john has adopted no words, looked up 0 words, created 59 lists, listed 2786 words, written 3312 comments, added 0 tags, and loved 303 words.

Comments by john

  • Haven't been here in a few years, but young Lincoln McGrath, just north of age 2, just came out with a hell of a STF, sui generis, that I had to share: "Cracker jack hammer". Tears to my eyes!

    July 9, 2013

  • "The word Diener is German for servant. In English, it is generally used to describe the person, in the morgue, responsible for handling, moving, and cleaning the corpse (though, at some institutions dieners perform the entire dissection at autopsy). It is derived from the German word Leichendiener, which literally means corpse servant."


    November 22, 2011

  • :-)

    July 22, 2011

  • Hi Ramesh. Does the email have my name on it?

    June 23, 2011

  • Hat tip to Henry Alford.

    June 9, 2011

  • First time I've seen 'ankle' used like this, as in 'hobble':

    "The company is talented enough to win without cheating (or hiring PR firms to ankle competitors)."

    Launch, Has Google been Naughty? Yes. Should the Government Get Involved? No, by Jason Calacanis, May 30, 2011

    May 30, 2011

  • To make more flexible.

    May 26, 2011

  • A typo prone typist.

    May 24, 2011

  • Yarb, we recently updated our notifications system, I think the notes/comments on personal WotDs were a casualty. Looking into it today. Pro, also looking into the mangled font issue.

    May 20, 2011

  • What happens to a start-up whose business never materializes? One option is to try to peddle the company based on the value of its human capital–aka the “acqhire.”

    All Things Digital, Why Buy When You Can Hire? Time Warner Cable Gets a Joost Guy., by Peter Kafka, September 4, 2009

    May 18, 2011

  • Occurring every six years.

    May 18, 2011

  • “The word he used was faygeleh, a mild Yiddish pejorative for homosexual. Queer and fairy are close approximations.”, A Party Boy Reflects On Life, Lip Gloss, by Dan Kois, May 16, 2011

    May 16, 2011

  • “Morris opened a restaurant in Paterson, but then "drifted into the frankfurter peddling business," according to his obituary. (The 1900 census lists his occupation as "Peddler, Frankfurter.")”

    Word Routes, "Hot Dog": The Untold Story, by Ben Zimmer, May 13, 2011

    May 13, 2011

  • War and... Warrant...

    update: forgot to add my entry: 'train' after peace :-)

    May 11, 2011

  • pro, blafferty, will look into those last three reports first thing tomorrow.

    re: deleting comments, i can't duplicate that. blafferty, are you experiencing that on all lists, or just that one?

    May 9, 2011

  • Thanks pro--will check out the Twitter link thing tonight.

    May 7, 2011

  • Hm. Seems like it should be related to a hoople.

    May 6, 2011

  • I'll play--I love tagging projects.

    'English preposition' might be gilding the lily, since Wordnik is monolingual.

    update: cheatsheet. I'm doing the As & Bs right now.

    May 3, 2011

  • Thanks much for those bug reports, they were super userful--the loop bug and profile link on mobile should be fixed.

    May 3, 2011

  • Just fixed the mobile login issue, I think--let me know if it's still giving you trouble.

    May 3, 2011

  • Looking into it right now Pro, thanks.

    May 2, 2011

  • Hi Pro, no, absolutely not--I'm sorry I haven't been more responsive. A series of the issues you reported fell into the bermuda triangle zone where they weren't absolute showstoppers, nor were they two minute fixes, so I made a mental note to get to them and have been slow about it.

    Though coincidentally, I'm moving some new stuff into production later tonight, including fixes for a handful of the things you've mentioned recently. The mislabeled link when comments appear on word pages is fixed, and most embedded video should start working again too--we upgraded some internal components, and the new versions had stricter embedding policies, which I've adjusted.

    May 2, 2011

  • Hi marky, tried to respond on your profile but it looks like you've privatized. I'll add the option to delete your pronunciations this week. Been meaning to do it for some time.

    May 2, 2011

  • See also afterbirther.

    April 28, 2011

  • “In the continuing controversy surrounding the president's U.S. citizenship, a new fringe group informally known as "Afterbirthers" demanded Monday the authentication of Barack Obama's placenta from his time inside his mother's womb. ”

    The Onion, Afterbirthers Demand To See Obama's Placenta, April 27, 2011

    April 28, 2011

  • (Noun) willingness; pleasure

    April 26, 2011

  • “Before joining The Times, Mr. Shortz was the editor of Games magazine. He holds the world's only college degree in enigmatology, the study of puzzles, which he earned in the Individualized Major Program at Indiana University in 1974.”

    The New York Times, Talk to The Times: Crossword Editor Will Shortz, July 19, 2009

    April 26, 2011

  • Monobina Gupta, who has researched domestic violence for Jagori, a nongovernmental organization, draws a direct link between these killings and the abortion of female fetuses: “The dowry is part of the continuum of gender-based discrimination and violence, beginning with female feticide.”

    The New York Times, A Campaign Against Girls in India, by Nilanjana S. Roy, April 12, 2011

    April 13, 2011

  • Friends with benefits. Sordid details on UrbanDictionary.

    April 12, 2011

  • Love this list. Had never heard of an antiperm, though I knew immediately what it is.

    April 12, 2011

  • “Last June, Urban Treatment Associates in Camden hired Mr. Devoureau as a part-time urine monitor; his job was to make sure that people recovering from addiction did not substitute someone else’s urine for their own during regular drug testing.”

    The New York Times, A Lawsuit’s Unusual Question: Who Is a Man?, by Richard Perez-Pena, April 10, 2011

    April 11, 2011

  • As four drummers pounded rhythmically, voodoo priestesses in bright-colored dresses danced in ecstatic circles, dousing the floor with rum and chanting, “Ayibobo!” — the voodoo “amen.”

    The New York Times, Voodoo, an Anchor, Rises Again, by Dan Bilefsky, April 8, 2011

    April 11, 2011

  • A number-based word, like Y2K, WWII, W3C, and i18n.

