qms commented on the word luciferase
Sly fireflies will cook up new ways
To brighten their luminous rays,
For lightning bug lasses
Like lads with bright asses
Just bursting with luciferase.
January 23, 2018
qms commented on the word chrysocracy
Oh, tell me not you’re shocked to see
Self-dealing and gross hypocrisy.
“Make America Great”
Was cheap sucker bait
From sellers of vulgar chrysocracy.
January 22, 2018
qms commented on the word vum
A toady’s no more than a bum
Pretending some tyrant’s his chum.
There will be a reckoning,
For Old Nick is beckoning.
He’ll haste to that hearthside, I vum.
January 21, 2018
qms commented on the word swither
As hither is mixed up with thither
And whence is confounded with wither,
If you would compose
Faux biblical prose
Prepare for a sweat and a swither.
January 20, 2018
qms commented on the word brocard
cui bono, you sensibly ask,
When lawyers so muddle their task?
When simpler folk heard
A latin brocard
They bowed to the learned man’s mask
January 19, 2018
qms commented on the word philosopheme
It starts as a commonplace meme,
Repeated, becomes a grand theme.
Its freshness once past
It settles at last
Retired as a philosopheme.
January 18, 2018
qms commented on the word bavardage
Palaver that’s boredom’s camouflage
Is chatter - no more than bavardage.
Enlivened with zest
Of banter and jest
It jumps up to jolly persiflage.
January 17, 2018
qms commented on the word down-gyved
I’ve poked, I’ve prodded and strived.
At last my conclusion’s arrived:
When droopy your hose
(But no other clothes)
Uniquely are labelled down-gyved.
January 16, 2018
qms commented on the word barrow-back't
qms commented on the word shithole
The Lord when assembling a fit soul
Is careless betimes in the wit dole.
Inserting a brain
He failed in his aim
So Donald must think with his shithole.
January 15, 2018
qms commented on the word adiaphorous
Miss Duncan made viewers wax amorous
By dancing in garments diaphanous.
The prim and the haughty
Did think her quite naughty
But art is at worst adiaphorous.
qms commented on the word mussitation
Near speechless, the suffering nation
Now mutters in utter frustration.
The goblin’s obscenist
New claim is his genius.
We‘re driven to dazed mussitation.
January 14, 2018
qms commented on the word loukoum
When Turks meet with friends we assume
Thick coffee is poured to consume
With plates of sweet bites
That we call delights
But locals embrace as loukoum.
January 13, 2018
qms commented on the word knifegun
Prestige though it be at low tide,
The humblest of creatures show pride,
And perchance you will see
A dandified bilby
With ears freshly starched and bowtied.
January 12, 2018
qms commented on the word blazonry
The president strikes his own coin;
There ego and bad taste conjoin.
If he can so brazenly
Profane the old blazonry
What symbols will next he purloin?
qms commented on the word pottle-pot
See also comments at pottle.
January 11, 2018
qms commented on the word pottle
If sips don’t suffice then a lot’ll.
By golly, just chug down the bottle!
If you still can’t forget
Then drown all regret
In the bountiful flood of a pottle.
See also comments at pottle-pot.
qms commented on the word jean dimmock
January 10, 2018
qms commented on the word androcracy
Our governors earn lots of mockery
For mindlessly limp mediocrity.
We need an infusion
Of gender diffusion
To stiffen the flaccid androcracy.
qms commented on the word houghmangandy
You “found” it and it was wrong. I think the idea of a lexicographical site is that you check your sources. I can “find” anything in ten seconds of searching.
January 9, 2018
qms commented on the word chronometry
Imprisoned you learn the enormity
Of years of unchanged uniformity
So prolonged confinement
Promotes the refinement
Of exquisite skills in chronometry.
qms commented on the word jugal
For some folk obliged to be frugal
Adventure’s confined to a google.
It’s not parsimony
But dear matrimony -
The price of the benisons jugal.
January 8, 2018
qms commented on the word nomogram
Computers, they teach now at school,
Displaced the beloved slide rule,
But give not a damn
For the old nomogram
Which once was an elegant tool.
January 7, 2018
qms commented on the word perfectibilist
Of dullards perhaps not the visiblest
Once found, though, surely the risiblest.
To mock the dimwitted
Is even permitted
If shown he’s a true perfectibilist.
January 6, 2018
qms commented on the word orchestic
The dancing impulse is eclectic,
Exotic or comfy domestic.
In oldsters and hipsters
Inspire expression orchestic.
January 5, 2018
qms commented on the word bauson
According to popular notion
They forage with fiercest devotion.
Thus folklore assured it,
That one who’s obdurate
Be known as an obstinate bauson.
January 4, 2018
qms commented on the word l'esprit de l'escalier
This name for the phenomenon comes from French encyclopedist and philosopher Denis Diderot's description of such a situation in his Paradoxe sur le comédien.1 During a dinner at the home of statesman Jacques Necker, a remark was made to Diderot which left him speechless at the time, because, he explains, "l’homme sensible, comme moi, tout entier à ce qu’on lui objecte, perd la tête et ne se retrouve qu’au bas de l’escalier" ("a sensitive man, such as myself, overwhelmed by the argument levelled against him, becomes confused and can only think clearly again when he finds himself at the bottom of the stairs").
