Tuesday, September 13, 2016


Toyetic is a term referring to the suitability of a media property, such as a cartoon or movie, for merchandising tie-in lines of licensed toys, games and novelties. The term is attributed to Bernard Loomis, a toy development executive for Kenner Toys, in discussing the opportunities for marketing the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, telling its producer Steven Spielberg that the movie wasn't "toyetic" enough, leading Loomis towards acquiring the lucrative license for the upcoming Star Wars properties.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Popular with the bees


A fascia (/ˈfæʃə/, /ˈfæʃiə/; plural fasciae /ˈfæʃᵻ.i/; adjective fascial; from Latin: "band") is a band or sheet of connective tissue, primarily collagen, beneath the skin that attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles and other internal organs.[1] Fascia is classified by layer, as superficial fascia, deep fascia, and visceral or parietal fascia, or by its function and anatomical location.


Tuckpointing is a way of using two contrasting colours of mortar in the mortar joints of brickwork, one colour matching the bricks themselves, to give an artificial impression that very fine joints have been made. In some parts of the United States and Canada, some confusion may result as the term is often used interchangeably with "pointing" (to correct defects or finish off joints in newly laid masonry) and "repointing" (to place wet mortar into cut or raked joints to repair weathered joints in old masonry)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Turnspit Dog

The Turnspit Dog was a short-legged, long-bodied dog bred to run on a wheel, called a turnspit or dog wheel, to turn meat. The type is now extinct. It is mentioned in Of English Dogs in 1576 under the name "Turnespete". William Bingley's Memoirs of British Quadrupeds (1809) also talks of a dog employed to help chefs and cooks. It is also known as the Kitchen Dog, the Cooking Dog, the Underdog and the Vernepator. In Linnaeus's 18th century classification of dogs it is listed as Canis vertigus. The breed was lost since it was considered to be such a lowly and common dog that no record was effectively kept of it. Some sources consider the Turnspit a kind of Glen of Imaal Terrier, others make it a relative of the Welsh Corgi.

Sunday, April 10, 2016


alicorn n
  1. (now historical) The horn of a unicorn considered as a medical or pharmacological ingredient

Saturday, April 9, 2016

paradoxical frog

paradoxical frog ‎(plural paradoxical frogs)
  1. Pseudis paradoxa, a species of frog unusual because it is larger as a tadpole (up to 25 cm or 10 in long) than as an adult (about a quarter of that length).

Friday, April 8, 2016


Vaginismus, sometimes called vaginism, is the physical or psychological condition that affects a woman's ability to engage in any form of vaginal penetration, including sexual intercourse, manual penetration, insertion of tampons or menstrual cups, and the penetration involved in gynecological examinations (pap tests).

Thursday, April 7, 2016


Dyspareunia is painful sexual intercourse due to medical or psychological causes. The symptoms are significantly more common in women than in men. The pain can primarily be on the external surface of the genitalia, or deeper in the pelvis upon deep pressure against the cervix. It can affect a small portion of the vulva or vagina or be felt all over the surface. Understanding the duration, location, and nature of the pain is important in identifying the causes of the pain.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


Lungo (Italian for "long") is a coffee beverage made by using an espresso machine to make an Italian-style coffee – short black (single or double dose or shot) with much more water (generally twice as much), resulting in a stretched coffee, a lungo.

A normal serving of espresso takes from 18 to 30 seconds to pull, and fills 25 to 60 millilitres, while a lungo may take up to a minute to pull, and might fill 130 to 170 millilitres. Extraction time of the dose is determined by the variety of coffee beans (usually a blend of Arabica and Robusta), their grind and the pressure of the machine. The optimum is obtained with 9–12 bars 130–150 ml.[citation needed]
In French it is called café allongé.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


A hyperforeignism is a type of qualitative hypercorrection that involves speakers misidentifying the distribution of a pattern found in loanwords and extending it to other environments, including words and phrases not borrowed from the language that the pattern derives from. The result of this process does not reflect the rules of either language. For example, habanero is sometimes pronounced as though it were spelled with an ñ (habañero), which is not the Spanish form from which the English word was borrowed. Hyperforeignization reflects speakers' attitudes about linguistic and cultural stereotypes, particularly those provided by popular media.
Hyperforeignisms can manifest in a number of ways, including the application of the spelling or pronunciation rules of one language to a word borrowed from another, an incorrect application of a language's pronunciation, and pronouncing anglicized words as though they were borrowed more recently. Hyperforeignisms may similarly occur when a word is thought to be a loanword from a particular language when it is not.
Although similar, words that exhibit deliberate language-play (such as pronouncing Report with a silent t in The Colbert Report or ironically pronouncing Target as /tɑːrˈʒ/ tar-ZHAY, as though it were an upscale boutique) are not, strictly speaking, hyperforeignisms. These are, instead, a way of poking fun at those who earnestly adopt foreign-sounding pronunciations of pseudo-loanwords.
Similarly, speakers who echo hyperforeign pronunciations without the intention of approximating a foreign-language pattern are also not practicing hyperforeignization; thus, pronouncing habanero as if it were spelled habañero is not a hyperforeignism if one is not aware that the word has been borrowed from Spanish.