    Many more good examples on Wikipedia.

    April 10, 2011

  • “There is also the “shabab,” milling groups of youngsters who arrive at the front each day hoping to pitch in, but with scant idea of how. Officially, the shabab are not part of the fight.”

    The New York Times, Libyan Rebels Don’t Really Add Up to an Army, by C.J. Chivers, April 6, 2011

    April 7, 2011

  • Loving Century def #2. Definitely time to see the term soy-pea come back into vogue.

    April 6, 2011

  • “Rarely does a minute go by without a customer stopping just long enough to pass a dollar bill to Lonnie Loosie, known to the police by his given name, Lonnie Warner, 50. They clench the two “loosies” — as single cigarettes are called — that he thrusts back in return.”

    The New York Times, A Cigarette for 75 Cents, 2 for $1: The Brisk, Shady Sale of ‘Loosies’, by Joseph Goldstein, April 4, 2011

    April 6, 2011

  • "The stuff on which fools are feigned to be nourished"? Century, rocking it.

    April 2, 2011

  • I've been noodling with the homepage tagline pretty regularly, so I'm not exactly sure what "bring back the old one" means. But clearly the current one ain't working, so I just flipped it back to the previous version.

    "All the words" seems a bit ambitious. How about "Lots of words"?

    April 2, 2011

  • From Ulysses, by James Joyce.

    March 27, 2011

  • In Catholic and Anglican services, an assistant who carries candles during the mass.

    March 27, 2011

  • “Or, as in a 2009 Wisconsin case of “sextortion,” a boy, pretending to be a girl online, who solicited explicit pictures of boys, which he then used as blackmail to compel those boys to have sex with him.”

    The New York Times, A Girl’s Nude Photo, and Altered Lives, by Jan Hoffman, March 26, 2011

    March 27, 2011

  • Hi mollusque, looking into the wotd delete bug right now, will get back to you.

    March 25, 2011

  • Sorry A1, but the word is obambulate, not obamulate.

    March 24, 2011

  • “You have banks competing with carriers competing with Apple and Google, and it’s pretty much a goat rodeo until someone sorts it out.”

    The New York Times, As Phones Become Wallets, Many Have Hands Out, by Tara Siegel Bernard and Claire Cain Miller, March 23, 2011

    March 23, 2011

  • “For centuries, each building, called a tulou in Mandarin Chinese, would house an entire clan, virtually a village. Everyone living inside would have the same surname, except for those who had married into the clan. The tulou usually tower four floors and have up to hundreds of rooms that open out onto a vast central courtyard, like the Colosseum.”

    The New York Times, Monuments to Clan Life Are Losing Their Appeal, by Edward Wong, March 22, 2011

    March 23, 2011

  • “Mr. Perkins, who dropped out of school after the third grade, taught himself the rudiments of blues guitar on a homemade instrument called a diddley bow: a length of wire stretched between nails driven into a wall.”

    The New York Times, Pinetop Perkins, Delta Boogie-Woogie Master, Dies at 97, by Bill Friskics-Warren, March 21, 2011

    March 22, 2011

  • “It’s a horrible term,” she said, “but E.M.T.’s call the rear-facing seat ‘the orphan seat’ because in a bad car accident, that child is often the only one who survives.”

    The New York Times, Rear-Facing Car Seats Advised for Older Toddlers, by Madonna Behen, March 21, 2011

    March 21, 2011

  • See citation on Hyper Rescue Squad.

    March 21, 2011

  • “Key to that success: An elite disaster-response team from Tokyo, the Hyper Rescue Squad, and its massive water cannon known as the Super Pumper.”

    The Wall Street Journal, Japan Plant Had Troubled History, by Rebecca Smith, Ben Casselman, and Mitsuro Obe, March 21, 2011

    March 21, 2011

  • Like brainstorming, but with beer. And somehow different from a beerstorm. Coined by Wordnik's very own Robert.

    March 18, 2011

  • It has to do with whales, I believe. Or legs.

    March 18, 2011

  • “Japanese officials subsequently said that the explosion had damaged a doughnut-shaped steel container of water, known as a torus, that surrounds the base of the reactor vessel inside the primary containment building.”

    The New York Times, Workers Strain to Retake Control After Blast and Fire at Japan Plant, by Keith Bradsher and Hiroko Tabuchi, March 15, 2011

    March 15, 2011

  • “Tokyo Electric Power said Tuesday that after the explosion at the No. 2 reactor, pressure had dropped in the “suppression pool” — a section at the bottom of the reactor that converts steam to water and is part of the critical function of keeping the nuclear fuel protected.”

    The New York Times, Japan Faces Potential Nuclear Disaster as Radiation Levels Rise, by Hiroko Tabuchi, David E. Sanger, and Keith Bradsher, March 14, 2011

    March 15, 2011

  • “That remedy involves pumping in seawater to cool the fuel rods, then opening vents to release the resulting steam pressure that builds in the container vessel. When the vessel is depressurized, workers can inject more seawater, a process known as “feed and bleed.”

    The New York Times, New Blast Reported at Nuclear Plant as Japan Struggles to Cool Reactor, by Hiroko Tabuchi and Keith Bradsher, March 14, 2011

    March 15, 2011

  • Hi folks, sorry about that 'unrecognized request' crap, it was a bug I introduced last night. Should be fixed now.

    March 10, 2011

  • Hi c-b!

    I can't replicate that right-click issue you reported. Are you seeing it just on the homepage, or across the site? And what kind of browser are you using? Does it happen for you with all browsers, or just one?

    March 10, 2011

  • Just learned that in the UK and Ireland Fat Tuesday is better known as Pancake Day.

    March 7, 2011

  • Jennarenn! So nice to see you again :-)

    March 3, 2011

  • Hi Quinn--saw your comment on feedback. Happy to help, but could you give me some more details? By suggestion, do you mean a word you added to a list, or a comment? I was just able to add and delete both, including adding and removing multi-word phrases from lists, which had been causing problems earlier.

    March 3, 2011

  • Marky, favs html should be unwacked, thanks for pointing that out.