In this case, "the bottom of the stairs" refers to the architecture of the kind of hôtel particulier or mansion to which Diderot had been invited. In such houses, the reception rooms were on the étage noble, one floor above the ground floor.2 To have reached the bottom of the stairs means to have definitively left the gathering.
January 3, 2018
qms commented on the word dowie
Poor Angus entreated her hourly
In wooing persistent and flowery,
But to his dismay
At end of the day
He trudged home defeated and dowie.
qms commented on the word qobar
Oh, very good, Tank! Your posting does not provide a definition but my googling turned up this at Wiktionary:
qobarEnglishNounqobar (plural not attested)1. A dry fog of the upper Nile. quotationso 1800, Report of the Board of Regents (volume 44, page 237) In Ethiopia, where it is called qobar, this haze is of extraordinary density and hides all the features of the landscape beyond the distance of a mile, and conceals stars of the third magnitude even in the zenith.o 2010, Charles Barnett, Iscariot (page 265) Pietro Gandolfo, inside the old sedan, rumbled by, hidden by the dunes and the early morning qobar, dry fog of the Nile. He fidgeted nervously. He had no idea what to expect ahead.
qobar (plural not attested)
1. A dry fog of the upper Nile. quotations
o 1800, Report of the Board of Regents (volume 44, page 237)
In Ethiopia, where it is called qobar, this haze is of extraordinary density and hides all the features of the landscape beyond the distance of a mile, and conceals stars of the third magnitude even in the zenith.
o 2010, Charles Barnett, Iscariot (page 265)
Pietro Gandolfo, inside the old sedan, rumbled by, hidden by the dunes and the early morning qobar, dry fog of the Nile. He fidgeted nervously. He had no idea what to expect ahead.
It is a pleasure to come across an authentically obscure word rather than madeupicals like “shoemit = vomit in your shoes.”
January 2, 2018
qms commented on the word adversaria
The world grows alarming and scarier;
How fight off impending hysteria?
You tame what you fear
And save what is dear
By penning in neat adversaria.
qms commented on the word qualtagh
The generous folk who speak Manx
Have swollen our lexical ranks.
Oh, let us exalt it
And welcome the qualtagh!
The new year begins with our thanks.
January 1, 2018
qms commented on the word perennity
Indulge in a cleansing obscenity
Then face the new year with serenity.
Despair put away!
You’ve aged but a day;
The changed date marks only perennity.
December 31, 2017
qms commented on the word anomie
He publicly calls for sweet amity
While counting a critic an enemy.
He widens each rift,
Unmoored and adrift
And tossed on the billows of anomie.
December 30, 2017
qms commented on the word kibosh
From Ben Zimmer’s review in the Wall Street Journal of the book Origins of Kibosh:
Mr. Little, a professor at Mississippi State University, was the first to suggest in a piece for Comments on Etymology that “kibosh” may derive from the word “kurbash,” a long whip used for punishment in parts of the Muslim world. It originally appeared in Arabic and Turkish, borrowed into French as “courbache” and into English as “kurbash” and other variant spellings.That theory received a big boost when Mr. Goranson, who works at the Duke University library, discovered a poem published in London as a broadside around 1830. The anonymous author uses the expression “put on the kibosh” and explains in the next line, “That is, if they was to introduce the lash.”
That theory received a big boost when Mr. Goranson, who works at the Duke University library, discovered a poem published in London as a broadside around 1830. The anonymous author uses the expression “put on the kibosh” and explains in the next line, “That is, if they was to introduce the lash.”
qms commented on the word dotation
Philanthropists make a vocation
Of bountiful funds’ allocation.
If fame’s the reward
It’s nothing untoward -
Small payment for lavish dotation.
December 29, 2017
qms commented on the word Alphonse and Gaston
December 28, 2017
qms commented on the word Alphonse-and-Gaston
The phrase "Alphonse-and-Gaston routine", or "Alphonse-Gaston Syndrome", indicates a situation wherein one party refuses to act until another party acts first... Also, the phrase has a specific meaning in baseball lingo: when two fielders allow a catchable ball to drop between them, it is known as “doing the Alphonse and Gaston.”
Alphonse and Gaston was an American comic strip by Frederick Burr Opper, featuring a bumbling pair of Frenchmen with a penchant for politeness.
qms commented on the word ecophobia
Ecophobia, let it be said
Won’t trouble a sensible head.
It’s madness abounding
To fear your surrounding;
An asinine instance of dread.
See gangerh’s comment of Jan. 12, 2013. If it makes sense it does not count. It is an exercise in irrelevancy. A bit redundant for the Wordnik Community page perhaps, but amusing nevertheless.
December 27, 2017
qms commented on the word arval
For mortals the visit is brief
And time a deceiver and thief,
And yet I must marvel
At assuaging arval.
