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adoarns commented on the list bibliophilia
May I suggest aubade a particular genre of poem about lovers waking in the morning sunrise and usu. taking leave.
January 4, 2009
adoarns commented on the list writer-writer
May I suggest the ooey gooey French écrivain (masc form), which essentially means writer but gives just the right bloviating sophistication to that certain scribbler.
If you can read French, read this wikipedia.fr article about it.
adoarns commented on the word well fuck me running
This is in particular a favorite of a literary friend of mine.
adoarns commented on the word go take a flying fuck at a rolling donut
Something said frequently in a Vonnegut novel, I think Slapstick.
adoarns commented on the word just tits
I often wonder the derivation of this. I've heard it from my younger brother and his clique, who seem a constant cauldron of language use. My best guess is it's a vulgar corruption of the idiom "it's the tops," with something more tangibly desired (at least from most males' perspective) replacing "tops".
adoarns commented on the word oligopolist
Have to add the dual: oligopsonist.
July 7, 2008
adoarns commented on the word shoecabbage
Is a pair of words from two languages which sound the same but have different meanings.
For instance, English "shoe" sounds identical to French "chou," which means "cabbage."
May 9, 2008
adoarns commented on the word heterologue
Subtly different from a shoecabbage.
adoarns commented on the word ianfu
Japanese "comfort women"; sexual slaves during WWII provided for Japanese soldiers.
March 23, 2008
adoarns commented on the word ka-tzet
Term for a concentration camp current in WWII Europe, derived from the initials KZ standing in for the German konzentrationslager, meaning "concentration camp."
An inmate might be called a ka-tzetnik.
adoarns commented on the word ankang
Like a psikhushka, a prison for political dissidents masquerading as mental hospital.
adoarns commented on the word psikhushka
A psychiatric facility used to detain political prisoners under the pretext that they are mentally ill. Historically Russian, though the phenomenon is not uniquely so; cf. ankang in the PRC.
From RUS, diminutive of “psychiatric hospital.�?
adoarns commented on the word zek
A Gulag prisoner.
adoarns commented on the word faux pas de coit
The misadventure, when a male is attempting intercourse, of banging the erect member either into the bed or the partner's perineum. One of the most common modes of penile fracture.
adoarns commented on the word setshwetla
A naked protest endemic to South Africa.
March 21, 2008
adoarns commented on the list violin-parts
Your typical meronymous list.
March 9, 2008
adoarns commented on the word tire turd
Along with fenderberg, car booger, and car patty, words used in some regions to refer to the compacted snow that builds up in the wheel-well of a car behind the tire.
February 29, 2008
adoarns commented on the word word apnea
Cf. presque vu.
February 25, 2008
adoarns commented on the word paroemiographer
February 24, 2008
adoarns commented on the word ignosticism
The position that the very question of whether a god or gods exist is meaningless, usually starting from the point that consistent definitions of the word god either do not exist or are impossible to construct.
February 20, 2008
adoarns commented on the word whipple
The Whipple procedure during medical school was either the thing you couldn't believe you got to assist on, or the thing you couldn't believe you had to assist on.
For a surgery junkie, it's great. It's one of the most intense re-plumbing jobs commonly done. For those of us who just wanted to pass surgery and be done, it was an eight-hour torture session. On your feet, masked, capped, and gowned, holding some stupid retractor or another until the early evening.
adoarns commented on the user adoarns
I have a greasemonkey script to convert the phonetic transcription of wordie at the top of every page to IPA over at Userscripts, if anyone's interested.
February 19, 2008
adoarns commented on the word parameter
I had always taken the phrase "within those parameters" to set up a metaphor of like a simulation with certain presets, and the outcome matched to whatever was run within them.
February 18, 2008
adoarns commented on the word proprioception
Discard all your fanciful notions of there being only five senses. There're at least seven, counting this and balance.
adoarns commented on the list big-long-words
God I love productive derivational morphology.
adoarns commented on the word malakomisia
Oh, I'm sure it is. The neologisms that catch on always seem to be the least affected, the most nonce-like--such as, eg, homophobe.
adoarns commented on the word dietrology
February 17, 2008
adoarns commented on the word erastes
The older member of the ancient Greek pederastic union. Qv erotomenos.
adoarns commented on the word erotomenos
The younger member of the ancient Greek pederastic union. Qv erastes.