    March 3, 2011

  • We'll post more about WotD options soon, but if you've created your own Word of the Day (which you can do from your profile), there's now an option to invite people to subscribe to it. Go to your WotD page (once you've created one it's linked from your profile) and you'll see an 'Invite people to subscribe' link.

    March 3, 2011

  • A kind of boat. See citation from Dracula on cobble.

    March 3, 2011

  • A kind of boat: “More than one captain made up his mind then and there that his 'cobble' or his 'mule', as they term the different classes of boats, would remain in the harbour till the storm had passed.”

    Dracula, by Bram Stoker

    March 3, 2011

  • Thanks folks, just fixed html tagging on profiles. Will look into adding words.

    March 2, 2011

  • Hi rz and pro, those bugs should now be fixed--list pagination now starts and one and doesn't go negative, and multi-word phrases (those were the problematic ones) can once again be deleted from lists. Thanks for your patience.

    March 2, 2011

  • Thanks pro, looking at the bug with removing words from lists.

    I'm kind of grateful to the bug though, because otherwise I might have missed your Remarkable Wikipedia categories list, which is frickin' awesome.

    February 25, 2011

  • He's using one of those interweb photo services that take the the output from fancy digital cameras and make it look like it came from one of these.

    *heads to what he was really looking for, pain a.u chocolate*

    February 24, 2011

  • A nonce word along the lines of thingamajobber or whosamajiggy. Earliest citation I can find is here, from 1996, though this dude claims it's from a 1960's episode of I Love Lucy.

    If anyone knows more, please share.

    February 23, 2011

  • Ladies and Gentleman, I have the pleasure to present on my album... Mr. Dizzy Gillespie!


    — Stevie Wonder introducing Dizzy Gillespie's trumpet solo on the album cut of "Do I Do"

    February 22, 2011

  • Anybody have any idea where or what "the stews" are?

    February 22, 2011

  • See comment on rigmutton.

    February 22, 2011

  • Sorry about the WOTD list issues, working on it right now.

    *update* Adding wotd words is fixed. Tonight and tomorrow I'll be making some more fixes/additions to the wotd stuff.

    February 22, 2011

  • Hi H, thanks for your comment about the zeitgeist/community rename. I too was fond of the "Watch Your Language" subtitle, though it revealed an issue with the term 'Zeitgeist' as we used it. Zeitgeist implies the overall spirit of a thing, I think, and would have been more suitable for a page that was strictly about site trends. Our zeitgeist/community page is focused on a smaller subset of that--what people are saying. So while the major motivation for the change was as you suggested--'community' is less cryptic and confusing for new users--I think it's also more accurate. Though we might try to work that subtitle back in, or better yet create a "trends" page and attach it to that.

    It's also worth mentioning that I flat-out stole the notion of a 'Zeitgeist' page from my old employer, LibraryThing. I'm generally an unrepentant thief, but I figured, now Tim can have it to himself again :-)

    February 20, 2011

  • Hi T, there was a snafu (affecting just the word anpiel, weirdly) on our end. Should be fixed now.

    February 20, 2011

  • “As Mann played defense and Richardson cradled the ball with her head up, the women used their feet to grab position and cut.

    The term, they explained, was to “wrong-foot” your opponent.”

    The New York Times, A Case Against Helmets in Lacrosse, by Alan Schwarz, February 16, 2011

    February 17, 2011

  • “Such passages are widespread enough in the pages of American periodicals that at least one longtime film publicist, Jeremy Walker, has coined a term of art for them: the documented instance of public eating, or DIPE.”

    The New York Times, For Actresses, Is a Big Appetite Part of the Show?, by Jeff Gordinier, February 15, 2011

    February 16, 2011

  • This one feels a little too close to home (though I think the vector for this disease is now probably facebook and twitter):

    “In discussing one of them, he cites the work of Dr. John Ratey, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard who believes people can be physically addicted to e-mail. “Each e-mail you open gives you a little hit of dopamine,” Mr. Chorost writes, “which you associate with satiety. But it’s just a little hit. The effect wears off quickly, leaving you wanting another hit.”

    Dr. Ratey, he says, calls this “acquired attention deficit disorder.”

    The New York Times, Imagining a World of Total Connectedness, and Its Consequences, by Katherine Bouton, February 14, 2011

    February 16, 2011

  • HI c_b, sorry for the delay on the list paging bug--it's fixed now. Hope all's well.

    February 15, 2011

  • hi p-ro, thanks for asking about the tag comments. No timeframe, but those will actually be coming back--both the old ones, and the ability to add new ones.

    Also, thanks for 'dulosis,' I love that :-) Expect some minor upgrades to the personal word of the day stuff soon--like a list of the ones available on Zeitgeist.

    February 14, 2011

  • It's actually an elegant fin de siècle train station.

    February 13, 2011

  • opps... that was me :-(

    just fixed it.

    February 12, 2011

  • Arabic for "congratulations."

    February 11, 2011

  • Not at the moment, though maybe hopefully eventually*.

    Though we're not going to stop anyone from creating extra accounts if they need multiple lists. For instance if you wanted separate WotDs for two separate classes you teach.

    * reassuring, huh?

    February 8, 2011

  • Yeah, we snuck that in over the weekend--for those who haven't found it yet it's on your profile, above your lists.

    It'll get a little fancier soon, and once people have started creating them we'll start featuring them on Zeitgeist so you can find stuff to subscribe to.

    If anyone finds anything wrong or has suggestions, please let me know.

    February 7, 2011

  • Hi P, thanks for letting me know about the comments bug. Working on it now.

    update: should be fixed now. let me know if you see anything wonky, just pushed a bunch of internal changes

    February 3, 2011

  • “I haven’t really had a lot of mentors. I’ve had to sort of figure things out for myself, because I’ve had a lot of whatever the opposite of a mentor is. I’ve learned a lot from seeing what didn’t work. There should be a word for that kind of boss — “dismentor” or something.”