The coronach tempers our grief.
qms commented on the word valiance
The captain’s brief health food dalliance
Provoked the old sea cook’s galley rants.
The oaths and the bitchin’
Just poured from that kitchen.
To enter there proved a tar’s valiance.
December 26, 2017
qms commented on the word geniture
In crèches that model the geniture
The infant is always the cynosure.
While Mary’s displayed
Poor Joe’s in the shade,
His fatherhood being a sinecure.
December 25, 2017
qms commented on the word cracknel
Per Ernest the story is factual,
That this is the source of our cracknel:
You blow up a swine;
The meat comes out fine –
The crunchy fat chunks are the shrapnel.
Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit
December 24, 2017
qms commented on the word repastination
Comedians in cold calculation
Know old jokes still cause cachinnation;
So spade up and sift
There’s many a gift
Unearthed in repastination.
December 23, 2017
qms commented on the word dormition
Reports of unwanted dormition
Might call for a thoughtful physician,
But if shadows creeping
Are deeper than sleeping
Then turn to your favorite mortician.
December 22, 2017
qms commented on the word obmutescence
Be quicker to pray than to preach,
More eager to learn than to teach;
For wisdom’s true essence
Can be obmutescence
And silence be deeper than speech.
December 21, 2017
qms commented on the word kapta
The elf lass enjoyed her hot Lapp cha
Kept warm by the jacket that wrapped her.
As Rudolph last Christmas
Is stew meat on this pass
His hide makes an elf a fine kapta.
December 20, 2017
qms commented on the word ignoration
The goblin prefers adulation
But settles for villification.
So praise or defame,
To him – much the same.
He simply can’t bear ignoration.
December 19, 2017
qms commented on the word anomalist
A comma before “and,” as some insist,
Should not be required in a comma list.
My faction is small
But still I stand tall
And proud to be called an anomalist.
December 18, 2017
qms commented on the word dorsiflexion
A rhymer sunk deep in dejection
May sometimes support an exception,
And if he should lack words
Will bend over backwards
In postures of pained dorsiflexion.
December 17, 2017
qms commented on the word nupson
Whence comes this alarming eruption
Of ravening public corruption?
Can voters in masses
Be consummate asses
And Everyman be a blunt nupson?
December 16, 2017
qms commented on the word lo que hace tu mascota
You’re telling us that when a Bogotan steps in dog shit he cries, “lo que hace tu mascota?” A remarkably placid people, those Bogotans. (Bogotenes? Bogotanos?)
BTW, the link seems to be a dud.
December 15, 2017
qms commented on the word periegesis
The writing and sale never ceases
Of guides and advice with the thesis
That travelers need
A docent to heed,
Else fail in their periegesis.
qms commented on the word jockteleg
Thank you, bilby.
Have you noticed that lately athletes and celebrities who are given praise will usually say that they are “humbled?” They can jog to the podium wearing an ear-to-ear grin, hoist the gaudy trophy and expand on how humbling the experience is. Of course, they are proud as peacocks, as they have a right to be, but they are unwilling to say so. I think that “humble” may be undergoing an inversion into its opposite. Just as “literally” has come to mean “figuratively,” I fear that “humble” will soon mean “proud.”
I am an old-fashioned bloke and happy to declare that I am literally proud to receive your praise.
December 14, 2017
The rough fellows draining the keg,
Though wasted, played mumblety peg.
It never would fail
That one would impale
A foot with a foul jockteleg.
qms commented on the word epanalepsis
Repeat till your poem’s replete
With hints of the joys indiscreet
Shall marry prolepsis
And endlessly loop and repeat.
December 13, 2017
qms commented on the word anonym
I knew an old fellow called Jim
Who told me it once was his whim
To take a new name
And make it a game
To live a few days anonym.
December 12, 2017
qms commented on the word renitency
A pause before action is hesitancy.
A trifling aversion is reticency,
But if the refusal
Is firmer than usual
Reluctance amounts to a renitency.
December 11, 2017
qms commented on the word peregrinity
Though “brotherhood” cites an affinity
Not literal consanguinity
I still find it cloying.
Most folk are annoying
And striking for stark peregrinity.
December 10, 2017
qms commented on the word noetic
In swaddling we’re merely zoetic.
At school we are coaxed to noetic,
And if we’re well taught
And deepen our thought
We gracefully age to poetic.
December 9, 2017
qms commented on the word annumerate
As outrages daily accumulate
The choices confuse and obnubilate:
To keep right on caring
Or join the despairing?
Which faction ought I to annumerate?
December 8, 2017
qms commented on the word dorlach
Those learned in mystical lore talk
Of wizard, bewitcher and warlock,
And philters and potions
To warp your emotions
Kept hidden down deep in a dorlach.
December 7, 2017
qms commented on the word fulgent
He is quite a self-effacing fellow, but I will confer with him.
December 6, 2017
Most people think Ernest a dull gent
Hi mom though is much more indulgent.
