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Thread: Fun Words

  1. #1
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    Default Fun Words

    felix culpa

    PRONUNCIATION:
    (FAY/FEE-liks KOOL/KUHL-pah)
    plural felix culpae (KOOL/KUHL-pae/pee)


    MEANING:
    noun: An error or disaster that has fortunate consequences.

    ETYMOLOGY:
    From Latin felix culpa (happy fault). Earliest documented use: 1913. A related word is serendipity.

    NOTES:
    Felix culpa is also known as a fortunate fall or happy accident. In Christianity, the fall of Adam and Eve is seen as a felix culpa since it resulted in the coming of Christ. What felix culpa have you experienced in your life? Share it on our website or email us at words@wordsmith.org.

    USAGE:
    “I’ve watched hundreds of clients turn all sorts of disasters -- getting cancer, losing a loved one, going bankrupt -- into felix culpae.”
    Martha Beck; Reversal of Bad Fortune; O, The Oprah Magazine (New York); Jul 2014.

    “Seawater had protected us, at least after Duke William, and his invasion was a felix culpa, since it bound Britain into European civilisation and prevented us from becoming part of south Scandinavia.”
    Bruce Anderson; The Depths of Tranquillity; The Spectator (London, UK); Sep 15, 2018.
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    And it might mean that it's the cat's fault.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    Point to Ian! Got any more in your bag of tricks sir?
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    And it might mean that it's the cat's fault.
    That's more common than the other anyway!
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    Pampootie.
    A bit pedestrian, but I just like the word.

  6. #6
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    Default Fun Words

    Crepuscular: related to twilight; the state of being most active at dawn and dusk.

    Kevin


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    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    glossolalia

    PRONUNCIATION:
    (glos-uh-LAY-lee-uh)

    MEANING:
    noun: Unintelligible utterances occurring during religious excitation, schizophrenia, etc. Also known as speaking in tongues.

    ETYMOLOGY:
    From Greek glosso- (tongue, language) + -lalia (chatter, babbling), from lalein (to babble). Earliest documented use: 1879. A related term is coprolalia.

    USAGE:
    “He gave Traycee-Lay a quick, irritated look because her glossolalia, which came out something like: ‘Oh my Guhd, oh my Guhd... yasyas yas, yasyas yas... in-nin-nin’ ... her glossolalia was interfering with his delivery.”
    John Eppel; Hatchings; Ama Books; 2006.
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    It is a good bit of work, he deserves support...
    (or a link at least)
    https://www.wordsmith.org/awad/


    6D481DE0-5903-452D-BA00-4951DDAB77CC.jpg

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    sinisterity

    PRONUNCIATION:
    (sin-uh-STER-uh-tee)

    MEANING:
    noun:
    1. Left-handedness.
    2. Skillfulness in the use of the left hand.
    3. Awkwardness or clumsiness.
    4. Evilness, unluckiness, etc.


    ETYMOLOGY:
    From Latin sinister (left, left hand, unlucky). Earliest documented use: 1623. Some related words are ambisinistrous/ambisinister (clumsy with both hands) and dexterous.

    USAGE:
    “I caught the errant missile left-hand, backhand without thinking or blinking.
    ‘Well held!’ exclaimed Percy, astounded at my feat of instinctive sinisterity.”
    Ben Schott; Jeeves and the King of Clubs; Hutchinson; 2018.

    “The sinisterity of Mitterand’s presidency was manifested in a ballooning of the French secret services and numerous wiretapping scandals.”
    Jonathan Widell; Jacques Vergès, Devil’s Advocate; McGill University; 2012.


    A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
    We would often be ashamed of our finest actions if the world understood all the motives which produced them. -Francois, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, writer (15 Sep 1613-1680)
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    You can be either dextrous or sinister.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

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    Default Re: Fun Words

    Diphthong

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Conway View Post
    Diphthong
    IOW a wedgie?

    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Conway View Post
    Diphthong
    So many ways that could be used in a sentence. But I won't ask YOU... as you'd prolly get us ALL in trouble!!! <G>
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    Syzygy--One of just a handful English words without a ( traditional) vowel.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

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    Default Re: Fun Words

    Cwm - an area surrounded by a circle of mountains.