    The New York Times, Hey, Rock Stars: Take Your Show Someplace Else, by Adam Bryant, January 29, 2011

    January 31, 2011

  • “In doing so, they conjure up ghosts — frightening-looking ones, who owe a visual debt to Ms. de Beer’s long fascination with horror films and, lately, to the particularly bloody 1970s Italian subgenre known as giallo.”

    The New York Times,, by Randy Kennedy, January 30, 2011

    January 31, 2011

  • 1. Something being put back the way it was, or into proper working order

    2. Gathering one's thoughts or composure

    —Urban Dictionary

    January 30, 2011

  • Pre-emptive assassination by a government, apparently.

    January 30, 2011

  • What my two and a half year old daughter calls the leader of the free world.

    Q: "Who's our awesome president?"

    A: "BarackO!"

    January 25, 2011

  • lotsa cops

    January 20, 2011

  • From Urban Dictionary: "The action of going into a room, becoming disorientated and forgetting where you are and what your original intentions were."

    January 20, 2011

  • Fear of trusting

    January 20, 2011

  • “Sharktopus,” the blood-soaked tale of a hybrid shark-octopus developed as a secret military weapon, was one of Syfy’s biggest hits last year. (The monster goes haywire and terrorizes bikini-clad women along Mexican Riviera beaches; 2.5 million people tuned in.)

    The New York Times, The Thing That Ate Saturday Night, by Brooks Barnes, January 14, 2011

    January 16, 2011

  • How about today's word of the day?

    January 6, 2011

  • “And then last fall, not long before her 15th birthday, Daphne found herself in an actual home, reunited with the other orphans stranded after the disaster they all call “goudou-goudou” for the terrible sound of the ground shaking.”

    The New York Times, A Year Later, Haiti Struggles Back, by Deborah Sontag, January 3, 2011

    January 4, 2011

  • See comment on unlit markets

    January 2, 2011

  • “The remaining market share is divided among about 12 other public exchanges, several electronic trading platforms and vast so-called unlit markets, including those known as dark pools.”

    The New York Times, The New Speed of Money, Reshaping Markets, by Graham Bowley, January 1, 2011

    January 2, 2011

  • oops. right. and cool! i hadn't noticed it either.

    December 22, 2010

  • Candide and candida?

    December 21, 2010

  • “This superb male group, known as the Trocks, appeared in all of its mallerina glory — that is, man plus ballerina — on Friday in a program of repertory works that included “Les Lac des Cygnes” (“Swan Lake,” Act II), as well as the New York premieres, both staged by Elena Kunikova, of the pas d’action from “Harlequinade” (1997) and “Valpurgeyeva Noch” (or “Walpurgisnacht”) from 2009.”

    The New York Times, Part Goofy, Part Glorious, All Man, by Gia Kourlas, December 19, 2010

    December 20, 2010

  • “I want to be perfectly clear about something before moving along to answer this question: Peter Luger is not a casual restaurant. It is true that you can go there for dinner and see people dining in Giants jerseys and mom jeans, as if the dining room were an airport gate filled with Americans waiting for a delayed flight to Las Vegas. But these people are to be derided and have done much to drag the restaurant down. Peter Luger at its best is a meat church, a restaurant to attend in suit and tie or cocktail wear, the sort of place where maybe you can’t get a reservation on the phone, but where you can always get a table with the help of a firm handshake and perhaps some understanding at the door. Children shouldn’t be in there until they’re 10, at least.”

    The New York Times, This Shrine to Steak Deserves a Little More Respect, by Sam Sifton, December 16, 2010

    December 17, 2010

  • You're right--that's a bug in the way we ingest Wiktionary data. In certain cases words that should have links to related forms ("toll" in this case) instead mistakenly refer to themselves.

    Thanks for bringing it to our attention--we're working on a fix.

    December 14, 2010

  • Hi Pro, you can reset your password here. The link's not visible when you're logged in (which I should change), but if you're logged out, you can reach it by clicking 'Sign in', and then 'Forgot?'

    December 14, 2010

  • “One Sunday afternoon, they let me park myself on the couch while people played slot machines — yes, the tenants had purchased two actual casino slot machines — and bolitos, the Dominican numbers lottery.”

    The New York Times, The Worst Bathroom in New York, by Elizabeth Dwoskin, December 8, 2010

    December 10, 2010

  • Thanks much for the erudite comment, and in particular to introducing me to the term cacography, with which I hadn't been familiar.

    December 8, 2010

  • Thanks, wurstmeister.

    I'm looking at adding back the external link icon. Slightly complicated by the large number of external links on the examples, but hopefully will be up this week.

    December 6, 2010

  • don't exactly get the shower curtain connection, but this is brilliant.

    December 3, 2010

  • Yeah, sorry. Actually so little flavor as to be tasteless.

    December 2, 2010

  • Exploding with flavor!

    December 2, 2010

  • aka, the Popenope

    November 30, 2010

  • “We paying respect to the dead right now,” Juelz Santana told the Hammerstein Ballroom crowd Friday night, urging a moment of silence for the friends he had lost in recent months. “We gotta get this right.”

    Moments before, the screens above him onstage were displaying their photos — G-Baby, D-Train, Classik, Johnny Jerajian, Huddy 6 — while D.R.S.’s threnody “Gangsta Lean” played over the speakers.

    The New York Times, Survivors Celebrate a Family Reunion, by Jon Caramanica, November 28, 2010

    November 30, 2010

  • “While Mr. Obama was elected on a promise of diplomatic engagement, his strategy toward the North for the past two years, called “strategic patience,” has been to demonstrate that Washington would not engage until the North ceased provocations and demonstrated that it was living up to past commitments to dismantle, and ultimately give up, its nuclear capacity.”

    The New York Times, U.S. to Send Carrier for Joint Exercises Off Korea, by David E. Sanger, November 23, 2010

    November 24, 2010

  • “It is being called the green rush. With more states moving to legalize medical marijuana, the business of growing and dispensing it is booming, even as much of the rest of the economy struggles.”