To her he’s aglow,
The star of the show,
A man who is modest yet fulgent.
qms commented on the word obnubilate
When Ernest and friends fully lubricate
Oh, how those staid scholars pursue debate!
A great deal is said
Though scant light is shed.
They digress and hap’ly obnubilate.
December 5, 2017
qms commented on the word idoneous
In hiring be never erroneous;
The new guy could turn out felonious,
So google his name
In search of ill fame
And pray that you find him idoneous.
December 4, 2017
qms commented on the word haverel
I reside in the city of Haverhill, Massachusetts. Lately I have been learning a lot about the origin of this name. A little over a week ago the Word of the Day was haverbread (see comments there), and today’s WotD, haverel, is a near homonym of the city name. The name of the city is pronounced in these parts as a two syllable word to rhyme with “cave thrill,” whereas the middle syllable in “haverel” gets some slight acknowledgment. I learned haver can mean oats/oatmeal or to talk foolishly. I have seen little of the former locally and find the latter no more abundant here than elsewhere. Of course, the American city is named after an English town. If anyone can testify to that town’s reputation for either oats or foolishness I would be glad to read it.
In these troubled times the braver will
Indulge in expressions most flavorful.
A colorful word
Is more likely heard
When discourse is noisy and haverel.
December 3, 2017
qms commented on the word gurglet
Most tropical places defeat
The parting of water and heat.
It’s simplest to purge it
By filling a gurglet
To make a sublimely cool treat.
December 2, 2017
qms commented on the word doomsman
Most of the usage examples supplied apply the word as a synonym for “executioner.” None of the aggregated dictionaries (nor the OED) extend the word to include this meaning.
December 1, 2017
To uncover truth and illumine
Is highest of gifts that are human,
But scoundrels like Trump
Will cry, “Kill the ump!”
In justified fear of the doomsman.
qms commented on the word mobocrat
He could be the fattest fat cat
And feeding his greed in plain fact.
The rabble aroused
By lies he’s espoused
Are played by a shrewd mobocrat.
November 30, 2017
qms commented on the word obeliscal
A stalactite drips in the night
Begetting a child that’s upright,
An offspring of crystal
To rise obeliscal,
In darkness a bright stalagmite.
November 29, 2017
qms commented on the word rakehelly
As Byron confessed to pal Shelley,
“Mysterious urges compel me.
I’m trying to be good
But forced to be always rakehelly.”
November 28, 2017
qms commented on the word obduration
Pigheadedness’ better relation
Is stubbornness raised up a station,
But reason defied
With obstinate pride
We dignify as obduration.
November 27, 2017
qms commented on the word numps
Find fervent apostles of Trump’s
In rustical family clumps.
I ask: Must a numps’ kin
Be always a bumpkin?
Can cousins in town not be numps?
November 26, 2017
qms commented on the word ideography
Old-timers used ASCII and coffe
Assembling slash and apostrophe.
Now digital fogies
They loathe mew emojis
As prefab unearned ideography.
November 25, 2017
qms commented on the word haverbread
For ages has crofter labor fed
The gentry who lay late abed.
They rise warm to eat
Fine dainties of wheat;
While cold crofters gnaw haverbread.
November 24, 2017
qms commented on the word gemmary
The fading of recall is cruel
So savor Thanksgiving and Yule
And keep them in memory
As though in a gemmary
For each is a luminous jewel.
November 23, 2017
qms commented on the word fragor
Eat lots of fruitcake and I’ll wager
The aftereffects will be major.
They’ll shortly erupt
Unplanned and abrupt
In a way that is doubly a fragor.
November 22, 2017
qms commented on the word nuncupative
The old man despised daughter Beth
So left her bereft at his death,
And even nuncupative
His will was vituperative,
To wound her with his dying breath.
November 21, 2017
qms commented on the word rafty
Though most people think he is daft he
Makes some think, “not crazy but crafty.”
I doubt it’s a feint
‘Cause clever he ain’t.
The man is authentically rafty.
November 20, 2017
qms commented on the word filature
The nurture of worms will procure
The thread for a cloth to thrill couture.
There’s truly no ilk
For elegant silk
That’s patiently wound ‘round a filature.
November 19, 2017
qms commented on the word glutist
I can think of another definition:
At naming of nates he’s astutist,
Assessing the fullest and cutest.
He calls them patoots
Or maximal glutes;
The man is a classical glutist.
November 18, 2017
qms commented on the word micher
The Judgement by Bosch is a picture
That study can always make richer
So look and beware
Of characters there,
The lustful, the glutton, the micher.
qms commented on the word telestich
A limerick’s perfectly fine
With rhymes at the end of the line,
But really the best trick
Would make it telestich,
A challenge I’ll gladly decline.
November 17, 2017
qms commented on the word cafila
We dream of a heaven afar
Viewing life as a long cafila,
So though we are weary,
The way slow and dreary,
We trudge toward a bright Shangri-la.
November 16, 2017
qms commented on the word ice-blink
After months in the arctic I think
My friends will recoil from my stink
And read in my stare
The stain of that glare,
The infamous mad’ning ice-blink.