My proposal for a more sensible construction meaning "someone who dislikes homosexuals." It adopts an obsolete Attic term of abuse, malakos as a new geuzennaam.
My problems with homophobe are A) with the first morpheme homo, which can only be reasonably interpreted as the English slang word homo, and not as a Latin or Greek root; and B) the second morpheme -phobe which emphasizes fear instead of loathing, and perhaps implies the oft-cited but to-me not perfectly convincing trope that all those who really dislike gays dislike them because they're afraid they're secretly homosexual themselves.
adoarns commented on the word simcurity
The public ritual of showy displays that seem to add security, that is that simulate security, but in reality probably don't.
February 10, 2008
adoarns commented on the list conflicted
Though they've adapted away from the strict "-machia" Greek ending, might I also suggest gigantomachy, titanomachy, and monarchomach.
February 9, 2008
adoarns commented on the word blype
Thought for sure this was a sniglet.
adoarns commented on the word flagellum
Also the cellular appendage used by some cells to propel themselves through fluid media.
February 7, 2008
adoarns commented on the word endosymbiont
Chloroplasts are also thought to be the descendants of endosymbiotic bacteria. Mitochondria and chloroplasts both have a genome separate from the main nuclear DNA, though most of their day-to-day functions have been shifted to the cell nucleus.
Interestingly, some biologists advocate that the eukaryotic flagellum is also a descendant of an endosymbiont, specifically a spirochete, a kind of spiral-shaped bacterium. This has less traction, so far.
adoarns commented on the word cisternae
A cistern is also one of several areas around the base of the brain where cerebrospinal fluid collects.
adoarns commented on the word crypto-anarchism
An ideology that mostly pertains to the online world that seeks to maximize individual freedom and anonymity through the use of strong public-key cryptography.
adoarns commented on the word kleroterion
A simple lottery device used by Athenians during the period of their democracy to randomly choose citizens for public posts. It consisted of a flat surface incised with many slots into which the citizens' tokens would be placed, as well as a tube that was to be filled with different-colored balls that were cranked out, the color of which determining which rows of slots would be chosen. Quod vide.
adoarns commented on the word sortition
A method of choosing decision-makers by lottery. This is how Athenian democracy largely worked (with exceptions such as the election of strategoi or generals).
adoarns commented on the word isonomia
equality of political rights
adoarns commented on the word logomisia
A strong dislike for a word, for instance that of some people for the word moist.
adoarns commented on the word rhinotillexis
adoarns commented on the word pasquinade
Noted in the etymology to be coined after the name of a Roman statue, Pasquino, which was regularly covered with scurrilous satires while standing in a public place.
adoarns commented on the word bekos
Given that the Wikipedia article on XPG (Phrygian) notes that known inscriptions of the language seem fairly close to the reconstructed PIE (Proto Indo-European), poetically at least it seems maybe Psammetichus's experiment wasn't far off.
February 6, 2008
adoarns commented on the word chazzerai
Also seen spelled chazzerei or chazerei.
adoarns commented on the word sillograph
A satire, or one who writes them.
adoarns commented on the word skeevy
One dictionary notes the etymology: "from Italian schifo, meaning 'disgust.'"
adoarns commented on the word mutaween
Originally referred to the Saudi religious policemen, or enforcement officers of the Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. Now can be extended to any similar body that enforces strict (and socially inhibiting) interpretations of religious law.
adoarns commented on the word kalpa
An exceptionally-long (but varying) period of time in Hindu and Buddhist thought.
The best explanation ever:
Every 100 years, a bird flies over the summit of Mount Sumeru and, in so doing, brushes the pinnacle with a red silk scarf held in its beak. A kalpa is the period of time it takes to wear the mountain down to nothing by this activity.
adoarns commented on the word geuzennaam
A word or name for a group of people, formerly considered derogatory, which has been appropriated by that group. Eg, queer, nigger.
adoarns commented on the word snow
In hospitals, means to completely gork or zonk out a patient by means of sedative or other medications.