    The New York Times, New Trade Group’s Focus Will Be Marijuana Industry, by Dan Frosch, November 22, 2010

    November 23, 2010

  • “Leo Rosten's The Joys of Yiddish uses the word Yinglish and Ameridish to describe new words, or new meanings of existing Yiddish words, created by English-speaking persons with some knowledge of Yiddish.”

    Wikipedia: Yinglish

    November 23, 2010

  • Not entirely sure I agree. Judging by the name of the account there's commercial intent, but my main litmus test is the presence of external links in inappropriate places, of which there are none--just in the profile 'website' field, which is kosher.

    November 20, 2010

  • chocochops, with bacon.

    November 19, 2010

  • Which would make them chocobacochops.

    November 19, 2010

  • “While dance fans eagerly await the release next month of “Black Swan,” Darren Aronofsky’s melodrama about rival ballerinas, here’s a version of “Swan Lake” you won’t see often. It’s not new, but it has lately been making the rounds, wowing some balletomanes and horrifying others.”

    The New York Times, When Dancing on Pointe Isn’t Hard Enough, by Stephanie Goodman, November 17, 2010

    November 18, 2010

  • Apparently coined by Weird Al's daughter. Weirdly.

    November 16, 2010

  • Is this at all related to the 'fail kale' you sometimes see if Wordnik is over capacity?

    November 16, 2010

  • Jesus, what a gem to stumble on.

    November 14, 2010

  • There isn't, but I've been meaning to revive that forever, and will soon.

    November 11, 2010

  • November 7, 2010

  • Hi Pro, just pushed some changes, including adding back 'Elsewhere on the web' when there are no definitions (was an accident that it had gone missing).

    Wish I was going to be in NYC (NWC?) next week. I miss it.

    November 5, 2010

  • Well, to repine is to be sad, or to yearn. And the phrase "a pox on" is basically used to curse something. So I'll guess that a modern English translation might be "to hell with sadness and yearning."

    Though if it's a jaunty little dance number, I'm probably wrong.

    November 3, 2010

  • “India has relatively few bank branches for a country its size, so many migrants stuff money in their mattresses or send cash home through traditional “hawala,” or hand-to-hand networks.”

    The New York Times, Do Believe the Hype, by Thomas L. Friedman, November 2, 2010

    November 3, 2010

  • Originally mentioned over on necropants.

    November 3, 2010

  • Very cool word, thanks!

    Reminds me of hwærk, which I believe is Olde English for *hork*.

    November 2, 2010

  • “Prosecutors are said to be wary of the outlandish descriptions of sexual activities that Ruby said took place during what she called “bunga-bunga” parties, a term that has now spawned several You Tube spoofs by popular Italian comedians. Ruby has also said she received money and presents from the prime minister.”

    The New York Times, Berlusconi Scandal Could Threaten Government, by Elisabetta Povoledo, November 1, 2010

    November 2, 2010

  • Not nearly as tasty as neccopants.

    October 30, 2010

  • The plural of Christmas. Coined five minutes ago by Zeke.

    October 30, 2010

  • Hi Pro, looking into that zeitgeist pronunciations bug. Sorry for my slo mo response lately, but I've got a good excuse -- our second kid was born last Thursday :-)

    October 26, 2010

  • Hi Hernandez. Digging your words and quotation, but a quick suggestion. If you want, you can create lists of words (there's an orange link to do so at the top right of your profile). Then you can add the words to the list, and comments to the words in the list. One other thing to note is that Wordnik is case sensitive, so 'Riveted' is considered a different word than 'riveted.' People general list the lowercase version unless it's a proper noun.

    If you have any questions or suggestions about the site, please let me know ( Welcome, and enjoy!

    October 14, 2010

  • (noun) - The breeding, rearing, preservation, feeding, and fattening of fish ruzuzu by artificial means; ruzuzu-culture. See also pisciculture.

    October 13, 2010

  • Hi ruzuzu. Yesterday :-)

    It's a work in progress, and I'll blog about it soon, when we've kicked the can a little farther down the road. But one nice thing you might enjoy now is that lists are finally searchable.

    Comments and suggestions welcome as we flesh this out.

    October 12, 2010

  • “Unlike the psychedelic painter Alex Grey, whose art conveys a true believer’s faith in the reality of an ultimately beneficent divinity accessible by means of “entheogens” — drugs that activate inner gods — and practices like meditation and chanting, Mr. Tomaselli teeters on the agnostic line between belief and skepticism.”

    The New York Times, Picturing a Mind-Blowing World Made of Drugs, by Ken Johnson, October 7, 2010

    October 9, 2010

  • "Government by paramours," according to Phrontistery.

    October 4, 2010

  • Con pupusas*!

    * which are Salvadoran, but whatever

    October 4, 2010

  • See also tom tom.

    October 1, 2010

  • Until 5 minutes ago I had thought his name was 'Bam Bam', but Wikipedia says otherwise.

    October 1, 2010

  • Boy, I'd forgotten how great Gay Talese is. Thanks Pro.

    October 1, 2010

  • The fairest bloom the mountain know

    Is not an iris or a wild rose

    But the little flower of which i'll tell

    Known as the brave acony bell

    Just a simple flower so small and plain

    With a pearly hue and a little known name

    But the yellow birds sing when they see it bloom

    For they know that spring is coming soon

      — Gillian Welch, "Acony Bell"

    September 30, 2010

  • A

    September 29, 2010

  • A lady scientist.

    September 27, 2010

  • Not so strange. There's no definition because the correct spelling is psychotropic.

    September 27, 2010

  • Could it have anything to do with The Coney Island Cyclone? It apparently opened in 1927, so the timing might be right.

    September 27, 2010

  • Hi Frank. Just wanted to let you know that Wordnik is case sensitive. While you are absolutely welcome to leave any kind of comment you like on any word, the definitions you're leaving on capitalized words, like Tomtit, are already available on the lowercase versions, like tomtit.

    Welcome to Wordnik!

    September 27, 2010

  • "Trousers," according to Century? Best random word I've gotten in a while and the first new addition to Pants related words in years. Huzzah!

