qms commented on the word tufthunter
Their scorn could hardly be blunter
But insults or slights don’t affront her.
In rock she’s a “roadie,”
More generally - “toady,”
And formerly known as tufthunter.
Michael Quinion has an excellent discussion of this word at
April 25, 2018
qms commented on the word bibliopolist
The pages of books can offer this:
A personal mental Acropolis,
A temple and shrine
That’s uniquely mine
Whose priest is the old bibliopolist.
April 24, 2018
qms commented on the word vowess
They prayed, “May the Good Lord endow us
With a novice of kitchen skill prowess.”
He answered their plea
With well-fed Marie,
The convent’s most welcome new vowess.
April 23, 2018
qms commented on the word flexuosity
A contortionist hailing from Ossipee
Won fame as a great curiosity.
From this we may know
How far you can go
With hard work and sheer flexuosity.
April 22, 2018
qms commented on the word groupuscule
Poor Bobby had thought it super cool
To start up a geeky troop at school.
Since scarcely a nerd
Is drawn to a herd
He rounded up only a groupuscule.
April 21, 2018
qms commented on the word quandary
I can find no adjectival version of quandary. To my surprise the OED reports that it can be used as a verb in the passive voice and supplies examples such as, “2007 www.rolandmc.com 23 Feb. (O.E.D. Archives) I'm seriously quandaried by the need to create and choose a MySpace name.”
April 20, 2018
qms commented on the word vegan
Oh, dear! Is this a bad sign for vegans?
qms commented on the word tinchel
According to common report
In Scotland the hunters consort
To stalk with a wrinkle
By forming a tinchel
But still call the killing a sport.
qms commented on the word so long
Dammit, bilby, I knew you were going to want more info since I know you speak Bahasa Malayu or its Indonesian cousin. The Malay origin was the first I found but now I cannot locate the specific source I used. I have found other sources that suggest the Arabic “ma’salaam” became the Malay “salang” and that British soldiers and sailors serving in Malaya in the 19th Century brought it home as “so long.”
Now I’m going to be awake all night looking for that damned first google hit.
April 19, 2018
The origins of “so long” are in fact mysterious. It’ suggested origins have been placed in Irish (slán), German (adieu so lange), Hebrew (shalom), Arabic (salaam). Also Malay, Norwegian and Swedish origins have been posited. An early appearance in print was in the poetry of Walt Whitman who reported that it was a common salutation among soldiers and sailors.
and in many other places.
qms commented on the word haemony
That beverage that formerly seemed to me
An ordinary serving of steaming tea
Was nothing prosaic
But apotropaic -
A cup of mysterious haemony.
qms commented on the word supernova
Really? I’m always hearing people say, “I’m going to supernova my erupt.” Maybe it’s different in Tasmania.
April 18, 2018
qms commented on the word sunbow
There’s nonsense and much mumbo-jumbo
In this, our linguistical gumbo:
In absence of rain,
The pedants explain,
You must call a rainbow a sunbow.
qms commented on the word tummler
He dances, who once was a stumbler.
She sings, who once was a mumbler.
The shy and unsure
Find solace and cure
Emboldened by wine and the tummler.
April 17, 2018
qms commented on the word weem
Though life in a burrow may seem
A low and impoverished scheme
Some in a snooty vein
Call it a souterrain,
But all of us know it’s a weem.
April 16, 2018
qms commented on the word chlamydia
A swagman once pined for his Lydia
Then met a koala much prettier.
Their meeting was pleasant
So he left a present,
Now all of her tribe has chlamydia.
April 15, 2018
The obvious question is, “Who has been screwing the koalas?” There is nothing those Aussies won’t stoop to. Next it’ll be the quokkas. Or (gasp!) bilbies!
qms commented on the word tutiorism
Recusants grown weary of dreading
And cautious confessional treading
As mere tutiorism
When faced with the threat of beheading.
qms commented on the word bayadere
Already a famed bayardere
Mata Hari began a career
Of laying and lying
And diligent spying,
A true multi-task pioneer.
