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