    September 26, 2010

  • *hork*

    *smiles proudly at his first-ever hork*

    September 23, 2010

  • aka Pink Slip Barbie

    September 23, 2010

  • The only external link is in the profile 'Website' field, which is kosher. Despite the commercial overtones I think that's on the right side of the law, today*.

    Chris, more as a consideration of community mores than a rule, I think folks would appreciate it if you toned down the promotion. That said, welcome to Wordnik!

    *Our definition of spam is mercurial and we reserve the right to be erratic.

    September 22, 2010

  • There's also this more complete -trix list.

    September 20, 2010

  • How about obstetrix?

    September 20, 2010

  • “Veneration of the river is central to the group’s murky origin myth, which centers on a vaguely Celtic-inspired separate nation called Padania.”

    The New York Times, As Italy Government Totters, a New Power Broker Rises, by Rachel Donadio, September 15, 2010

    September 16, 2010

  • Good to hear from your RT, but very sorry to hear of your family situation. Hope thing get better.

    September 16, 2010

  • In French, it's worth noting.

    September 15, 2010

  • Loving my new iGlove. #iPhone can now make calls (from yard).

    September 15, 2010

  • "Human dung, feces, manure or excrement; inferior merchandise or work; insincere talk or excessive flattery"

    The Gantseh Megillah Yiddish Glossary

    September 15, 2010

  • Hi jpin, totally digging your comments on your 'words from Greek history and philosophy' list.

    One absolutely optional suggestion: many of us choose to add word-specific comments to the words themselves (philippic, for instance), rather than lists containing them.

    But by all means, do as you prefer. There are no rules -- everything is permitted :-) Welcome to Wordnik!

    September 13, 2010

  • Sometimes more eager than able, but I try :-)

    September 11, 2010

  • Ok, pronunciation pages on profiles should now show up to 1000 pronunciations. That covers all but a few fanatics. I'll add pagination next week.

    September 11, 2010

  • The 50 pron limit is a bug, which I'm working on...

    September 11, 2010

  • Thanks Pro, fixed now

    September 10, 2010

  • Hi Pro, just added Forvo, Shuttercal, and Postcrossing as also-ons, along with a few others like github, Foursquare, and Tumblr. Thanks for the suggestions.

    September 9, 2010

  • Sorry about the zeitgeist outage. An evil spammer done it. srsly.

    September 8, 2010

  • Someone get yarb a microphone, stat!

    September 7, 2010

  • fbharjo, thanks for reporting those comments page bugs, they should be fixed now.

    September 7, 2010

  • Pro, rz, fbharjo, the number shown for the comment count is fixed (the comments were all there but it had been confusing the tag and comment counts). Pro, we'll add those sites to the also-ons this week (as well as github, foursquare, and a few others), and I'll make sure the words-listed count is inclusive.

    PU, made a change that might have fixed your missing button -- can you email me whether or not the issue persists?

    update: C_B, if you can read this, it means the problem with editing comments on profiles is fixed :-)

    September 5, 2010

  • Wow ruzuzu, that was fast -- you noticed the new profile features about 3 minutes after I pushed them :-)

    Quick overview: everyone's lists now show a synopsis of all the contributions they've made under their name, much the way they used to. The faux-dating fields are gone from profiles, replaced by an open field for a website, and 'also-on' fields for other social services you may want to link to. 'Recent lookups' now optionally appear on profiles, in the column with other activity like favoriting, etc.

    Recent lookups is on by default, but can be hidden entirely -- click 'edit preferences' on your profile page. We can easily make it possible to have lookups visible to you, but nobody else. I didn't include that in this iteration because I didn't want to make it more complex than necessary, but we'll certainly consider it if folks would like that.

    Hm, just noticed that there's a problem with the display of comments on lists. Working on the right now. Please let me know (here on by email) if you see any other problems.

    September 5, 2010

  • “The composer Ben Neill, for example, plays what he calls the mutantrumpet — a trumpet with three bells (instead of one), six valves (instead of three), a trombone slide and an electronic interface that can turn it into a synthesizer controller.”

    The New York Times, In the Forest of Instruments, Signs of Evolution, by Allan Kozinn, September 3, 2010

    September 4, 2010

  • Thanks a, corrected.

    September 1, 2010

  • “The novelists Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Weiner began complaining on Twitter last week that the Times only liked books by "white men from Brooklyn," starting the hashtag on Twitter #Franzenfreude, by means of which people could recommend good and, one supposes, comparatively obscure novels by women.”

    The Awl, Behind the Franzenfreude, by MIchelle Dean, August 26, 2010

    August 31, 2010

  • “You cannot simply say, as in English, “An animal passed here.” You have to specify, using a different verbal form, whether this was directly experienced (you saw the animal passing), inferred (you saw footprints), conjectured (animals generally pass there that time of day), hearsay or such. If a statement is reported with the incorrect “evidentiality,” it is considered a lie.”

    The New York Times, Does Your Language Shape How You Think?, by Guy Deutscher, August 26, 2010

    August 30, 2010

  • “So yes, we, too, are disappointed not to have seen crazy mean-spirited adults lobbing spittle at each other or smashing Obama pinatas with large sticks and pocket knives. (Who knows what's happening at the after parties now, though!) This rally was America-porn for the elderly in lawn chairs. And it was great, great advertising for Fox News' Glenn Beck show.”

    Gawker, Glenn Beck's Rally Restores Honor, Boredom to the Masses, by Jim Newell, August 28, 2010

    August 30, 2010

  • Thanks for the report T, you're right, they've gone missing. Rummaging around in the closet for them right now.

    August 26, 2010

  • I'm sorry telofy, but before I can upcase you you're going to have to wait a year, just like everyone else.

    Uh, kidding :-) We fixed the glitch that was preventing us from doing that earlier, so it's easy now. You should be Telofy. If not, try logging out then back in.

    August 25, 2010

  • Pro, PU, my apologies for the the embarrassingly long wait, but you've finally been upcased. You may need to log out and back in to see it reflected everywhere. Please let me know if anything's wonky, and thank you for your patience.

    Pro, the tweet link should be working correctly now.