    Pronounced “koom”. AFAIK

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    sympatric

    PRONUNCIATION:
    (sim-PAT-rik)

    MEANING:
    adjective: Occurring in the same geographical area.

    ETYMOLOGY:
    From sym-, a form of syn- (together) + patra (homeland), from pater (father). Earliest documented use: 1904. The opposite is allopatric.

    USAGE:
    “The Mojave yucca is often sympatric with the Joshua tree but has fibrous leaf edges.”
    James Cornett; Desert Scape: Joshua Tree Not World’s Largest Yucca; The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, California); Sep 30, 2012.

    See more usage examples of sympatric in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.


    A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
    Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation. Tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. -Jean Arp, artist and poet (16 Sep 1887-1948)
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    Jabberwocky


    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    Jabberwocky


    Kevin
    I prefer Slithy Tove, which has some relevance in UK politics.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    spuddle

    PRONUNCIATION:
    (SPUHD-l)

    MEANING:
    verb intr.: To work feebly.
    noun: A feeble action or movement.


    ETYMOLOGY:
    A blend of spud (a dagger or digging implement) + puddle. Earliest documented use: 1630.

    USAGE:
    “‘I come home from the races and my dad is spuddling about on the farm,’ he says.”
    Rick Broadbent; ‘I Don’t Want Fame -- Just Glory and Money’; The Times (London, UK); Dec 26, 2020.


    A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
    What power has love but forgiveness? -William Carlos Williams, poet (17 Sep 1883-1963)
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    vorpal

    PRONUNCIATION:
    (VUHR-puhl)

    MEANING:
    adjective:
    1. Sharp.
    2. Deadly.


    ETYMOLOGY:
    Coined by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) in his novel Through the Looking-Glass. Earliest documented use: 1871.

    NOTES:
    The word appears in the poem “Jabberwocky” in the novel Through the Looking-Glass.:He took his vorpal sword in hand,
    ...
    One, two! One, two! And through and through
    The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
    See more words from “Jabberwocky” that are now a part of the English language here.


    USAGE:
    “Their vorpal blades glowed in the darkness with a pale blue light.”
    Piers Anthony, et al; Quest for the Fallen Star; Tom Doherty; 2010.


    A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
    There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will have truly defeated age. -Sophia Loren, actor and singer (b. 20 Sep 1934)
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    consilience

    PRONUNCIATION:
    (kuhn-SIL-ee-yuhns)

    MEANING:
    noun: The linking or agreement of different disciplines when forming a theory or coming to a conclusion.

    ETYMOLOGY:
    Coined by the philosopher William Whewell (1794-1866). From Latin con- (with) + salire (to leap). Earliest documented use: 1840. He also coined the words scientist and physicist.

    USAGE:
    “This lucrative sub-industry has further blossomed in recent years due to efforts made by the wealthy founder of the Templeton investment fund, Sir John Templeton, to find harmony and consilience between science and religion. ... Let there be no doubt that as they are currently practiced, there is no common ground between science and religion.”
    Paul Kurtz; Science and Religion: Are They Compatible?; Prometheus; 2013.

    “A consilience with science offers the humanities many possibilities for new insight.”
    Steven Pinker; The Intellectual War on Science; The Chronicle of Higher Education (Washington, DC); Feb 13, 2018.


    A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
    Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race. -H.G. Wells, writer (21 Sep 1866-1946)
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    psychobabble

    PRONUNCIATION:
    (SY-ko-bab-uhl)

    MEANING:
    noun: Language laden with jargon from psychotherapy or psychiatry, used without concern for accuracy.

    ETYMOLOGY:
    Coined by journalist Richard Dean Rosen (b. 1949). From Greek psycho- (mind) + babble (drivel, blather). Earliest documented use: 1975.

    NOTES:
    Here is how Rosen describes the term in his book Psychobabble: Fast Talk and Quick Cure in the Era of Feeling:
    “Psychobabble is ... a set of repetitive verbal formalities that kills off the very spontaneity, candor, and understanding it pretends to promote. It’s an idiom that reduces psychological insight to a collection of standardized observations, that provides a frozen lexicon to deal with an infinite variety of problems.”