April 14, 2018
qms commented on the word vulpicide
The woes of the gentry are multiplied;
And country house pastimes are stultified.
Laws new and obnoxious
Protect the damn foxes,
And limit the pleasures of vulpicide.
April 13, 2018
qms commented on the word ylem
Yes indeed, folks. The kettle is at a simmer and I am trying to keep the lid on. If anyone else would care to set this simpleton straight I would be happy for the help.
April 12, 2018
qms commented on the word forgott
qms commented on the word vending machine
And, in an early precedent for the tv preacher/pitch man, each machine bore the onscription,
Oh, sinner you need what I vend!
Those talents you foolishly spend
If spent here with me
Will set your soul free
To find the true way and amend!
qms commented on the word schollard
The pompous word tyrant’s been collared.
In shame and confusion he hollered,
‘Oh, give me reprieve
And I’ll give you leave
To tolerate riff-raff like ‘schollard!’”
qms commented on the word workfellow
Big Joe’s normal tone is a bellow;
He shakes down the leaves with his “Hello!”
His workplace is shared
By the hearing impaired
Who think him a perfect workfellow.
Before there was genus and phylum
Or God made adamic asylum,
Before night and day
Or man went astray,
Preceding it all was the ylem.
April 11, 2018
qms commented on the word daeva
My dreams are torn by incursion
Of hauntings in many a version.
Tonight’s chilling flavor
Was barking mad daeva,
A taunting malevolent Persian.
April 10, 2018
qms commented on the word thible
The Scot and the British cook quibble
‘bout tools used for stirring their nibble:
The Scotsman will hurtle
To call it a spurtle,
The Briton steadfastly says thible.
April 9, 2018
qms commented on the word phizog
The old salt sits down with his dog
And shares out his bread and his grog.
They’re birds of a feather
And, so long together,
Alike in their tastes and phisog.
April 8, 2018
qms commented on the word gowpen
The soda bread recipe lists
Ingredients in gowpens and fists.
So would you know how then
To shape your own gowpen
With palms that are joined at the wrists?
April 7, 2018
qms commented on the word claustrophilia
The Donald thinks walls give protection
From human or import infection.
But what could be sillier
Than this claustrophilia
And love of such rigid erection?
April 6, 2018
qms commented on the word fouter
In morals he’s perfectly neuter,
Self interest uniquely his tutor.
Should sanctity buy us
He’s publicly pious,
In private an unabashed fouter.
April 5, 2018
qms commented on the word bimble
The critic is mentally nimble,
Uncovering subtext and symbol,
But given the chance
Reads tales of romance -
A thinking man’s indolent bimble.
April 4, 2018
qms commented on the word inscape
Inscape and instress are complementary concepts about individuality and uniqueness derived by Gerard Manley Hopkins from the ideas of the medieval philosopher Duns Scotus.
April 3, 2018
qms commented on the word instress
qms commented on the word drey
He raids the bird feeder all day
And drives all the songbirds away;
Then, trading his swagger
For a corpulent stagger,
He ponderously climbs to his drey.
qms commented on the word Catherine Wheel
See Catherine wheel.
qms commented on the word above par
Less pleasant than madmouth conceives,
For Bertie disrupts and upheaves.
For life that is stable
He should, if he’s able,
Obtain his narration from Jeeves.
April 2, 2018
qms commented on the word cagoule
No storm makes a proud Frenchman snool
No matter how windy and cruel.
Courage, mon ami!
With Gallic esprit
Look cool in your boots and cagoule!
qms commented on the list a-dram-too-many
I came across a list of Wodehousian words for drunk. Many are already in this list but the following are not: above par, rotten, groggy, ossified, tanked, illuminated, lit up like a Christmas tree, woozled.