November 15, 2017
qms commented on the word hastilude
Old Camelot’s typical habitude
Promoted a genial placitude.
Their war was all talk
And battles were mock,
Replcaed by fine costume and haslitude.
November 14, 2017
qms commented on the word gelid
She got a surprise, dead Nell did;
She learned of a secret that hell hid:
It’s no fiery bed
But what you most dread.
For warmth-loving Nell it is gelid.
November 13, 2017
qms commented on the word foy
Oh, pity the smart Scottish boy
Departing to take new employ:
His future is bright
But farewells a blight,
For he bears the cost of his foy.
November 12, 2017
qms commented on the word yonies
See yoni and blush.
November 11, 2017
qms commented on the word asemia
Some brains are essentially blind
To statements of figurative kind.
To say that asemia
Is mental anemia
Would baffle the literal mind.
qms commented on the word tenebrose
Though seldom are ladies and men verbose
On subjects so private and tenebrose:
Know obstinate movement
Is coaxed to improvement
By silently sipping a senna dose.
November 10, 2017
qms commented on the word lamback
Stunt artists must practice the sham smack
To make it look real - not a ham whack,
And mime with precision
The fist/face collision,
Persuasively faking a lamback.
November 9, 2017
qms commented on the word rosarian
Sub-rosa assassins and spies
Must find a non-threatening guise -
A helpful Rotarian
Or harmless rosarian -
To lead astray curious eyes.
November 8, 2017
qms commented on the word phyllomania
The best pie in all Ruritania
Is layers of dough plus extranea!
The thinner you roll it
The more I’ll extol it,
Admitting to deep phyllomania.
November 7, 2017
qms commented on the word muscadin
Some men consider it just a sin
To risk disarray from a gust of wind,
So scarf and a cap
The delicate plumes of the muscadin.
November 6, 2017
qms commented on the word disworship
Admire his entrepeneurship;
Applaud his keen connoisseurship!
He’s captured his prize
With well-crafted lies
And crowned himself king of disworship.
November 5, 2017
qms commented on the word splendent
He once strutted proud and ascendant
In glittering orange quite splendent.
I’m sure he’ll look cute
In a tangerine suit,
The mark of the shackled defendant.
November 4, 2017
qms commented on the word lalophobia
A lalophobia sufferer’s weak
At tasks that require he speak,
But he can do fine
With gesture and sign
So miming’s the work he should seek.
November 3, 2017
qms commented on the word fremescence
A murmur unnoticed before
Now hubbub that’s hard to ignore.
A growing fremescence,
A kind of tumescence,
That swells to a mighty uproar.
November 2, 2017
qms commented on the word aseity
It seems that an authentic deity
Should get what he wants with velleity,
Unless it transpire
That gods don’t desire
‘Cause wanting conflicts with aseity.
November 1, 2017
qms commented on the word gyre-carline
October 31, 2017
qms commented on the word gyre-carlin
Variously spelled: gyre-carline, gyre-carling, gyir-carling, gyre-carling, gy-carling, gay-carlin.
Each dragon that’s fiercely fire-snarlin’
Or toddlin’ ghoulish dire darlin’
We may think adorable
And cutely mock-horrible
But dread the approaching gyre-carlin.
qms commented on the word mungy
Buy tripe that is bright white and spongey
Then braise it with onions and fungi
And leave it to simmer
Till pallor grows dimmer
And all is deliciously mungy.
October 30, 2017
qms commented on the word graip
Some pols’ tool of choice is their wit
For others faux bio’s more fit,
But fibbing and jape
Can’t match a good graip
When Donald starts pitching his shit.
October 29, 2017
qms commented on the word menology
Discernment was not her best quality
So Sheila was flustered and all at sea:
“The man I want ain’t
Some fuckin’ Greek saint.
That’s not why I’m takin’ menology!”
October 28, 2017
qms commented on the word prolocutor
By right he’s his party’s prolocutor
By nature a cheesy provocateur.
What little makes sense
Still gives great offense.
By God, the guy only can talk ordure!
October 27, 2017
qms commented on the word younker
The boys at the bar slump and hunker
And lie as they get ever drunker.
Truth little avails
To tame their tall tales
Of conquests each made as a younker.
October 26, 2017
qms commented on the word marcassin
The hunter’s a kind of assassin
Whose keen eye will fatally fasten
On sanglier young
Who, killed, are then flung
In pots for a meal of marcassin.
October 25, 2017
qms commented on the word proem
They say that you can’t write a poem.
So set yourself down and you show ‘em!
Give ‘em rhythm and rhyme
And make it sublime,
With epilogue, footnotes and proem.
October 24, 2017
qms commented on the word alevin
The raids are increasingly bold,
Now salmon are traded for gold.
Oh, where is the paladin
Who’ll rescue our alevin
Before their breeding ground’s sold?
October 23, 2017
qms commented on the word encenia
In Oxbridge they boast of their past
But plain speech would leave dons aghast,
So high academia
Will call it encenia
To hide that they’re having a blast.