    USAGE:
    “Unable to resist knee-jerk references to Freud and Jung, Ms. Zimmerman has her actors spout some psychobabble about myths as public dreams, dreams as private myths, and the like.”
    Amy Gamerman; A Timely Gift of Timeless Ovid; The Wall Street Journal (New York); Oct 10, 2001.

    See more usage examples of psychobabble in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.


    A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
    The characteristic of a well-bred man is, to converse with his inferiors without insolence, and with his superiors with respect and with ease. -Lord Chesterfield, statesman and writer (22 Sep 1694-1773)
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    Psychobabble is fun in that it is what it purports to decry.


    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    rheology

    PRONUNCIATION:
    (ree-OL-uh-jee)

    MEANING:
    noun: The study of the deformation and flow of matter.

    ETYMOLOGY:
    Coined by Eugene C. Bingham (1878-1945), professor of chemistry, inspired by an aphorism of the philosopher Simplicius of Cilicia: “Panta rhei” (Everything flows). From Greek rheo- (flow) + -logy (study). Earliest documented use: 1929.

    USAGE:
    “If you have ever given a bottle of tomato ketchup a good shake to make it pour more easily, then you have experimented with rheology. ... If you want to make the perfect ketchup, therefore, rheology is important.”
    Sticky Fingers; The Economist (London, UK); Dec 3, 2011.

    “Rather than arguing his case, he withdrew from the conference ‘because of unforeseen personal problems’. I wondered if plagiarism was the ‘unforeseen personal problem’. Interesting. Some Facebook items shed more light on his personal rheology.”
    A. Reynolds; Past Perfect; Archway Publishing; 2014.

    See more usage examples of rheology in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.


    A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
    Our conscience is not the vessel of eternal verities. It grows with our social life, and a new social condition means a radical change in conscience. -Walter Lippmann, journalist (23 Sep 1889-1974)
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    You could go on from there to magneto-rheological . Such stuff has been around for a while if you look in the right places.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    locavore

    PRONUNCIATION:
    (LOH-kuh-vohr)

    MEANING:
    noun: One who eats locally grown food.

    ETYMOLOGY:
    Coined by Jessica Prentice (b. 1968), chef and author. From local, from Latin locus (place) + -vore (eating), from vorare (to devour). Earliest documented use: 2005.

    USAGE:
    “Next week we’d be shooting an episode in which Daphne dated a self-righteous locavore, a fellow who raised his own chickens and made his own goat cheese.”
    Jennifer Weiner; The Next Best Thing; Atria Books; 2012.


    A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
    If there is such a phenomenon as absolute evil, it consists in treating another human being as a thing. -John Brunner, novelist (24 Sep 1934-1995)
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    Thanks to Ms. Atwood, we should all be familiar with THIS one...


    handmaiden

    PRONUNCIATION:
    (HAND-may-duhn)

    MEANING:
    noun:
    1. Someone or something that is subservient to another.
    2. A personal maid.


    ETYMOLOGY:
    From hand + maiden, referring to a young woman who was ready at hand to serve her lady. Earliest documented use: 1350.

    USAGE:
    For years the legal case in Bangladesh had gone nowhere. The country’s criminal justice system, slow and the handmaiden of the executive of the day, stood still.”
    Delayed Detonations; The Economist (London, UK); Feb 7, 2014.

    See more usage examples of handmaiden in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.


    A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
    The central function of imaginative literature is to make you realize that other people act on moral convictions different from your own. -William Empson, literary critic and poet (27 Sep 1906-1984)
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    snoutfair

    PRONUNCIATION:
    (SNOUT-fair)

    MEANING:
    noun: A good-looking person.
    adjective: Good-looking.


    ETYMOLOGY:
    From snout (nose, mouth, and jaw) + fair (attractive). Earliest documented use: 1530.

    USAGE:
    “It’s time you returned home to find a suitable husband instead of spuddling snoutfairs here in town.”
    Victoria Malvey; Chasing a Rogue; Pocket Books; 2002.



