Today’s word of the hour is:

Sinus

As in my entire body feels like one large sinus and I can’t even find it in me to list the definition as normally do; But I especially enjoyed the pus section. And on that note, good night!

August 25th, 2010

pulchritude

While leafing through an SAT prep book I came across this word. It was part of a multipule choice question as in: Pulchritude means a,b,c,d or e. As I scanned the choices I thought about the sound of the word pulchritude. Say it. Pul- chri -tude. Maybe it’s just me but something about the word reminds me of decrepit so I was surprised when the correct answer was….beautiful! Beautiful?? Yes, beautiful. Beautiful/pulchritude…somehow it doesn’t match in my head.

Good Old Merriam-Webster defines pulchritude as “physical comeliness”.  It dates back to the 15th century. Hmmm…comely wench? Yes. Pulchritudinous wench? Not so much. Oh well, so goes the world of etymology.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pulchritude

January 28th, 2010

palimpsest

I decided to kill some time – not that I have any time to kill – by playing my favorite game on www.freerice.com – that is, testing my vocabulary. Today, this is the first word that stumped me: palimpsest. What is a palimpsest?

According to Merriam-Webster it is a:

“1 : writing material (as a parchment or tablet) used one or more times after earlier writing has been erased
2 : something having usually diverse layers or aspects apparent beneath the surface <Canada…is a palimpsest, an overlay of classes and generations — Margaret Atwood>”

Quite a mouthful for recycled paper but there you have it! Palimpsest.

To hear what this sounds like go here and click on the speaker button.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/palimpsest

January 25, 2010

foppish

Disclaimer: No offense meant to any male named Dorian, a perfectly lovely name, though not necessarily a burly name by U.S. standards.
As in, “How about Dorian?”
“mmm…perhaps but might that be a bit too foppish?”

Merriam-Webster Online shows the following for foppish:

1 obsolete : foolish, silly
2 a : characteristic of a fop b : behaving or dressing in the manner of a fophttp://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Foppish

The same also dates the word back to 1599. That would be where I would place it. The word foppish has always brought wigs, powder, curls, and knee britches in the royal court to mind. However, there appears to be a modern day fop.
According to Urban Dictionary, foppish may refer to “fruity” though it only refers to a person’s outward appearance and not necessarily his or her sexual orientation. Metrosexuals and David Hyde Pierce, the actor that plays Niles Crane on Frasier are cited as examples of people one might call foppish.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Foppish

January 15th, 2010

avuncular

This word was plucked from an Agatha Christie novel called After the Funeral. The passage states: “The visitor, however, proved to be an elderly gentleman who raised his hat when Susan opened the door and said, beaming at her in avuncular style, ‘Mrs. Banks, I think?”.

Avuncular, according to Mirriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, means:

“1 : of or relating to an uncle
2 : suggestive of an uncle especially in kindliness or geniality ”

The word’s origin, according to the same source, comes from the Latin word avunculus, meaning maternal uncle.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avuncular

1 Comment to “Word of the Hour”

  1. Good blog! I really love how it is simple on my eyes and the data are well written. I am wondering how I might be notified when a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your feed which must do the trick! Have a nice day! “If you are going to do something wrong at least enjoy it.” by Leo C. Rosten.

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