    August 25, 2010

  • “Like all Kinesthetic Astronomy lessons, it teaches basic astronomical concepts through choreographed bodily movements and positions that provide educational sensory experiences.”

    Space Science Institute

    August 22, 2010

  • “On Tuesday, the British government announced that it would introduce legislation in the fall banning private companies from clamping — the British term for what Americans know as “booting” — or towing any vehicle parked on private land, and limiting the companies to a regulated system of parking tickets.”

    The New York Times, With a Sit-Down Stand, a Briton Kicks the Boot, by John F. Burns, August 17, 2010

    August 18, 2010

  • “In the Cape Cod town of Wellfleet, Mass., the ancient rite of shellfish gathering (witness the antiquated shell middens found on coasts across the globe) is open to anyone who can plunk down $75 for a seasonal non-residential shell license.”

    The New York Times, Shell Shock | Oystering on Cape Cod, by Andy Gensler, August 17, 2010

    August 17, 2010

  • "I think the returning quote bug is banished again," he said, hopefully.

    August 15, 2010

  • “I think I'm flattered? @paulcarr's social shutdown deleting Facebook, LinkedIn, 4sq, Buzz, Flickr, feels worst about Blippy”

    @pud, August 12, 2010

    August 14, 2010

  • Been playing around with blekko lately and enjoying it (and not just because Wordnik is their default dictionary :-). The slashtags thing is pretty neat.

    Just discovered I have a handful of beta invites available -- if anyone wants one, email me.

    August 14, 2010

  • Rz, adding to lists etc. should be working now. You might want to first hold down the shift key while reloading the page, which forces the browser to completely reload everything.

    The problem was related to the new autocomplete feature on the tags box. Oh, and by the way... there's now autocomplete for tags :-)

    August 14, 2010

  • Rst: I called that one :-)

    Rzz: Working on it.

    August 14, 2010

  • Reesetee, I think that might be related to Twitter's new Fail Whale Everywhere program, which we've signed up for.

    Though actually I can't duplicate that bug. Could you email me the browser you're using if it persists?

    update: Bug reproduced! Looks like an IE thing. Working on it...

    August 14, 2010

  • “Dr. Haas collaborated with BlackGold Biofuels, a small Philadelphia company that has developed a process for making biodiesel fuel out of a wide range of nonedible, low-value “fog” — the industry shorthand for fats, oils and grease.”

    The New York Times, Butter Holds the Secret to the Latest Biodiesel Fuel, by Kenneth Chang, August 9, 2010

    August 11, 2010

  • Stars, or straws?

    August 9, 2010

  • Verb form: twatbagging. Or maybe just twatting.

    August 9, 2010

  • “Watch out for the new media monkeys talking about twatting their facebook and checkin themselves out foursquar.”

    Tip by Rhys H. about Soho House, on foursquare

    August 9, 2010

  • To receive a muffinhood is to be muffined.

    August 8, 2010

  • See citation on muffinhood.

    August 8, 2010

  • Thanks for the muffinhood :-)

    August 8, 2010

  • Also, where the muffins live. A step down from a knighthood.

    August 8, 2010

  • We just added Wiktionary as a definition provider on Wordnik. If anyone sees anything wonky with our parse of their data, please let me know.

    August 7, 2010

  • “When the well is static, it’s killed,” said Greg McCormack, program director of the Petroleum Extension Service at the University of Texas, Austin. “But if you remove the pressure, it can become unkilled. Once you put cement in it from the bottom, then it can never be unkilled.”

    The New York Times, BP Begins Pumping Cement Into Well, by Clifford Kraus, August 5, 2010

    August 5, 2010

  • Hi c_b. There is a Google-powered 'search-most-of-wordnik' feature, which is kind of hidden right now, since we hope to improve upon it in the future. But at the bottom of every page, the far-right footer link is 'search'.

    I love that thing too!

    August 5, 2010

  • “Their work is based on claims among some Bolivarianólogos, as specialists here on the history of Bolívar are called, that a long-lost letter by Bolívar reveals how he was betrayed by Colombia’s aristocracy.”

    The New York Times, Building a New History by Exhuming Bolívar, by Simon Romero, August 3, 2010

    August 4, 2010

Show 200 more comments...

Comments for john

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  • Hello John.

    May 18, 2018

  • Okay, okay. I'll admit it--cellar door *is* beautiful.


    August 1, 2015

  • What a delightful 'when (wind) chime in'! Just imagine all the 'trump card tricks' he holds in his hand!

    July 9, 2013

  • The word John was just trending on the community page, so I added it to my trending words list and tagged it as john.


    February 5, 2013

  • <3

    July 21, 2011

  • Test comment

    July 6, 2011

  • Post Scriptum: the mobile website is really pretty. (If only the comment pages were available!)

    May 3, 2011

  • Update.

    After I chose to permanently deactivate the mobile version, I decided to see what happens when visiting

    The "loop" bug disappears, but when I visit, say, my profile page (mobile version) and I select "View this page on regular Wordnik", I am redirected to instead of

    It kind of reminds me of this comic strip.

    May 3, 2011

  • Thanks! I actually still have some trouble. Login now works (I had to empty cache and delete cookies), but:

    - when I visit wordnik mobile, and I click "View this page on regular Wordnik", I can't access the "less mobile version" as The Onion calls it but I end up in a loop instead;

    - when I try to visit a user page, I am still being redirected to the mobile version, which creates a broken link such as

    Only permanently blocking the mobile version works.

    Thanks for checking that.


    May 3, 2011

  • Hi John, is there a particular reason why I seem to be the only person whose comments on the Feedback page go unanswered? We are talking about lots of comments over the last 40 days or so. I'm not offended, but it would save me some time to know if there's something wrong about what I use that page for.

    May 2, 2011

  • You cannot escape the charge that you have previously engaged in the amazing pastime that is IDENTIFY THE WORDIE.

    You are therefore prime target material for inviting to IDENTIFY THE WORDIENIK.

    The whole of the bit of Wordnik that joins in on this would be truly honoured should you participate this time round.

    Easily find the right page right now because it is currently the most commented on list shown on the Community page.