April 1, 2018
Per Bertie Wooster - drunk.
qms commented on the word scenographic
Prepare your victorious maffick
With every theatrical tactic,
With lights and balloons
And boisterous tunes
And all of the arts scenographic.
qms commented on the word promptuary
Terrain and the temperatures vary
Explorers, though, knew what to carry.
A well-equipped chap
Expanding the map
Kept booze in the long promptuary.
March 31, 2018
qms commented on the word grumous
Our appetites finally doom us;
Our blood becomes fatty and grumous.
The lesson thus learned
Is painfully earned
And wisdom is sadly posthumous.
March 30, 2018
qms commented on the word stuggy
His friends ‘round his coffin all joked
How much Froggy ate, drank and smoked.
So squat and so stuggy
Yet gleefully buggy,
But none were surprised when he croaked.
March 29, 2018
qms commented on the word feculent
Though most think them tasteless and petulant
His fans find his tweets are quite esculent
They dine with delight
On venom and spite
And prize the most bitter and feculent.
March 28, 2018
qms commented on the word bort
A gem in the rough by report,
Was Ernest at Doubleday’s sport.
His diamond exploit
Though grew less adroit
And Ernest’s career was a bort.
Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit
March 27, 2018
qms commented on the word noema
Prof. Husserl directs your attention
To quite a confounding invention.
He calls it noema,
A psychic edema
Inflating an act of intention.
March 26, 2018
qms commented on the word complimentarize
Dear bilby, you must have a heart!
I will, for a friend, do my part.
No matter how swollen
I’ll tighten my colon
And stifle the streperous fart.
March 25, 2018
qms commented on the word merism
I’ve stalked them from dusk until dawn
With middling success off and on:
Some words to share rhythm
And shape a merism;
I’ve hunted them hither and yon.
Or, ‘O faithless kin, my nemesis!’
March 24, 2018
Could be misinterpreted as ‘our farts keep mornings noisy.’
qms commented on the word battology
The Donald is best, he repeats,
The best in his mind and his feats.
To sift his battology
At best is scatology
Best sent to the pit of deceits.
Courage, bilby! We’ve still got complimentarization, and complimentarizability to go.
qms commented on the word debitage
The sound of persistent sharp tapping
Provoke us to know what is happening
Flint flakes and a severed edge,
The litter of debitage,
Are signs a boy scout’s been caught knapping.
March 23, 2018
qms commented on the word technetronic
Your typical nerd’s not ironic
And rarely a geek is sardonic.
The bytes and the bits
Please literal wits
That coin horrors like technotronic.
March 22, 2018
qms commented on the word calvity
His scalp has been twice overhauled
But Donald insists he’s not bald.
If such simple calvity
Were solely his malady
The world would be far less appalled.
March 21, 2018
qms commented on the word pericope
Now isn’t that bilby a nuisance. I do thank him, though I would represent the pronunciation as purr-RICK-a-pee.
The audio pronunciations never seem to work on my iPad, where most composition gets done. I will be more wary in future.
There once was a preacher in Chicopee
Beset by severe insipidity.
On Sundays he normally
Abandoned his homily
And served up a meal of pericope.
Theologians tell us there’s hope
Of limiting vile error’s scope.
The good can endure
With hearts that are pure
And doses of strong pericope.
This limerick left in place like a miscreant rotting on the gallows. Beware, ye hasty! (See above.)
March 20, 2018
qms commented on the word tit
There’s many a callow young wit
Who,watching one flutter and flit,
Has spread titillation
And naughty elation
Announcing his love of a tit.
I find crapulentus and comato-crapulose in the list but not crapulent, which is more common.
March 19, 2018
qms commented on the word oyabun
He laughs at a bright toy balloon,
And babbles a light joyous tune.
So ends the adventure
In childish dementia
Of him who had been oyabun.
qms commented on the word cranreuch
How spooky the look the scene took -
As eerie as woodland can look.
Damp came to emblanch
The trees, trunk and branch,
And paint the bare copse in cranreuch.
March 18, 2018
qms commented on the word thraward
Natasha sounds good to me. This could be the Rocky and Bullwinkle effect.
