verb • to inconvenience or discomfort a person by pressing against him or her or by standing too close
noun • a hasty tidying of the house between the time you see a neighbor and the time he or she knocks on the door
adjective • /leˈɑd.ɪˌsi.ən/ • lukewarm or indifferent, particularly in matters of politics or religion.
Laodicean was the final word in this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee. It was spelled by a 13-year-old from Kansas named Kavya Shivashankar. [news story]
noun • /par-ak′mē/ • the point at which one’s prime is past
From French char-à-bancs (“a carriage with benches”)
noun • “¶”, the paragraph symbol
The leading proposed history of “¶” is that the symbol evolved from “C”, for capitulum (Latin: “chapter”). (Wikipedia illustrates the evolution.)
noun • the eighth power of a number
Wikipedia: The 16th century Welsh mathematician Robert Recorde coined the term to “doeth represent the square of squares squared”. Compositionally, zenzic means “squared”, so zenzizenzizenzic means “the squared squared squared”, or algebraically, ((x2)2)2 = x8. zenzizenzizenzic has the most z’s of any recorded word in English.
noun • /per-ee-EE-sahy/ • people who live at the same latitude on opposite meridians, so that noon for one is midnight for the other
noun • /go-buh-MOOSH/ • One who credulously accepts all news, however improbable or absurd.
from French gobe-mouches (gober to swallow + mouche fly)
verb • to move or pull abruptly; yank.
adjective • /zɑf.tɪg/ • having a full rounded figure; pleasantly plump.
From Yiddish zaftik “juicy”, “succulent”.
noun • /ak-SIZ-muhs/ • Feigning lack of interest in something while actually desiring it.
From Greek ἀκκισμός, ‘coyness, affectation’.
Example: ‘A woman uses no figure of eloquence — her own, at most, excepted — so often as that of accismus.’ Jean Paul Richter; Levana (translation); 1889.
noun • /bī-ərd/ or /ˈbā-ərd/ • One blind to the light of knowledge, who has the self-confidence of ignorance.
According to the OED, it was ‘alluded to in many phrases and proverbial sayings, the origin of which was in later times forgotten, and “Bayard” as the type of blindness or blind recklessness.’
noun • /kælk/ • a word or phrase in a language formed by word-for-word or morpheme-by-morpheme translation of a word in another language.
verb • to adopt a word or phrase from another language by word-for-word or morpheme-by-morpheme translation.
Some English calques:
- brainwash calques Chinese 洗腦 (xǐ năo) “wash brain”.
- Adam’s apple calques French pomme d’Adam.
- New Wave calques French Nouvelle Vague.
- loanword calques German Lehnwort and thus is not a loanword.
- thought experiment calques German Gedankenexperiment.
- worldview calques German Weltanschauung.
noun • 1) the action of light surrounding some object as if making a halo. 2) the blurring of light around a bright area of a photographic image, or on a television screen.
noun • a boil or other swelling or growth on the skin, especially a sebaceous cyst.
adjective • living or growing on or among rocks (botany)
noun • [ornithology] the characteristics of a specific type of bird that enables it to be immediately identified by a birder.
As in: “When I first saw the bird’s jizz, I knew it was a swallow.”
The Word Journal editors are very interested in your definiton of this now ubiquitous word. How would you define tumblarity?
noun • ?
noun • a stylistic scheme in which words from the same root are used together, or a word is repeated in a different inflection.
For example, Tennyson’s “Maud XVIII: I have led her Home, my love, my only friend”:
Dear heart, I feel with thee the drowsy spell.
My bride to be, my evermore delight,
My own heart’s heart, my ownest own, farewell
Or more currently: “Who will watch the Watchmen?”.