February 5, 2008
adoarns commented on the word supratentorial
The tentorium is a set of membranes that divides the lower brain, including the cerebellum and brainstem, from the cerebral hemispheres.
Supratentorial means "above the tentorium," which is to say within the thinking part of the brain. "The patient's real problem is supratentorial," while it can mean they have a real, organic brain lesion, also means, figuratively speaking, that they're just nuts.
adoarns commented on the word vitamin h
Haloperidol, tradename Haldol™, which is just tits for quieting down an agitated patient.
adoarns commented on the word disposition
In a hospital, the patient's disposition is where they go after this. To home? Nursing home? Rehab? They gots to go somewhere.
Usually doctors are careful to use the word disposition as the verb form, to avoid saying that they are disposing the patient.
January 30, 2008
adoarns commented on the word gork
Also used simply to mean "to render very sedated."
"That guy in 304 was pretty agitated, so I gorked him with a bunch of Ativan."
adoarns commented on the word coruscation
Also, a symptom of having flashes of light pass before the eyes.
January 28, 2008
adoarns commented on the word hyperekplexia
an exaggerated startle response
adoarns commented on the word stick
Used to describe injections or needle pokes for the purpose either of delivering medicine, taking a sample of blood, or of introducting a catheter.
The nurses will say so-and-so is a tough stick, meaning it's hard to get into a vein, or an easy stick, and good attendings will remind you to order all your labs at the same time, to avoid the number of sticks your patient has to endure.
January 27, 2008
adoarns commented on the word q sign
A negative prognostic sign: when a patient is so obtunded or moribund they simply lie there, mouth open, and tongue lolling out, in simulacrum of the letter Q.
An example of black humor in medicine.
January 26, 2008
adoarns commented on the word wet
In medicine, refers to someone that is fluid-overloaded, as from heart failure. "I got called on a patient having trouble breathing. When I examined her, she sounded wet, so I gave her some Lasix."
adoarns commented on the word dry
In medicine, refers to a person who is not wet, in the sense that they're not fluid-overloaded, and can also refer to the lungs that don't sound overloaded. "Mr Charles had some trouble breathing, but it wasn't his heart failure, he sounded dry."
Can also mean that they're actually dehydrated. "Guy came in heart taching away, but he looked dry so I gave him a bolus."
adoarns commented on the word mental status
A catch-all term for how awake, aware, and with-it the patient is. Often the most baffling cases are patients brought in for change in mental status, which could mean just about anything and could be caused by just about anything.
adoarns commented on the word milk of amnesia
A play on the phrase milk of magnesia describing the drug propofol, used to sedate patients, which has a translucent white appearance like milk.
adoarns commented on the word ears
Slang for a stethoscope.
adoarns commented on the list house-officer-argot
Am familiar with The House of God. Real life is alternately more bizarre and less sensational.
adoarns commented on the word sat
The arterial blood oxygen saturation, a measure of how well the patient is getting oxygen from the air for his body. Usu. >90%. Often used in the plural: "What are his sats?"
Can be used as a verb: "He's satting well and appears to be breathing comfortably."
The negative is also acceptable: "He was breathing really hard and desatted quickly."
adoarns commented on the word tube
An endotracheal tube, a breathing tube placed down someone's throat into their windpipe.
Also, to put one in a patient. "He couldn't keep up his sats, so we had to tube him."
adoarns commented on the word swan
In the hospital, a swan is a Swan-Ganz catheter, a special kind of line that snakes down the superior vena cava, into the right side of the heart, and out into the pulmonary artery. It's useful for measuring pressures in the pulmonary vasculature, a part of the blood circulation usually unreachable, and for measuring how much the heart is pumping.
adoarns commented on the word line
In the hospital, usu. means a central line, a kind of catheter placed into one of the main veins of the body draining into the heart. These are more complicated and hazardous to insert then a regular IV and are usually put in by physicians or nurse practitioners.
adoarns commented on the word bolus
Most often used by house officers to mean either a fluid bolus, which is a rapid infusion of some fluid, for instance saline, usu. made to improve blood pressure or replete lost water, or a drug bolus, which is a big, all-at-once starting dose of a drug that builds up blood levels quickly so that you can get clinical effects without waiting for several doses to go in.