October 22, 2017
qms commented on the word tithe-pig
For boys in the gentry of yore
Birth order told what was in store.
The first won the prize gig,
The last was the tithe-pig,
To serve in the church evermore.
October 21, 2017
qms commented on the word dismission
Our rights he erodes by attrition
And justice withholds by omission.
Our gov is gazumped
Or, worse yet, it’s Trumped,
Unless we achieve a dismission.
October 20, 2017
qms commented on the word antonomasia
Australians display an odd trait
Addressing the lowly or great:
Call it aphasia
But blokes of all kinds are called “mate.”
October 19, 2017
qms commented on the word balagan
The prescriptivist fights, and he shall again,
Against the descriptivist’s balagan.
He’ll rage and defame
In the conference game
But ‘tweentimes he’ll make him a pal again.
October 18, 2017
qms commented on the word dizain
In Mass. we will drop the last “R”
Though some find the custom bizarre,
But see bilby’s rhyme
Those same would call crime!
The Aussies are bolder by far!
October 17, 2017
qms commented on the word probabilist
Though pains of the past still endure
What oracle forecasts a cure?
For that job enlist
A probabalist -
Mistrust any sage who’s too sure.
qms commented on the word catallactics
They honor Ayn Rand and von Mises
So know naught of judgment in crisis.
In true catallactics
The salient fact is
Invariant truth fits all sizes.
October 16, 2017
My couple has started this train
Then bilby and I swapped disdain.
A moiety’s done
When I finish this one.
Can we call it a demi-dizain?
My fragile contentment was fleeting,
Now marred by Tasmanian bleating.
How comes he so hostile
To OED gospel?
In Oz does good sense stand for cheating?
October 15, 2017
bilby has shrewdly discerned my reason for preferring the OED definition. In an emergency I invite the reader to repeat my contribution nine more times.
A dutiful rhymer must strive
To keep dying verse forms alive.
The limerick style
Succeeds in its trial
So long as its lines number five.
With negligible metrical strain
Are limericks linked in a chain;
The reader’s not troubled
By limericks doubled
To make a neglected dizain.
As defined by the OED: A poem or stanza of ten lines.
qms commented on the word virgate
Old measures make palates alert
At feasts for surveyors of dirt.
They’ll fill up a plate
With hides and virgate
And caruscate cake for desert.
October 14, 2017
qms commented on the word whirlblast
To every question the girl asked
His answer unheard would hurl past.
She realized speed dating
Is no way of mating
And felt like a ship in a whirlblast.
October 13, 2017
qms commented on the word astrobleme
Alas, there’s no foe to be blamed,
No noble defense to be claimed.
A player defaced
By a solo misplaced
Abjectly admits he’s self-maimed.
qms commented on the word pettifogger
A fellow I know is a blogger,
An alt-right conspiracy flogger.
No absence of facts
Or motive distracts
From work of a true pettifogger.
October 12, 2017
The Irish, my ancestral race,
Play ball at a furious pace.
They kick and they dribble
But, sure, there’s no quibble -
You don’t catch the ball with your face.
October 11, 2017
qms commented on the word cantillation
Good Juliet, a nursing sensation,
Would burst into sweet cantillation.
Her unbidden trilling
Made illness less chilling
And filled me with warm consolation.
qms commented on the word feodary
In Tudor days only few could be
A fat and contented feodary.
The rich orphan scam
(A pious old sham)
Enabled enrichment quite duty-free.
October 10, 2017
The OED provides the following definitions:
1. a. One who holds lands of an overlord on condition of homage and service; a feudal tenant, a vassal.
b. A subject, dependant, retainer, servant.
2. An officer of the ancient Court of Wards.
3. A confederate.
The Collins Dictionary reports that it is “a variant spelling of feudary. ” Pronunciation guidance confirms “feud” as the first syllable.
qms commented on the word euripus
Rhetorical tempests do blight us
And tweet blasts asudden affright us.
The ship of state drifts,
It plunges and lifts
And shakes in the jaws of euripus.
October 9, 2017
qms commented on the word amain
The lexical drudge must explain
And make every mystery plain.
The job is to teach
The details of speech
And spew forth examples amain.
October 8, 2017
qms commented on the word chidester
The new bride needs counsel to guide her
But finds it too often denied her.
The groom's jealous dam
Makes family a sham,
And glories in being a chidester.
October 7, 2017
qms commented on the word tantivy
Fox hunters preparing to go
Hear brazen horns wavering blow,
But first a tantivy
En masse to the privy
Then mount with a brave tallyho!
October 6, 2017
qms commented on the word ancientism
A door lock's a frail mechanism
And ours is an archaic system,
But she sees great glory in
So safety defers to ancientism.
October 5, 2017
qms commented on the word malversation
The stories appall the whole nation.
The villains outrage in rotation.
True, winners take spoils,
But conscience recoils
At boldness of such malversation.
October 4, 2017
qms commented on the word wanchancy
Though some think it clever and fancy
I call it profane necromancy
To exhume in job lots
These mouldering Scots
Like kippage and forlorn wanchancy.