    April 14, 2011

  • "Watch your language" is a choice and liminal turn of phrase which wryly strides over the threshold of a parental/authoritative warning and turns it into an invitation to witness the spirit of language and the words we use, historically and in real-time. I strongly feel that this phrase should be conserved on Wordnik. What if a "Community Zeitgeist" hyperlink led to a community page still called "Zeitgeist. Watch Your Language"?

    February 24, 2011

  • Marvelous, thanks!

    February 20, 2011

  • You're welcome!

    February 15, 2011

  • I like the personal WotD feature. I've created a Sweet Tooth Fairy of the Day and was wondering how I let everyone know about it, and, conversely, how I discover other personal WotD lists without randomly checking individual profiles.

    February 14, 2011

  • The single (there were 2 until late 2/12/11) delete button on personal WOTD pages does not seem to be working... something related to the "+" and "%20" adjustments? Thanks for your efforts at sometimes surprisingly odd hours when we users are relaxing, more or less!

    February 12, 2011

  • Thanks John.

    After what happened to Gawker, I'm changing my passwords everywhere.

    December 14, 2010

  • You're wery wery welcome. I think it should be tomorrow's Word of the day.

    Thanks for spending time on the external link thing. I think it would be really helpful. And thanks for the NYC links on your Times People!

    December 6, 2010

  • Thanks John! I think you forgot to re-add the "elsewhere on the web" link to pages for more than 1 word (I mean word pages like YSV effect).

    Glad you also like scrogneugneu. :-)

    November 10, 2010

  • Felicitations to you and kad!

    October 26, 2010

  • Congratulations on the second kid!

    October 26, 2010

  • i still can't seem to login to my account with my android or with anything other than the facebook login on a computer .. mobile ALWAYS kicks me back to the sign in.. i wonder if this has to do with me essentially having 2 different usernames in 1..

    _mark | marky (if u goto my profile you'll see)

    October 4, 2010

  • Hello John, here's a searchbox javascript nuisance in Chrome: as I type into the search box, longer words keep getting redacted; the last few characters will be deleted (perhaps as I'm typing unusual word that no longer have matches? this happens while the list of matching word-endings is updating and getting shorter).

    October 3, 2010

  • Now that's what I call service! I haven't been around in a while, but it's nice to see you're still eager to please. :-)

    September 11, 2010

  • John's Recent Lookups:

    Cupertino effect





    You're awesome.

    September 5, 2010

  • Hi John, any chance of getting the character limit on list descriptions raised to 40,000 or so? I can't keep up with hernesheir's euryvocalic discoveries otherwise.

    August 26, 2010

  • Thanks a lot!

    Actually, it’s been just recently that I’ve decided to switch to “Telofy” everywhere. The capital T used to scare me a little, it looks so tall and towering, but I’m getting used to it. Also, the “Te” is useful either as a benchmark for the kerning of a typeface or as a test whether kerning works in the browser at all (it always works in XeTeX of course).

    I’ve just added the pronunciations that have been requested a few months ago…

    August 25, 2010

  • There are comments from 3 years ago on this profile!

    July 31, 2010

  • Love the potato list

    July 31, 2010

  • When you delete idiomark and his other aliases, cam you keep his hilarious comment on my profile (after inactivating the links)?

    July 17, 2010

  • Gotcha!

    June 1, 2010

  • Thanks! I compared other entries with pictures and noticed the CC difference. I changed it over 1 hour ago, we'll see.

    June 1, 2010

  • Lucidity must be such a terrible thing.

    May 18, 2010

  • fyi DeMoHn, games loves games, affected by demonology, security down

    May 18, 2010

  • ah i know that humming song, and the one man bad, not interested in a humstrum that plays for anyone, anytime

    May 18, 2010

  • Hi John McGrath, funny but coffee was up a week or so ago,

    and then my settings changed walah a teapot came back sigh

    i love coffee.

    May 14, 2010

  • John's tag: *snort*

    May 12, 2010

  • *loves john and chained_bear and prolagus*

    May 12, 2010

  • *loves John again, some more*

    May 12, 2010

  • Been one on and off for years. Here's my tag.

    May 12, 2010

  • When did you become an egg? Seen here.

    May 12, 2010

  • Hi John,

    I just sent a note to Erin on this, but when there is a word in Wordnik but no definition - how should a "regular Joe" let you guys know about this (and even point you to the definition, like I did for "diya")? Seems like it would be more intuitive (and satisfying :) to be able to actually just click on something that says "add/find a definition for this word" and even add a link where a definition for that word can be found to point you guys to it.

    Hope your knee is starting to feel better... :)


    May 9, 2010

  • nice work on the text box expand logic

    May 7, 2010

  • Thanks, John, for the warm welcome!

    May 5, 2010

  • Thanks for fixing that.

    The page design has improved a lot without my noticing. I’ve always used my own Stylish CSS—now I have tried deactivating it and it turns out I hardly need it anymore. Only as a typeface I prefer Gentium and in lists I like my words better with less vertical padding.

    But I have to test the new and improved random word feature now.

    Take care.

    Edit: Perhaps the random word service could still be improved by considering only the stems of lexemes, without grammatical affixes or perhaps generally without too productive affixes. Several times I got pretty common word with just a “-ly” or “-ness” attached. (Not that common words aren’t just as interesting as obscure ones…) There are great libraries for such things, but I guess that is your metier much more than mine. :-)

    May 2, 2010

  • Thanks! Especially for letting me know - I haven't spent much time here lately... Blame it on Approximate Bayesian Computation.

    Edit: the first random word is bipont. I'm impressed.

    April 28, 2010

  • BRAVO to you on sharing the worddoucheoisieto your teapot followers....

    -one drip leads to another..

    Verbage is hot!

    April 25, 2010

  • Thank you! My links weren't working the other day, but they are now. Lovely.

    April 17, 2010

  • Wondering if I could be whitelisted too? Missing the "also on" function of the old profiles.

    April 17, 2010

  • Great! Thanks a bunch for whitelisting me.

    April 8, 2010