Can also be used as a verb: "Mrs Shalhoub's BP dipped, so I bolused her."
adoarns commented on the word drip
A continuous infusion of some medicine into someone's vein. Drip medicines give a constant dose but require lots of nursing attention because it's always on, and because many of them have rates that have to be dialed up or down based on some parameters.
To be put on a drip means to begin a continuous infusion.
adoarns commented on the word cco
From the initialism DNR-CCO, which means do not resuscitate, comfort care only. A protocol that means no aggressive curative measures should be undertaken, and the goal for a patient is to make him comfortable at all costs, with the expectation that his disease process will sooner rather than later end his life.
adoarns commented on the word icu player
A patient whose condition is unstable enough to require intensive care.
adoarns commented on the word copder
A person with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Pronounced /ˌsi.oʊ.pʰi.ˈdi.ɚ/.
adoarns commented on the word dump
In a hospital, a dump describes when one service, exasperated with a patient and/or unable to think how to help them best, unceremoniously transfers care to another service to be rid of the problem.
"Did you see that patient with the chest pain?"
"Yes! It was a total dump. His labs are normal and the EKG is fine; they just didn't want to tell him it's all in his head."
adoarns commented on the word junky
A pert description of lungs that are full of rhonchi, râles, and other wet, nasty, disease sounds.
adoarns commented on the word vent
Short for a mechanical ventilator, a machine that provides breaths for patients through a breathing tube. To be on a vent means that one is intubated and requires at least partial support of the work of breathing.
adoarns commented on the word decube
Used in the hospital in one of two ways.
To refer to bedsores, also known as decubitus ulcers.
To refer to a kind of roentgenogram of the chest made with the patient on his side, often sought to see if fluid seen around the lungs in a regular chest x-ray will shift and can be tapped.
adoarns commented on the word frog
In medical slang, used to refer to patients with advanced disease and dismal prospects who have fuckin' run outta gas.
adoarns commented on the word code
Short for code blue, a medical emergency that usually means someone's heart, breathing, or both, have stopped. In most hospitals a designated cohort of professionals will respond when code blues are called.
Used also as an intransitive verb: "Mr Sullivan was doing okay this morning, but coded overnight."
adoarns commented on the word team
Synonymous with code, referring to a medical emergency that requires immediate intervention, presumably named so because there's a set team of professionals who respond when called.
adoarns commented on the word cow
A computer on wheels, indispensable when the medical record is stored electronically.
adoarns commented on the word tap
To tap in medical parlance is to access and remove fluid from an internal compartment, usually but not always an abnormal fluid collection.
A thoracentesis or paracentesis would both be examples of taps. A spinal tap is an example which doesn't aim to drain a pathological fluid pocket.
Usage: "Mr Carver's got a pleural effusion on decubes, but it looks too small to tap."
adoarns commented on the word fly
In medical intensive care units, to fly means to be able to withstand removal of a breathng tube more or less permanently. I.e., "Ms Bucket just t-pieced for three hours and her lungs sound clear, should we extubate?" "Yeah, I think she'll fly."
adoarns commented on the word copremesis
In the hospital, I have had the misfortune of seeing people go through this. It is one of the few things that left me on the limb of vomiting myself.
January 24, 2008
House officers, ie medical residents, are doctors-in-training who assume day-to-day care of patients in teaching hospitals. As in any closed community, a peculiar slang has developed. This is the one current at the hospital where I work.
January 19, 2008
adoarns commented on the word treat-and-street
The emergency medicine physician's motto.
adoarns commented on the word snf
Pronounced /snɪf/, stands for skilled nursing facility, or what the public usually thinks of as nursing homes.
Residents start thinking of discharge disposition on the first day of admission. Discharge to home, to SNF, to rehab, hospice, or celestial discharge.
adoarns commented on the word celestial discharge
Meaning a patient's death.
adoarns commented on the word spin
In house officer slang, means to send a patient for spiral CT, most often used to look for evidence of a pulmonary embolism.
adoarns commented on the word olisbos
My new favorite synonym for dildo, besides godemiche. Liddell-Scott-Jones glosses this in Latin as penis coriaceus, which as near as I can tell means leather penis.
