practice of collecting venous blood samples, and bloodletting, the ancient medical practice. A person who practices phlebotomy is termed a phlebotomist.

Friday, April 10, 2015


A castellan was the governor or captain of a castle. The word stems from the Latin Castellanus, derived from castellum "castle". Also known as a constable, governor of the castle or captain.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


oriflamme (plural oriflammes)

  1. (history) The red silk banner of St Denis, which the abbot of St Denis gave to French kings as they rode to war.
  2. (figuratively) Any banner, idea or principle which serves as a rallying point for those involved in a struggle.
  3. (literary) Something resembling the banner of St Denis; a bright, shining object.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Budai (Chinese: 布袋; pinyin: Bùdài), or Hotei in Japanese,Bố Đại in Vietnamese, is a Chinese folkloric deity. His name means "Cloth Sack," and comes from the bag that he is conventionally depicted as carrying. He is usually identified with (or as an incarnation of) Maitreya, so much so that the Budai image is one of the main forms in which Maitreya is depicted in East Asia. He is almost always shown smiling or laughing, hence his nickname in Chinese, the Laughing Buddha (Chinese: 笑佛). Many Westerners confuse Budai with Gautama Buddha.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Andropause or male menopause, sometimes colloquially called "man-opause", is a name that has been given to a menopause-like condition in aging men. This relates to the slow but steady reduction of the production of the hormones testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone in middle-aged men, and the consequences of that reduction, which is associated with a decrease in Leydig cells.

Unlike women, middle-aged men do not experience a complete and permanent physiological shutting down of the reproductive system as a normal event. A steady decline in testosterone levels with age (in both men and women) is well documented.

Unlike "menopause", the word "andropause" is not currently recognized by the World Health Organization and its ICD-10 medical classification. This is likely because "andropause" is a term of convenience describing the stage of life when symptoms of aging appear in men. While the words are sometimes used interchangeably, hypogonadism is a deficiency state in which the hormone testosterone goes below the normal range for even an aging male.

Monday, April 6, 2015


Seigniorage is the difference between the value of money and the cost to produce it. The term can be applied in the following ways:

  • Seigniorage derived from specie—metal coins, is a tax, added to the total price of a coin (metal content and production costs), that a customer of the mint had to pay to the mint, and that was sent to the sovereign of the political area.
  • Seigniorage derived from notes is more indirect, being the difference between interest earned on securities acquired in exchange for bank notes and the costs of producing and distributing those notes.

Seigniorage is a convenient source of revenue for some governments.

Sunday, April 5, 2015


In astrophysics, spaghettification (sometimes referred to as the noodle effect) is the vertical stretching and horizontal compression of objects into long thin shapes (rather like spaghetti) in a very strong gravitational field, and is caused by extreme tidal forces. In the most extreme cases, near black holes, the stretching is so powerful that no object can withstand it, no matter how strong its components. Within a small region the horizontal compression balances the vertical stretching so that small objects being spaghettified experience no net change in volume.

In his book A Brief History of Time (1988), Stephen Hawking describes the flight of a fictional astronaut who, passing within a black hole's event horizon, is "stretched like spaghetti" by the gravitational gradient (difference in strength) from head to toe. However, the term "spaghettification" was established well before this; Nigel Calder, for example, uses it in his book The Key to the Universe: A Report on the New Physics (Viking Press, 1977), a companion to a one-off BBC TV documentary: The Key to the Universe.

Saturday, April 4, 2015


Thorn or þorn (Þ, þ), is a letter in the Old English, Gothic, Old Norse, and Icelandic alphabets, as well as some dialects of Middle English. It was also used in medieval Scandinavia, but was later replaced with the digraph th, except in Iceland where it survives. The letter originated from the rune in the Elder Fuþark, called thorn in the Anglo-Saxon and thorn or thurs ("giant") in the Scandinavian rune poems, its reconstructed Proto-Germanic name being Thurisaz.

It has the sound of either a voiceless dental fricative [θ], like th as in the English word thick, or a voiced dental fricative [ð], like th as in the English word the. Modern Icelandic usage generally excludes the latter, which is instead represented with the letter eth (Ð, ð), however the pronunciation of words beginning with a þ often depends on that word's position within a sentence, being pronounced [θ] if the word is at the beginning of a sentence but [ð] otherwise. Þ in modern Icelandic also has a voiceless allophone [θ], which occurs in certain positions within a phrase.

Friday, April 3, 2015


Cytopathology (from Greek κύτος, kytos, "a hollow"; πάθος, pathos, "fate, harm"; and -λογία, -logia) is a branch of pathology that studies and diagnoses diseases on the cellular level. The discipline was founded by Rudolf Virchow in 1858. A common application of cytopathology is the Pap smear, used as a screening tool, to detect precancerous cervical lesions and prevent cervical cancer. Cytopathology is also commonly used to investigate thyroid lesions, diseases involving sterile body cavities (peritoneal, pleural, and cerebrospinal), and a wide range of other body sites. It is usually used to aid in the diagnosis of cancer, but also helps in the diagnosis of certain infectious diseases and other inflammatory conditions. Cytopathology is generally used on samples of free cells or tissue fragments, in contrast to histopathology, which studies whole tissues.

Thursday, April 2, 2015


Tragicomedy is a literary genre that blends aspects of both tragic and comic forms. Most often seen in dramatic literature, the term can variously describe either a tragic play which contains enough comic elements to lighten the overall mood or, often, a serious play with a happy ending.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Defacement is a term used in heraldry and vexillology to refer to the addition of a symbol or charge to another flag. For example, the Australian flag is the British Blue Ensign defaced with the Southern Cross in the fly and the Commonwealth Star in the lower hoist quarter, beneath the Union Flag.

In the context of vexillology, "deface" carries no negative connotations, in contrast to general usage. It simply indicates differentiation of the flag from that of another owner by addition of elements. For example, many state flags are formed by defacing the national flag with a coat of arms.