October 3, 2017
qms commented on the word tumultuary
A transplant is tricky. Results may vary.
A heart that once beat in a voluptuary
May later be placed
In one meek and chaste
And render a future tumultuary.
October 2, 2017
qms commented on the word neuroethics
I'm following you this time. It's obvious that psst is an initialism for "pun surreptitiously secreted in text."
October 1, 2017
It took me overnight, but when I awoke this morning I finally saw the pun buried deep in bilby's comment: "new Rolexes" - I think? In mysterious ways works that mind.
qms commented on the word clapperclaw
When Gossip begins to flap her jaw
The carrion crones will snap and caw
And this will incite
A backbiting blight,
An orgy of spite and clapperclaw.
I ponder the retro reflexes
Of Britain's entrenched eurosceptics:
Can doctors retrain
The xenophobe brain
Within bounds of strict neuroethics?
September 30, 2017
qms commented on the word mishanter
A leader should be an enchanter
And not a coarse bullying ranter.
How comes it about
We're led by a lout?
Is it earned or a random mishanter?
September 29, 2017
qms commented on the word piacular
What blossoms in floral vernacular
Are abject, albeit spectacular?
What bouquet subsumes
In penitent blooms
Devotion while being piacular?
September 28, 2017
qms commented on the word according to Hoyle
Edmond Hoyle (1672 – 29 August 1769 was a writer best known for his works on the rules and play of card games. The phrase "according to Hoyle" came into the language as a reflection of his generally perceived authority on the subject; since that time, use of the phrase has expanded into general use in situations in which a speaker wishes to indicate an appeal to a putative authority.
September 27, 2017
qms commented on the word garboil
Debating, according to Hoyle,
Exemplifies cool reason's toil.
But reason is scant
In goblinesque rant;
It's heated and hate-fueled garboil.
qms commented on the word obelus
Thank you, kind ruzuzu.
September 26, 2017
The task of the editing tribe
Is chiding the indifferent scribe
With signs not too obvious,
Discreet, like the obelus,
That seem more a hint than a jibe.
qms commented on the word criminous
Vulgarity fits, that's de minimis,
But let's not be bashful or timorous:
Each twitter enlarges
The bill of our charges -
The goblin and crew I call criminous.
September 25, 2017
qms commented on the word verein
A German-speaking friend writes to tell me that I got the pronunciation of verein wrong, so here is another limerick to cover the bases.
When cat and companion combine
In union humano-feline
I'm quite at a loss
To know who's the boss.
It must be a working verein.
September 24, 2017
qms commented on the word inveterate
A rhymer should be fairly literate
And rewriting must be inveterate
To polish and shine
And tune every line
Until the damned verses are better writ.
Surveying the legal terrain
For linkage that will not enchain,
Suppress your keen urge
To partner or merge
And choose a less binding verein.
September 23, 2017
qms commented on the word Epitomize
September 22, 2017
qms commented on the word facinorous
A nation thought noble and generous
Looks threatening now and sinistrous.
When governed by fear
It's bound to appear
No beacon of hope but facinorous.
qms commented on the word mizmaze
The farmer must fill up his days
In trimming his crop so it pays.
Folks stray in their walks
Through maize in its stalks
Enjoying the autumn mizmaze.
September 21, 2017
qms commented on the word kippage
A flea circus's basic equipage
Is prone to some natural slippage,
So dogs are kept by
To replenish supply
And muster the minimum kippage.
September 20, 2017
qms commented on the word casuistry
Pale daybreak reveals a new mystery -
Will ever we know the true history?
The drinker's evasions
On wounds and abrasions
Amuse but are clear casuistry.
September 19, 2017
qms commented on the word minarchism
Philosophers pursuing wisdom
Are always at risk of simplism.
Each elegant plan
Will least govern man
Achieving unique minarchism.
September 18, 2017
qms commented on the word physiocrat
Though long past her mouse-catching day
She thinks current comforts her pay.
This dizzy old cat
Is a physiocrat,
Convinced this is nature's true way.
qms commented on the word agitprop
In waiting rooms outside the docs'
The tv persistently squawks.
Oh, please make it stop!
It's crude agitprop -
That 'news' they distribute at Fox!
September 17, 2017
qms commented on the word equipoise
A wise soul takes pause and enjoys
The balance of duties and joys.
When harsh day is done
Yet night not begun
He savors the brief equipoise.
September 16, 2017
qms commented on the word objurgatory
Old Dante told so lurid a story
Of suffering down in purgatory
To make a good case
That divine distaste
Is stronger than objurgatory.
September 15, 2017
qms commented on the word Patrimoney
qms commented on the word latitudinarian
To some he's a bad grammarian,
To others a mad contrarian,
But Ernest prefers
He's truly a latitudinarian.
September 14, 2017
qms commented on the word fulminate
On such things do they ruminate in Oz.
From far and near hear them all ululate
As grievances endlessly pullulate.
The deeds that offend
They cannot amend
But, oh, are they able to fulminate!