Used in Lysistrata, for the interested. Seems to be a hapax legomenon in the Classical Greek literature, at least as far as Perseus has to say about it.
January 1, 2008
adoarns commented on the list time-keeps-marching-on
The half-as-long counterpart to the popular fortnight is the sennight.
adoarns commented on the word baisecul
Lit. (FRA) a "kiss-ass."
adoarns commented on the list derogatory-terms-i-should-use-more-often
Try baisecul as well.
Cf. forbidden experiment.
adoarns commented on the word hakapik
NOR, denotes a seal club, often equipped with a hook at the business end with which to haul away the seal carcass after clubbing.
December 31, 2007
adoarns commented on the word 'ndranghetista
Pronounced with syllabic n:
December 27, 2007
adoarns commented on the list if-i-only-had-a-brain
Factoid: the single most common response of patients who have just had a CT or MRI scan of their head, as I'm about to give them results, is "So did you find a brain up there?"
Never gets old. Never. Gets. Old. :-)
adoarns commented on the word bemalist
The code for Ancient Greek as standardized by ISO 639-3.
December 25, 2007
adoarns commented on the word depucelate
Late LAT pucella, virgin: to take someone's virginity.
adoarns commented on the word forbidden experiment
1. Take some infants and rip them from their mothers.
2. Bring them up so that they want nothing, but never speak a word to them. Not a single recognizable utterance. Be careful of onomatopoeia.
3. See what language they naturally begin to speak.
Entirely unethical—actually, barbaric. And the modern conception is that these children would not speak a damn word—there is no innate language, only an innate language ability (and perhaps, following Chomsky, an innate sense of grammar). They may in fact concoct a small pidgin but would be psycholinguistically stunted, and the later the experiment ended, the more severe and permanent the disability.
Legendarily, Pharaoh Psammetichus ordered the experiment done and in due time their subjects uttered the word bekos, taken to be Phrygian (XPG) for bread, which shocked the ethnocentric Egyptians. Another story has James II of England getting Hebrew-speaking children.
adoarns commented on the list demonyms
The semi-official term for a resident from Michigan (USA) is michigander.
During Alexander's march over the East, the bemalists were in charge of measuring overland distances by—seriously—counting their steps.
adoarns commented on the word glomerulus
The only microanatomical term harder to pronounce than glomerulus is glomerular.
December 20, 2007
adoarns commented on the word lexome
Sionnach: I'll put you down as a misomist. :-)
adoarns commented on the word gomboc
In HUN, gömböc means "sphere-like," or some such, so there's little surprise the word has other meanings in Magyar culture.
adoarns commented on the list speaking-in-tongues
adoarns commented on the word rale
Also called a crackle, very nearly a plurale tantum. Sounds like rubbing your hair with your fingers very close to your ear. Often means some type of fluid build-up within the lung.
December 19, 2007
adoarns commented on the word plurale tantum
Just noticed--the simple search apparently returns words but not lists.
To be slightly more charitable, it doesn't so much require the physical characteristics of Earth so much as an approximately constant unidirectional force field.
Now those you can find just about anywhere. :-)
adoarns commented on the word prelapsarian
This begs to be put in a list with antediluvian, edenic, arcadian, pre-nine-eleven, xanadu, shangri-la, and others.
adoarns commented on the word sinecure
Cura is a false cognate in Latin—it actually means something like "cares," "responsibility," "concern." So sinecure actually means "without cares," or "without responsibility"; a job that doesn't actually require you to do anything.
Just like insert currently unpopular famous person's job. Zing!
adoarns commented on the word skein
The much ballyhooed 7th release of Inform—a system for writing interactive fiction or text adventures—uses something they call the skein as a way to keep track of all the various ways you navigate your in-progress game, ie the braid of different threads of the adventure.
adoarns commented on the list winners-don-t-use-drugs
If you're taking requests: good ol' aspirin; narcotics like roxanol, vicodin, percocet, darvocet, dilaudid; downers ativan, valium, restoril.
adoarns commented on the word occam's razor
At work, we were discussing different diagnoses for an EKG, and when we settled on one I said that it was the most parsimonious. Several hours later, during some downtime, my colleagues came up to me and said, "We didn't know what the hell you meant, but we looked it up online, and sure as shit in hindsight it was like the most perfect thing to say at the time."