A number of words of French origin feature a final e that is pronounced in English but silent in the original language. For example, forte (used to mean "strength" in English as in "not my forte") is often pronounced /ˈfɔːrt/ or /fɔːrˈt/, by confusion with the Italian musical term of the same spelling (but meaning "loud"), which is pronounced [ˈfɔrte]. In French, the term is pronounced [fɔʁt], with silent final e. Similarly, the noun cache is sometimes pronounced /kæʃ/, as though it were spelled either cachet(meaning "signature") or caché(meaning "hidden"). In French, the final e is silent and the word is pronounced [kaʃ]. The word cadre is sometimes pronounced /ˈkɑːdr/ in English, as though it were of Spanish origin. In French, the final e is silent [kadʁ] and a common English pronunciation is /ˈkɑːdrə/.

The j in the name of the Taj Mahal or raj is often rendered /ʒ/, but a closer approximation to the Hindi sound is //. The j in most words associated with languages of India is more accurately approximated as //.

Monday, April 4, 2016



extravasate ‎(comparative more extravasate, superlative most extravasate)
  1. Outside of a vessel.


extravasate ‎(plural extravasates)
  1. That which is outside a vessel (especially blood or other bodily fluids)


extravasate ‎(third-person singular simple present extravasates, present participle extravasating, simple past and past participle extravasated)
  1. To flow (or be forced) from a vessel

Sunday, April 3, 2016


ideate ‎(third-person singular simple present ideates, present participle ideating, simple past and past participle ideated)
  1. To apprehend in thought so as to fix and hold in the mind; to memorize.
  2. To generate an idea.

Saturday, April 2, 2016


In governance, sortition (also known as allotment or demarchy) is the process of selecting officers as a random sample from a larger pool of candidates.

Friday, April 1, 2016



from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To be suddenly agitated; be a-quiver.


Thursday, March 31, 2016




a Highlander

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


trepidancy ‎(uncountable)
(rare) Trembling caused by fear or nervous agitation.

Monday, March 28, 2016



A near-extinct term for a surgeon who performed trephination as practiced in the Middle Ages, in which holes were bored in the skull and other body sites to allow “evil humours” a place of egress.

Sunday, March 27, 2016


Plural form of VAX (a computer system of the 1970s). Humorous modern use of -en from Middle English.

Saturday, March 26, 2016


A quinzhee or quinzee /ˈkwɪnz/ is a shelter made by hollowing out a pile of settled snow. This is in contrast to an igloo, which is made from blocks of hard snow. The word is of Athabaskan origin, and entered the English language by 1984.

Friday, March 25, 2016


A sump (American English and some parts of Canada: oil pan) is a low space that collects any often-undesirable liquids such as water or chemicals. A sump can also be an infiltration basin used to manage surface runoff water and recharge underground aquifers.[1] Sump can also refer to an area in a cave where an underground flow of water exits the cave into the earth.

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Soteriology (/səˌtɪəriˈɒləi/; Greek: σωτηρία sōtēria "salvation" from σωτήρ sōtēr "savior, preserver" and λόγος logos "study" or "word"[1]) is the study of religious doctrines of salvation. Salvation theory occupies a place of special significance in many religions.
In the academic field of religious studies, soteriology is understood by scholars as representing a key theme in a number of different religions and is often studied in a comparative context; that is, comparing various ideas about what salvation is and how it is obtained.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


The word plenipotentiary (from the Latin, plenus + potens, full + power) has two meanings. As a noun, it refers to a person who has "full powers." In particular, the term commonly refers to a diplomat fully authorized to represent a government as a prerogative (e.g., ambassador). As an adjective, plenipotentiary refers to something—an edict, assignment, etc.—that confers "full powers."

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Jus legationis

Jus legationis is a Legal Latin term meaning the capacity to send and receive consuls and diplomats.