I’ve had some more thoughts on iconic names. I have been trying to think of women’s names that have the same uniquely identifying value as men’s names and I am having trouble. ‘Ivan’ can mean a generic Russian man but can ‘Svetlana’ mean a generic Russian woman or is it just the name of a specific Russian woman? If I tell a joke featuring ‘Pierre,’ ‘Alphonse,’ or ‘Gaston’ you now that he is a French stereotype but I don’t think the same is true of ‘Francoise’ or ‘Marianne,’ even though this last is an official symbol of the French nation.
Is this an artifact of historic male supremacy or do women’s names just better permeate national boundaries? I know the Aussies have adopted the Irish ‘Sile’ (after demoting the initial uppercase letter) as ‘sheila,’ to mean a young woman. Is this still current? I don’t think it is used to mean a specifically Australian woman. I will be happy to be corrected in this assumption and enlightened by examples of nationally iconic women’s names.
March 17, 2018
qms commented on the word titchy
When Celia was angry with Richie
Her vengeance was cleverly bitchy:
She’d cook favorite dishes
But (this part is vicious)
The portions, though tasty, were titchy.
Yes! I had forgotten about Jock. I have used that before when a single syllable would do. Hamish is very good too. I will file that one away. Since Erin McKean has such an abiding fondness for Scottish utterance I need to have some on the shelf.
My friend Roo writes to tell me of the Aussie habit of addressing redheaded men as Bluey. I suppose this is akin to the custom of calling bald men Curly or large men Tiny. Is there a handy word or phrase for this convention?
I have used ‘Sandy’ as a generic name for a Scotsman. A quick google search confirms that it has been so employed before. It is used in Caledonia as a diminutive of ‘Alexander’ and possibly some other more formal names. I used to use ‘Angus’ for this but now I have a grandnephew by that name so it feels awkward to attribute opinions, behaviors or attitudes to Angus.
I can use ‘Ivan’ and all would recognize that I mean ‘a Russian,’ or ‘Guido’ and a generalized Italian would be understood. What might be some other generic names? Many years ago I resided in the Philippines and learned that the locals were happy to address all Americans as ‘Joe.’
I have a correspondent in Perth who signs himself ‘Roo.’ There is a notorious Tasmanian who uses the handle ‘bilby.’ Is there a generic moniker for marsupials that we could apply to all Australians?
The Scots are said to be froward
But Sandy asserts it’s a foul word.
It’s Sassenach sport
A Scotsman can thwart
Insisting it ought to be thraward.
Note: The OED identifies this as a Scottish variation of ‘froward.’
March 16, 2018
qms commented on the word sapor
In France I once ate salami
That whelmed me like a tsunami.
I pray for an encore
Of that rarest sapor,
The deepest and finest umami.
March 15, 2018
qms commented on the word quinzhee
A hogan’s a nice house for two.
A teepee or wigwam might do,
But when cold and windy
You need a dry quinzhee
Or else find a vacant igloo.
March 14, 2018
qms commented on the word clinquant
Ludmila’s taste lapses are frequent,
Her judgment amiss or delinquent.
For drama’s effect
She’s tinsel bedecked
And enters all slinkily clinquant.
March 13, 2018
qms commented on the word pishogue
The old gent’s a bit of a rogue
And knows that the occult’s in vogue,
So ply him with toasts
And he’ll talk of ghosts,
Or fairies and such rich pishogue.
As in all of the supplied usage examples, and contrary to the formal definitions, the word is used dismissively to mean superstitious nonsense.
March 12, 2018
qms commented on the word neuston
Now Big Oil’s determined to drill
In waters that can’t risk a spill
The poison is loosed on
The delicate neustron
To suffocate, wither and kill.
March 11, 2018
qms commented on the word paraselene
Illusions might come from Fellini
Or wonders from work of a genie,
And in right condition
The moon’s a magician,
As witness the paraselene.