Resident physicians do have a section in their pre-med boards for writing, but let's just say it's not stressed by medical school admissions. Or at least, not every doc's a wordie.
Should add: the gomboc is a distinct class of shapes, vaguely like a tortoise-shell, that has one stable and one unstable mechanical equilibrium point each—the geometry that makes it self-righting.
May I also say--in the same way the sequencing of the genome was in fact just the beginning of a much larger project, understanding the human lexome will eventually require...an immensely larger project.
And since humans have only 23,000 or so genes, whereas the number of words probably reaches into the hundreds of millions, we're talking—well—long-term grant proposals at best.
A class of three-dimensional shapes that will reorient themselves to lie on a stable face no matter in what orientation they are initially placed. Qv gomboc.
adoarns commented on the list oulipian-writing-techniques
This is awesome. Have been learning just a little bit about Oulipo. Now I have a guided tour.
adoarns commented on the word magistral
The opposite of officinal, describes medicines which an apothecary's has to cook up special; it's not normally kept in stock. Compounding pharmacies do this.
adoarns commented on the word singulare tantum
A noun which only exists in the singular; usually uncountable (cf plurale tantum.
A noun which only ever appears in the plural (in such languages where plural is a meaningful designation).
In English, words like pants, eyeglasses; in Latin, words like arma or castra. The opposite is a singulare tantum.
adoarns commented on the word desynchronosis
is just the coolest term I could find for jet lag.
adoarns commented on the word damnatio memoriae
The punishment (qv herostrat) of erasing all historical mention of a person. Acc. to whichever thoroughness you aspire to, this may involve Stalinesque photographic emendations, Thutmosean statuary defacements, or the Orwellian erasure. The Roman Senate also practiced damnatio memoriae when unpopular Augusti were deposed or killed.
It should be said, we can't know if a truly and thorougly effective damnatio memoriae has ever occurred, ipso facto.
adoarns commented on the word herostrat
The legend goes, a young man named Herostrat in Achaia wanted to be famous forever. He couldn't accomplish anything great in athletics, nor any new philosophy, nor could he earn the popular acclaim.
Instead, he burnt the Temple of Artemis to its foundation stones.
The authorities having caught up with him and learned of his scheme, proclaimed an apt punishment. Not only was he to be put to death, but a damnatio memoriae was published, and any who mentioned the wrongdoer's name thenceforth should be put to death themselves.
So you could use this word, which aptly describes those who commit infamous crimes in the interest of earning attention, but only if you are seriously interested in encouraging the cause of a sociopathic ancient Greek arsonist.
adoarns commented on the word panchreston
Is an explanation which attempts to explain too much at once, thereby becoming overbroad and useless.
Conspiracy theories are often panchresta.
adoarns commented on the list bbw-euphemistically
A convex woman would have absolutely nothing sticking out anywhere; ie she'd be like a sphere. Too big, no shape. Non-convex to me implies the right things are sticking out the right places.
December 18, 2007
adoarns commented on the list postpositive-adjectives
reesetee: the construction you propose doesn't involve post-positive adjectives per se, but rather some syntactic ellipsis: "the best gift possible" → "the best gift that is possible," &c.
And yes, the title has been changed to match standard orthography :-).
adoarns commented on the list gitmo
There are others that didn't make the list, though they were as grisly or grislier than these, simply because the names for them aren't very interesting.
Is that shallow?
I've always liked the term non-convex to refer to this type of woman. Clearly nonstandard usage, and it may not even be obvious to most people who hear it. But to me the description is perfect.
Nothing explicitly wrong with ample, robust, and curvaceous.