Monday, March 21, 2016

épater le bourgeois

épater le bourgeois
  1. (literary) To scandalize, provoke the middle class.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

throw shapes

throw shapes
  1. (Ireland, idiomatic, slang) To act tough or put up a front. For example, to threaten a person by making "karate chops" at them, without actually doing harm or knowing karate.[1]
  2. (Ireland, idiomatic, slang) To dance.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

tear up the pea patch

tear up the pea patch
  1. (idiomatic) To put on a notable performance, especially in sports; to go on a rampage.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Thursday, March 17, 2016

waltz Matilda

waltz Matilda
(Australia) To travel on foot carrying a swag (belongings wrapped in a cloth); to so travel looking for work.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

to vent one's spleen

to vent one's spleen
  1. To openly express pent-up anger, often on an unrelated matter or person.

Monday, March 14, 2016

to unring a bell

to unring a bell
  1. (idiomatic) To reverse the irreversible; to perform the impossible.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Saturday, March 12, 2016

piss it down

piss it down
  1. (slang, vulgar) To rain heavily; piss down.
    I'm not going to the shops now. It's pissing it down.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Thursday, March 10, 2016

make common cause

make common cause
 To cooperate, to enter into an alliance for a shared goal.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

teach grandma how to suck eggs

teach grandma how to suck eggs
  1. To tell an expert how to do things. Usually phrased in the negative.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Saturday, March 5, 2016

include me out

include me out
  1. (nonstandard, humorous) Do not include me; leave me out; exclude me.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

send to Coventry

send to Coventry
  1. (transitive, idiomatic) To ostracize, or systematically ignore someone.
    The group decided to send the unpopular members to Coventry.
     Some believe that the phrase dates from the English Civil War, when a military prison was located in that city. Others say it dates from the 18th century, when Coventry was the nearest town to London that lay outside the jurisdiction of the Bow Street Runners and so London criminals would flee to Coventry to escape arrest.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

make a leg

make a leg
  1. (idiomatic, Britain) To make a deep bow with the right leg drawn back.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

know shit from Shinola

know shit from Shinola
(US) To have the most basic level of intelligence or common sense. A colloquialism which dates back to the early 1940s in the United States, sometimes ended with "that's why your shoes don't shine". [1] Shinola was a popular brand of shoe polish, which had a color and texture not unlike feces.

Monday, February 29, 2016

bring it weak

bring it weak
  1. (intransitive, idiomatic) To fail to accomplish an accomplishable task or to make an attempt at less than maximum effort; to "half-ass" or "fake the funk".
    Unwilling to try his hardest, Jason instead chose to bring it weak at the gym, and didn't even break a sweat.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Saturday, February 27, 2016

boil the ocean

boil the ocean
  1. (figuratively) To undertake an overwhelmingly difficult task or approach to a problem.

Friday, February 26, 2016

bell the cat ‎

bell the cat
  1. (idiomatic) To undertake a dangerous action in the service of a group.
From a mediæval fable in which mice want to put a bell round the cat's neck but cannot agree who should do it.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

give it some welly

give it some welly
  1. (Britain) To increase fuel or power to an engine, as to a car by depressing the gas pedal.  [quotations ▼]
  2. (Britain) To apply great physical effort to (something).

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

break bulk

break bulk
To remove one or more items from the packaging, container, vehicle, or vessel in which shipped with other items.

Monday, February 22, 2016

hang the moon

hang the moon
  1. (idiomatic, US) To place the moon in the sky: used as an example of a superlative act attributed to someone viewed with uncritical or excessive awe, reverence or infatuation.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

blow hot and cold

From Aesop's fable in which a satyr declares he cannot trust a man who blows hot (to warm his hands) and cold (to cool his food) with the same breath.


blow hot and cold
  1. (intransitive, idiomatic) To behave inconsistently; to vacillate or to waver, as between extremes of opinion or emotion.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Friday, February 19, 2016

do a Reggie Perrin

do a Reggie Perrin
(Britain, slang) To fake one's own suicide.

From the name of the main character in the British sitcom The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, who faked his own suicide.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

abjure the realm

abjure the realm
  1. (chiefly historical, English law) To swear to leave the realm as soon as possible and not return without the permission of the sovereign.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

acknowledge the corn

acknowledge the corn
(idiomatic) To acknowledge defeat or admit to a mistake; to cop a plea; to admit to a small error but not a larger one.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Monday, February 15, 2016

bring owls to Athens ‎(third-person singular simple present brings owls to Athens, present participle bringing owls to Athens, simple past and past participle brought owls to Athens)

 (idiomatic) To undertake a pointless venture, one that is redundant, unnecessary, superfluous, or highly uneconomical.