March 10, 2018
qms commented on the word cicisbeism
Pronounced chich-iss-BEE-ism. It could serve as an onomatopoetic word for a sneeze.
The definition calls for some background:
cicisbeo – n. In Italy, since the seventeenth century, the name given to a professed gallant and attendant of a married woman; one who dangles about women.
dangle – To hang loosely; be suspended so as to be swayed be the wind or any slight force.
Hence To dance attendance; hover longingly or importunately, as for notice or favors: used of persons, with about or after: as, to dangle about a woman; to dangle after a great man.
In Italy all’s in a tangle
As gallantry’s got a new angle.
It makes a wee schism
As men become objects of dangle.
March 9, 2018
qms commented on the word spindrift
At Kittyhawk the brothers Wright
Imagined a man in a kite
And welcomed the spindrift
Portending the wind lift
The day of the very first flight.
March 8, 2018
qms commented on the word limpsy
Though Donald is notably blimpy
Wee Donny is oftentimes skimpy
And needs a small hand
To firm up his stand
And cease being puny and limpsy.
March 7, 2018
qms commented on the word herm
The prudish among us may squirm
But scholars and aesthetes confirm:
The carver of stone adds
Some prominent gonads
As tokens of luck on each herm.
March 6, 2018
qms commented on the word deave
A marketer strives to achieve
A story that people believe.
If still they aren’t buying
Despite earnest trying
He’ll crank up the volume and deave.
March 5, 2018
qms commented on the word lunt
Now smoking’s become an affront
My pipe is a prop and a stunt
I clench and caress it
And (dare I confess it?)
Pretend I can still puff a lunt.
March 4, 2018
qms commented on the word sonsy
There was a bold fellow from Swansea
Who went by the moniker Chauncy.
He liked beer and cheese
And a smotherinq squeeze
With ladies good-natured and sonsy.
March 3, 2018
qms commented on the word misology
He studied old tales and idolatry
But, blameless, he’s charged with misology.
Betrayed by a lisp,
He gives up pursuit of mythology.
March 2, 2018
qms commented on the word psychotomimetic
His search for release is frenetic
And rooted in forces genetic.
His Dad could enthuse
Over ganja and booze
But his trip’s psychotomimetic.
March 1, 2018
qms commented on the word cacafuego
Patrick O’Brian was also enamored of this word. See comments at shitfire.
qms commented on the word millesimal
A homeopathic professional
Doles dosages infinitesimal.
He need never wrestle
With mortar and pestle;
His pipette drops portions millesimal.
February 28, 2018
qms commented on the word mesic
I savor the insult that’s sly,
That risks slipping unnoticed by,
But humor that’s ethnic
Is rather too mesic.
Martinis and jokes I like dry.
February 27, 2018
qms commented on the word irenic
When Adam and Eve were edenic
They needed no crude calisthenic
They rightly believed
In salubrious groves and irenic.
February 26, 2018
qms commented on the user rhtalbott
You will observe that on the top right of every page in Wordnik there is a text field labeled “Search” displaying a magnifying glass symbol. Replace the grayed-out Search text string with the word you want to look up and hit Return or click the magnifier image.
February 25, 2018
qms commented on the word petrography
While some study subjects that bleed
Or classify flower and weed,
More disciplined troops
For rocks are hard science indeed.
qms commented on the word eristic
We know it from lore and statistic:
A boy who’s persistently fistic
Will find legal brawling
His natural calling,
Rewarding his talents eristic.
February 24, 2018
qms commented on the word euphemism
Is not the spoonerism itself the euphemism? As in ,
Q: How is the Swiss navy like a baby?
A: Always sucking and never fails.
I do not know that this genre has a name.
See also spoonerism.
February 23, 2018
qms commented on the word argons
qms commented on the word edaphic
Her fashions can make heavy traffic:
Once celibate, next she was Sapphic,
Now thinks she’s Earth Mother
Or something or other
That’s sweaty, unwashed and edaphic.
qms commented on the word leg-rope
Perhaps in attempting to subdue livestock the Aussies have misinterpreted the classic French seduction technique - le grope.