In fact—segue to a metawordiernal ¶—I struggle with this. I have lists that could conceivably hold lots of words, but I don't want to be promiscuous and let in any old word. I want the interesting ones. So my lists often show gaps. Which, I don't know which is worse, including boring words or having my gaps show.
adoarns commented on the word sprachbund
Actually, I understand sprachbund as a collection of languages which exhibit similarity derived from their close association, and not from genetic history.
The existence of sprachbunds is one of the prime differences of linguistic evolution from biological evolution (discounting the rather large corner case of bacterial conjugation).
adoarns commented on the word verbicide
Apparently, willful disregard for the meaning of a word, or using it in such a way, a distorter, a wormtongue. And, in that wonderful way -cide words often have, refers to the person who does so as well.
However, when I first saw it, I thought of linguicide, which figures heavy in efforts to combat language extinction.
adoarns commented on the word sprachgefühl
Love how so many old-skool linguistic terms are from DEU.
adoarns commented on the word philistinism
Overlapping in sense, but not quite synonymous (and in any case, a paronym), is misomusist.
adoarns commented on the word shibboleth
Got to quibble with the definition given at the top. It seems the extra sense of shibboleth (which comes out in the etymologic story) is that it is some idiosyncrasy of speech which enables one to tell one group from another.
The careful parsing of terms in the abortion debate is a good example. The use of choice is a shibboleth of the pro-choice crowd. The distinction between baby and fetus is also a good example from the same context.
adoarns commented on the list ward-i-m-worried-about-the-beaver
The sheer number and creativity of the euphemisms (and dysphemisms) for the vulva and vagina testifies (no pun intended) to some anxiety/worship, I'm sure.
Also, minge, flange, sideways sloppy-joe, beef curtains, meat curtains, spam purse, holiest of holies, and others.
adoarns commented on the word abacination
A plate or spike of metal would be heated in fire, then brought near (but not necessarily touching) the victim's eyes. The heat would cause the globes to sputter and burst.
The set of all possible words. By analogy with genome and proteome of biology.
adoarns commented on the word aleph-null
A transfinite number, written ℵ0, which denotes the cardinality of the natural numbers.
In other words, it's a way to express that some infinities are bigger than others.
adoarns commented on the word anasyrma
Refers to the gesture of lifting a skirt or similar garment to show off the genitals. Sculpturally significant, I believe.
adoarns commented on the list words-you-will-be-incorrectly-corrected-on
The word prodigal is most closely associated in many people's minds with the parable; thus, when using it in the sense of "one who is wasteful or extravagant," I have received odd looks from those who think it means, "having gone away and now come back."
You're right about "streight." I'm just an obsolete kind of guy.
adoarns commented on the word urheimat
The original territory of the ancestors of a linguistic group. For example, the original speakers of PIE likely inhabited an urheimat in Central Asia or the Caucasus.
adoarns commented on the word lexisphere
In furtherance of the biological analogy (the field is quickly creating new -omes, such as the proteome, the interactome, the transcriptome), language should have a syntactome, a clausome, a sententome.
In the spirit of Borges's Library of Babel, I have written a short program that, given infinite time, will generate every single utterance of any given size, thus exhausting the utterome. Eventually.
The domain of all words.
That's the webbie's way. Since I was trained in the biological sciences, my proposal would be the lexome.
December 17, 2007
adoarns commented on the word parrilla
From SPA for barbecue, the South American torture in which victims were strapped to metal grills (hence the name) and repeatedly shocked with electricity.
adoarns commented on the word culeus
It seems by the Leges Corneliae, specifically de sicariis et veneficis, the Roman punishment for parricide was to be sewn up in a leather sack and thrown into the Tiber. Some other sources describe several animals being confined within the sack as well. The culeus was the leather sack, and by metonymy came to mean the punishment as well.
adoarns commented on the word tourbillion
I'm guessing related is tourbillon from FRA, which denotes a kind of intricate escapement for timepieces which counters the effects of gravity.
adoarns commented on the word darwin
Also denotes a logarithmic unit of evolution: any quantifiable attribute of an organism, esp. size of physical structures, changing by a factor of e (≈ 2.7182818…) per million years, is evolving at the rate of 1 darwin.
adoarns commented on the list old-but-still-juicy
From wot, also wit from ANG witan, surviving in constructions such as "to wit." Might also recommend aclumsid, meaning "numb or paralyzed," from ENM, and yclept, an extravagantly odd past participle of clepe, ENM word meaning "to call, to name."
adoarns commented on the word ebullism
The process, when the body is exposed to a substantially lower ambient pressure, of bubbles of formerly dissolved gases forming within the tissues; the proximate cause of "the bends."