A calque of the Ancient Greek proverb γλαῦκ’ εἰς Ἀθήνας ‎(glaûk’ eis Athḗnas). The owl, which roosted in the rafters of the old Parthenon (the one burnt by Xerxes I), was the symbol of the city of Athens, and was sacred to its patron goddess, Athena. It was featured on Athens’ silver coins, and as Athens both mined its own silver and minted its own coins, bringing owls (either the real birds, or the coins) to Athens would be pointless.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

bend someone's ear

bend someone's ear
  1. (idiomatic) To bore; to talk too long, especially to one particular person.
    Sorry to bend your ear with the whole story, but I think you ought to know.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

put one's shoulder to the wheel

put one's shoulder to the wheel
  1. (idiomatic) To work or exert oneself heavily or with full effort.
    When he got to law school he knew he'd have to put his shoulder to the wheel to succeed.


A finial is an element marking the top or end of some object, often formed to be a decorative feature. In architecture it is a decorative device, typically carved in stone, employed decoratively to emphasize the apex of a dome, spire, tower, roof, or gable or any of various distinctive ornaments at the top, end, or corner of a building or structure. Where there are several such elements they may be called pinnacles. Smaller finials in materials such as metal or wood are used as a decorative ornament on the tops or ends of poles or rods such as tent-poles or curtain rods or any object such as a piece of furniture. These are frequently seen on top of bed posts or clocks. Decorative finials are also commonly used to fasten lampshades, and as an ornamental element at the end of the handles of souvenir spoons. The charm at the end of a ceiling fan pull chain, or a lamp pull chain is also known as a finial.

Friday, February 12, 2016


A newel, also called a central pole, is the central supporting pillar of a spiral staircase. It can also (usually as "newel post") refer to an upright post that supports the handrail of a stair banister. In stairs having straight flights it is the principal post at the foot of the staircase, but it can also be used for the intermediate posts on landings and at the top of a staircase. Although its primary purpose is structural, newels have long been adorned with decorative trim and designed with different architectural styles.

Thursday, February 11, 2016


abrogation (plural abrogations)
The act of abrogating; a repeal by authority; abolition. [First attested in the mid 16th century.]

First attested in 1535. From Middle French abrogation, from Latin abrogātiō (repealed), from abrogo, from ab (from) + rogo (ask, inquire).

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Rare. the estimation of something as valueless (encountered mainly as an example of one of the longest words in the English language).

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


There’s a wonderful term used by anthropologists: “osteobiography,” the “biography of the bones.”

Monday, February 8, 2016


A papal legate – from the Latin, authentic Roman title Legatus – is a personal representative of the pope to foreign nations, or to some part of the Catholic Church. He is empowered on matters of Catholic Faith and for the settlement of ecclesiastical matters.

Sunday, February 7, 2016


A skerry is a small rocky island, usually defined to be too small for habitation; it may simply be a rocky reef. A skerry can also be called a low sea stack.
The term skerry is derived from the Old Norse sker, which means a rock in the sea. The Old Norse term sker was brought into the English language via the Scots language word spelled skerrie or skerry. It is a cognate of the Scandinavian languages' words for skerryIcelandic, Faroese: sker, Danish: skær, Swedish: skär, Norwegian: skjær / skjer, found also in German: Schäre, Finnish "kari", Estonian: skäär, Latvian: šēra and Russian: шхеры (shkhery). In Scottish Gaelic, it appears as sgeir, e.g. Sula Sgeir, in Irish as sceir, and in Manx as skeyr. The word is also probably related to the Italian word scoglio, sharing the same meaning.

Saturday, February 6, 2016


Bottlebrushes are an uncommon cave formation which result from a rise in water level such that the stalactites become immersed. If the water is supersaturated with calcium carbonate the stalactite will become coated with pool spar.

Friday, February 5, 2016


tergiversation (plural tergiversations)
  1. The act of abandoning something or someone, of changing sides; desertion; betrayal.
  2. The act of evading any clear course of action or speech, of being deliberately ambiguous; equivocation; fickleness.

Thursday, February 4, 2016


wair (plural wairs)
  1. A plank 6 feet long and 1 foot across.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016



From Latin rictus, participle of ringor (open the mouth wide)


rictus (plural rictuses)
  1. A bird's gaping mouth
  2. Any open-mouthed expression
    'His face was a rictus of sheer delight.