February 22, 2018
qms commented on the word langrage
When enemy men-o’-war meet
Their greetings are iron and heat.
The harrowing language
Of carcass and langrage
Are all their palaver and treat.
qms commented on the word hippocras
A warthog, you’re saying, lacks class.
You claim that a rhino’s badass,
But since quite a lot of us
Then call not the poor hippocras.
February 21, 2018
qms commented on the word glottochronology
When Ernest and Herr Doktor Otto
Get talking and drinking till blotto
They grow rather foggy
On strictest chronology
And vague ‘bout the meaning of glotto.
February 20, 2018
qms commented on the word lodestar
As compasses tell us direction
So Donald consults his erection,
And where it is pointed
A new love’s anointed.
His lodestar is lust, not affection.
February 19, 2018
qms commented on the word intellection
Since today is Presidents Day I thought our maximum leader deserved more celebration. Besides, I had some rhymes left over.
See comments at lodestar.
The Donald mistakes a connection
Twixt talent and his strange election,
Thus fools will construe
Good luck as their due
In absence of all intellection.
qms commented on the user deepakyadavmc
February 18, 2018
qms commented on the word fandangle
Ludmila would scorn a lone bangle,
Preferring her bracelets to jangle,
And thinks it right cheering
That each dangling earring
Should serve as a tinkling fandangle.
qms commented on the word equipollent
A teen in the morning is indolent;
The nocturnal beast’s still somnolent.
The breakfast convention
Will hang in suspension
While hunger with sleep’s equipollent.
February 17, 2018
qms commented on the word delectate
As all of God’s creatures must defecate
Let no one the humble bug deprecate.
Let praises be sung
Of beetles (type dung)
Whose appetites droppings delectate.
February 16, 2018
qms commented on the word hbty
How beastly, touting Yankees!
February 15, 2018
Hunch beneath transgression’s yoke!
qms commented on the word sisu
A Finn, if you press him, resists you;
Compliance is always at issue.
Despite your appeals
He digs in his heels
To show he has true Finnish sisu.
qms commented on the word peart
Well done, bilby.
Heat bothers the yeti.
Hear Bernese teens yodeling.
February 14, 2018
Pronunciation guidance for this word is varied but the best authorities recommend “pert,” a word for which “peart” seems to be a variant spelling.
Wise counselors now will assert,
Be never too forward or peart.
What used to be charm
Can now do you harm.
It’s dangerous these days to flirt.
Health benefits to yogurt.
Heroic bilby taming yobs.
Haunted by turbulent youth.
Hot babes tempt you.
qms commented on the word gestic
A limerick’s light and domestic.
Though hobbled by feet anapestic
It paces and sways
In familiar ways
That can be beguilingly gestic.
February 13, 2018
qms commented on the word mollydooker
The lithe lass was sure a good looker
But still her fiancé forsook her.
His counseling minister
Advised she was sinister -
A blithe, unabashed mollydooker.
February 12, 2018
qms commented on the word Endymion
Endymion is the name of one of the tradional “krewes” that contribute a float to the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans.
February 11, 2018
qms commented on the word canthus
A geisha takes no silly chances
So every small detail enhances:
How sweetly she speaks,
The blush on her cheeks,
The dark line that shadows her canthus.
qms commented on the word décolleté
Two notes on decollete/décolleté: I assume that the unaccented version exists only because of US publishers’ misguided aversion to French accents. I have never heard ir pronounced as though unaccented. Also, it is defined here as an adjective but is frequently used as a noun.
February 10, 2018
qms commented on the word decollete
Sophisticates turn bored away
On seeing what some think risqué:
A skirt that’s split high
For a glimpse of a thigh
Or top that is décolleté.
qms commented on the word choplogic
Sam Johnson loved Hodge, his old cat
Indulging him till he grew fat.