Big Beautiful Women, that is, and the terms we use to describe them without being cruel.
December 13, 2007
Bilby's right; moved to new list on non-"ly" adverbs.
December 10, 2007
adoarns commented on the word hippogonal
Refers to the motion of which a knight is capable in standard chess, presumably from GRC "hippos," or "horse," and "diagonal."
November 30, 2007
adoarns commented on the word monitory
perfect counterpart to minatory; it refers to things that are meant to warn, rather than to threaten.
May 17, 2007
adoarns commented on the word parapegma
The ancient forerunner of the modern almanac, consisting of information upon the regular, phasic changes of the seasons. From Gk.
May 3, 2007
adoarns commented on the word remunerate
Was accosted by colleagues once who swore upon first-borns this should be "renumerate."
April 13, 2007
adoarns commented on the word paraphimosis
Like in phimosis, an unfortunate preputial condition. However, here the prepuce is retracted, and will not close over the glans again, in some cases shrinking and strangulating the penis.
adoarns commented on the word phimosis
The condition from a fibrotic or shrunken prepuce that will no longer stretch enough to retract over the head of the penis. Cf. paraphimosis.
adoarns commented on the word anasarca
a very open word for a condition of total body edema, describing people who have massively swollen flesh all over.
adoarns commented on the word sciolist
adoarns commented on the word haha
Describes a kind of fence which is sunken, so that on the privileged side one can look out with an unobstructed view, whereas on the other side the ground slopes gradually down to the foot of the wall; used by English upper-crust-types to get pretty views beyond their gardens without opening up their backyards to wild fauna.
December 17, 2006
adoarns commented on the word irrumatio
the complement to fellatio, describing the act of being fellated, which the Romans considered the "active" role; whether or not one was manly depended on taking the active role in sex, so that even if one were fellated by a male servant, it wouldn't be considered gay per se.
adoarns commented on the word fellatio
see also irrumatio.
adoarns commented on the word spat
obs. astronomic measurement of about 1e12 meters.
December 10, 2006
adoarns commented on the word ala
lit., "wing," in Latin; can refer to the wings of the ilium in the hip bone (os innominata), or the flarings of the inferior nose which are pierced by the nostrils (the ala nasi).
adoarns commented on the word boo-boo
an injury, esp. slight.
adoarns commented on the word moyamoya
progressive vascular stenosis of the circle of Willis.
adoarns commented on the word sacsac
local Papuan name for the Sago palm.
adoarns commented on the word tam-tam
a kind of gong.
adoarns commented on the word ta-ta
interjection, meaning "good-bye."
adoarns commented on the word tutu
well-known ballet skirt.
adoarns commented on the word can-can
high-kicking French dance.
adoarns commented on the word muumuu
loose-fitting dress often in a garish Hawaiian print.
adoarns commented on the word aye-aye
nocturnal Madagascan primate.
adoarns commented on the word nene
a Hawaiian goose
adoarns commented on the word titi
small S. American monkey
adoarns commented on the word tsetse
famous stinging fly of Africa
adoarns commented on the word galumph
describes the mode of locomotion used by true seals (phocids).
December 8, 2006
adoarns commented on the word mortadellosa
Have seen this used online by an Italian, who says it describes a woman with a full and buxom figure. Ultimately, is used in a flattering context, though the word comes from "mortadella," the word for a kind of sausage (and so basically means, "meaty").
December 7, 2006
adoarns commented on the word remuneration
Everybody I have ever met (and I know some educated people) has looked at me strangely whenever I have said this word.
December 3, 2006
adoarns commented on the word rigor
as in chill
adoarns commented on the word poliorcetikon
one of a genre of Byzantine siege warfare books (Byzantine as in, from the Eastern Roman Empire, not as in highly intricate).
December 2, 2006
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