  • 1990 - Voivod, Nothingface
    Valves plugs pumps to erase/ rictus from my face.
  • 1993Wolfenstein 3D, Episode 3, Level 9, after defeating Hitler
    The absolute incarnation of evil, Adolf Hitler, lies at your feet in a pool of his own blood. His wrinkled, crimson-splattered visage still strains, a jagged-toothed rictus trying to cry out. Insane even in death. Your lips pinched in bitter victory, you kick his head off his remains and spit on his corpse.
  • 2001Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl, p 56
    It squinted at her through the hated light, its brow a rictus of pain and fear.
  • 2008Sean Williams, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, p 81
    The apprentice watched his Master, pain twisting his features into a rictus.

Derived terms

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Retotalitarianization is the process of reverting a society to a totalitarian state after that state had been removed.

Monday, February 1, 2016


A penultramarathon is any running or walking event that is not quite as long as an ultramarathon.

File:Sahara Race 2011.jpg

Sunday, January 31, 2016



The state of being opposed to something being requotable.

Saturday, January 30, 2016



Free from unanswerableness. E.g. A concrete question has no unanswerableness; it is unanswerablenessless.

Friday, January 29, 2016


To deceive or swindle, especially by flattery.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


A tumbrel (alternatively tumbril), is a two-wheeled cart or wagon typically designed to be hauled by a single horse or ox. Their original use was for agricultural work; in particular they were associated with carrying manure. Their most notable use was taking prisoners to the guillotine during the French Revolution. They were also used by the military for hauling supplies. In this use the carts were sometimes covered. The two wheels allowed the cart to be tilted to more easily discharge its load. The word is also used as a name for the cucking-stool.

File:La dernière charrette de Thermidor.jpg

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


gravid (comparative more gravid, superlative most gravid)
Pregnant; now used chiefly of egg-laying animals, or metaphorically.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sunday, January 24, 2016


A cryoseism, also known as an ice quake or a frost quake, may be caused by a sudden cracking action in frozen soil or rock saturated with water or ice. As water drains into ground, it may eventually freeze and expand under colder temperatures, putting stress on its surroundings. This stress builds up until relieved explosively in the form of a cryoseism.
Another type of cryoseism is a non-tectonic seismic event caused by sudden glacial movements. This movement has been attributed to a veneer of water which may pool underneath a glacier sourced from surface ice melt. Hydraulic pressure of the liquid can act as a lubricant, allowing the glacier to suddenly shift position. This type of cryoseism can be very brief, or may last for several minutes.
The requirements for a cryoseism to occur are numerous; therefore, accurate predictions are not entirely possible and may constitute a factor in structural design and engineering when constructing in an area historically known for such events. Speculation has been made between global warming and the frequency of cryoseisms.

Saturday, January 23, 2016


Partialism refers to a sexual interest with an exclusive focus on a specific part of the body. Partialism is categorized as a paraphilia in the DSM-IV-TR of the American Psychiatric Association if it is not part of normative stimulation or causes significant psychosocial distress for the person or has detrimental effects on important areas of their life. Individuals with partialism sometimes describe the anatomy of interest to them as having equal or greater erotic attraction for them as do the genitals.

Friday, January 22, 2016


Steatopygia (/stˌætɵˈpɪiə/; Greek: στεατοπυγία) is a high degree of fat accumulation in and around the buttocks. The deposit of fat is not confined to the gluteal regions, but extends to the outside and front of the thighs, forming a thick layer reaching sometimes to the knee.

Steatopygia is a genetic characteristic of the Khoisan and some Bantu peoples. It is especially prevalent in women, but also occurs to a lesser degree in men. In most populations of Homo sapiens, females are more likely than men to accumulate adipose tissue in the buttock region. It has also been observed among the Pygmies of Central Africa and the Onge-tribe of the Andaman Islands. Among the Khoisan, it is regarded as a sign of beauty. It begins in infancy and is fully developed by the time of the first pregnancy.
Steatopygia would seem to have been a characteristic of a population that once extended from the Gulf of Aden to the Cape of Good Hope, of which Khoisan and Pygmies are remnants. While the Khoisan are most noticeable examples, it occurs in other parts of Africa, and occurs even more frequently among male Basters than among Khoikhoi women. It is also observed among Andamanese Negrito women.
It has been suggested that this feature was once more widespread. Paleolithic Venus figurines, sometimes referred to as "steatopygian Venus" figures, discovered from Europe to Asia and presenting a remarkable development of the thighs, and even the prolongation of the labia minora, have been used to support this theory. Whether these were intended to be lifelike or exaggeratory, even idealistic, is unclear. However, these figures do not strictly qualify as steatopygian, since they exhibit an angle of approximately 120 degrees between the back and the buttocks, while steatopygia is diagnosed at an angle of about 90 degrees only.