September 12, 2017
qms commented on the word heterocosm
The power of wishing is awesome
For dreaming can solve ills or cause 'em
Select your wish well
You may have to dwell
Within your own heterocosm.
September 11, 2017
qms commented on the word losel
His phony compassionate pose'll
Be seen as a feeble proposal,
The work of a loser,
A clumsy fake newser,
A "leader" who's only a losel.
September 10, 2017
qms commented on the word cenoby
To lustful dyspeptic King Henery
Contemplative types were the enemy,
So monks and their abbots
Were chased out like rabbits
And torches were put to each cenoby.
September 9, 2017
qms commented on the word pauciloquy
Use language with careful facility.
Let silence project as humility.
Some, when laconic,
Seem downright moronic,
The artful are praised for pauciloquy.
September 8, 2017
qms commented on the word odd-come-shortly
The busker has trodden in motley
And crowds have applauded him hotly,
So nurtured his claim
To fortune and fame
Arriving, he's sure, odd-come-shortly.
September 7, 2017
qms commented on the word nocuous
The man seemed a comical crock to us,
But Trumpland turned out to be populous.
The boastful jamoke
No longer's a joke -
The goblin has won and he's nocuous.
September 6, 2017
qms commented on the word mopeful
My tossing and turning has ceased -
The sun has arrived in the East.
In darkness I'm mopeful
But dawn makes me hopeful
I'll grind out a couplet at least.
September 5, 2017
qms commented on the word longinquity
The romantic cities of mystery
Arise by shores of distant sea.
Remotest on earth
They tell me is Perth,
Excelling in terms of longinquity.
September 4, 2017
qms commented on the word corvee
The audio buttons on Word entry pages have never worked on my iPad, although they do sometimes work on my pc. I should have checked the OED, which includes the accent aigu. I see now that Wordnik does have an entry for corvée as well. Picky, picky. I wonder what the word sounds like in strine?
Your teen will account you a jerk
If you should oblige him to work.
He'll face with dismay
His domestic corvee.
It's deep in his nature to shirk.
qms commented on the word parergon
Officials who use inside dope
May slither the slippery slope:
Abuse and perversion
Or simply parergon
To help a poor senator cope?
September 3, 2017
He will resent sorely
September 2, 2017
qms commented on the word opuscule
When light fades to dim crepuscule
Take heart in a new opuscule.
A limerick writ
Means brains that are fit,
That time's not yet claimed a new fool.
September 1, 2017
qms commented on the word lysimeter
To know if the land's right for grain
Assess what the crops can attain.
If rainfall's the limiter
Then build a lysimeter
To see what the soil will retain.
August 31, 2017
qms commented on the word balize
It sways with the swells and the breeze
Where rivers flow in to the seas,
The seafarer's token
The long journey's broken,
The weathered but welcome balize.
August 30, 2017
qms commented on the word pasticcio
My lettuce and spinach so leafy grow
I plucked 'em along with radicchio.
With oniony zest
And casually dressed
They make an inviting pasticcio.
August 29, 2017
qms commented on the word anaglyph
When this age is done (and God speed!)
What monument fits Donald's deed?
A faint anaglyph
Carved in some cliff
In lowest relief fills the need.
August 28, 2017
qms commented on the word humstrum
I face a confounding conundrum:
On alternate days I become dumb.
My lyre is unstrung,
The songs I'd have sung
Are sunk in cacophonous humstrum.
August 27, 2017
qms commented on the word cenotaph
Memorializing lost friends
The clamor of laughter ascends:
Let drinks that we quaff
Be their cenotaph.
Fond recall's a marker that mends.
August 26, 2017
qms commented on the word bahut
The restless afflicted with stray foot
Are never persuaded to stay put.
Their home is a plane,
A tour boat or train,
Their worldly goods packed in a bahut.
August 25, 2017
qms commented on the word galuchat
I knew a most privileged cat.
The throne where this prodigy sat
Was lavishly built
With silver and gilt,
Upholstered in rare galuchat.
August 24, 2017
qms commented on the word dabster
See another version of the back-handed compliment in comments at facetely.
August 23, 2017
qms commented on the word facetely
How praise when the show fails completely?
Why, smiling, just comment discreetly,
"You've never been better!"
It's true to the letter
And solves your dilemma facetely.
See another solution to this problem in comments at dabster.
qms commented on the word cecity
The peace of the house may require
A deaf ear to what could transpire.
A prudent necessity
Is selective cecity -
To act the benevolent liar.
August 22, 2017
qms commented on the word azurn
Thank you, bilby.
With passage of years we should learn
That night's not the time for concern.
Lay worries aside
For they will abide
And await when the sky turns azurn.
August 21, 2017
qms commented on the word linctus
A skunk came last night and he stinked us.
I count this event a distinct plus:
There's little that's minus
In clearing the sinus
And giving the throat a swift linctus.
August 20, 2017
qms commented on the list a-dram-too-many
Is there a reason that toped (see 11/1/2016 below) is unacceptable?
August 19, 2017
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