Though be it choplogic
For want of a Hodge lick
He’d feed him an oyster or sprat.
Read more about Dr. Johnson’s cat.
February 9, 2018
qms commented on the word bibliopegy
Joe’s sinned so much against property
Th court now is begging he cop a plea.
His record’s immense!
With one more offense
His rap sheet will need bibliopegy.
February 8, 2018
qms commented on the word autecology
He recounts with pride, not apology,
His labors in humble scatology,
For eloquent turds
Can say more than words,
Enhancing a deep autecology.
February 7, 2018
qms commented on the word monocracy
For -ocracy I’ve run out of rhymes
That dodge phonetical crimes.
I dread the monotony
Of such as monocracy;
I’ve rhymed them too many times.
February 6, 2018
qms commented on the word graticule
To resize an image the classic tool
Encloses the source in a lattice rule,
A copyist then,
With pencil or pen
Precisely can follow the graticule.
February 5, 2018
qms commented on the word sciagraphy
She renders the lightfall quite magically
Employing no digital gadgetry.
She’s learned to apply
Her hand and her eye
In service of skillful sciagraphy.
February 4, 2018
qms commented on the word lubber-fiend
Your house-elf, if you treat him right,
Will clean up your cottage at night
So, well scrubbed and cleaned
By your lubber-fiend,
You’ll find your kitchen shining bright.
February 3, 2018
qms commented on the word drusy
Geologists drink and get woozy
And soon become droopy and snoozy.
They fall into dreams
Of rocks laced with seams
And caverns aglitter and druzy.
February 2, 2018
qms commented on the word du jour
I once ate in a restaurant that described its main offerings as “meat (of some kind),” potatoes “(of some kind),” and “dujours.” I asked the waitress what “dujours” are and she giggled.
February 1, 2018
qms commented on the word sonoluminescence
To mantis shrimp the trick’s no feat,
Just means to get the stuff to eat.
They teach us no lessons
The shrimp is an artless synaesthete.
qms commented on the word reboant
So warm and with sweet scents so redolent,
And where is so private yet resonant?
To feel music’s power
We sing in the shower,
A chamber most cozy and reboant.
January 31, 2018
qms commented on the word pintadine
I dream in this pale Winter scene
Of atoll lagoons tinted green,
Where maids without morals
Swim in from the corals
To offer me plump pintadine.
January 30, 2018
qms commented on the word morology
Oh, what can the cause of this folly be,
This mad, inauspicious frivolity?
Their mouths are uncivil
And spewing forth drivel.
The Congress is mired in morology!
January 29, 2018
qms commented on the word crepitate
It’s terribly hard to emulate
How speakers of Zulu articulate.
You must learn the tricks
Of consonant clicks-
To enunciate you must crepitate.
January 28, 2018
qms commented on the word loutrophoros
The ancient Greeks long before us
Invented the play with a chorus
And down all the ages
We still love their sages
But don’t use the old loutrophoros.
January 27, 2018
qms commented on the word drabbing
The goblin’s on record as gabbing
Of prowess at unwanted grabbing,
But Stormy’s tale shows
That sometimes he chose
The commoner pastime of drabbing.
January 26, 2018
qms commented on the word gnomology
It’s published in ponderous tomes
And shelved in the soberest homes.
Despite what you thought
The frivolous study of gnomes.
January 25, 2018
qms commented on the word nurse name
Well done, vm. Thank you. From the citation Tank gives I am thinking that “Popkiss” might be a “nurse name” for “Hopkins.” I had a grand aunt called Lalla. Her actual name was Ellen, but when my father was a toddler he could not pronounce that and said “lalla” instead. So she remained for the rest of her life. It is a little harder to understand such developments in surnames.
January 24, 2018
qms commented on the word vulnerary
The aloe vera’s extraordinary,
With uses digestive and vulnerary.
It soothes cuts and burns
Which quality earns
A place where the efforts are culinary.
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.
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.
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