    A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
    A man's life is interesting primarily when he has failed -- I well know. For it is a sign that he has tried to surpass himself. -Georges Clemenceau, statesman (28 Sep 1841-1929)
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    So - different from 'snotfair?
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    'Snoutfair' is great! I understand it had a pretty strong negative connotation though, handsome but not a good person.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    "Sticky-fingered" is pretty well known. "Lime-fingered" is a new one to me --

    sticky-fingered

    PRONUNCIATION:
    (STIK-ee fing-guhrd)

    MEANING:
    adjective: Given to stealing.

    ETYMOLOGY:
    From stick (to fasten or attach), from Old English stician (to pierce) + finger, from Old English. Earliest documented use: 1855.

    NOTES:
    Lime is another word for something sticky or slimy. Birdlime is used to catch birds. From lime we got the term lime-fingered, alluding to someone whose fingers easily adhere to stuff belonging to others, in other words, someone prone to stealing. Eventually the terms sticky-handed and sticky-fingered entered the language. Sometimes the metaphors and reality collide, as in these headlines: Quebec Police Seek Sticky-Fingered Thieves with $30m of Maple Syrup (The Guardian)
    Sticky-Fingered Thieves Made Off with $200 in Honey (The Huntsville Times)
    Let’s hope someone fingered the thieves.


    USAGE:
    “Rare book thefts occur all the time. ... Some sticky-fingered collectors covet them simply to add luster to their shelves.”
    Marc Wortman and Christopher Sotomayor; The Case Of The Purloined Books; Vanity Fair (New York); Apr 2021.




    A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:

    A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience. -Miguel de Cervantes, novelist (29 Sep 1547-1616)
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    Another one I'm sure most of you know already --


    gobsmacked

    PRONUNCIATION:
    (GOB-smakt)

    MEANING:
    adjective: Utterly surprised; flabbergasted.

    ETYMOLOGY:
    From gob (mouth), probably from Irish and/or Scottish Gaelic gob (beak, mouth) + smack (to strike with the palm), probably imitative. Earliest documented use: 1935.

    USAGE:
    “People were completely gobsmacked at a politician ... wait for it ... telling the unvarnished truth!”
    Think of It as Jabs for Jobs; Sun Herald (Sydney, Australia); Aug 15, 2021.

    See more usage examples of gobsmacked in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.


    A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
    Racism tends to attract attention when it's flagrant and filled with invective. But like all bigotry, the most potent component of racism is frame-flipping -- positioning the bigot as the actual victim. So the gay do not simply want to marry; they want to convert our children into sin. The Jews do not merely want to be left in peace; they actually are plotting world take-over. And the blacks are not actually victims of American power, but beneficiaries of the war against hard-working whites. This is a respectable, more sensible bigotry, one that does not seek to name-call, preferring instead to change the subject and straw man. -Ta-Nehisi Coates, writer and journalist (b. 30 Sep 1975)
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    My fave;
    "Defenestration". The action of throwing someone out of a window.
    Bald, ugly, not too bright but incredibly sexy in an unattractive sort of way....

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Fun Words

    hardfisted

    PRONUNCIATION:
    (HARD-fis-tid)

    MEANING:
    adjective:
    1. Stingy.
    2. Tough, aggressive, or ruthless.
    3. Having hands made rough by labor: hardhanded.


    ETYMOLOGY:
    From hard + fisted, from Old English fyst (fist). Earliest documented use: 1612.

    USAGE:
    “Callovan inherited his wealth from his hard-fisted old father.”
    Francis Clement Kelley; The City and the World and Other Stories; Extension Press; 1913.

    “The plains were crawling with rough, hardfisted men, who had been weaned on skinned knuckles and a swift kick to the balls.”
    Matt Braun; Cimarron Jordan; Pocket Books; 1975.

    See more usage examples of hardfisted in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.




    A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
    In our world of big names, curiously, our true heroes tend to be anonymous. In this life of illusion and quasi-illusion, the person of solid virtues who can be admired for something more substantial than his well-knownness often proves to be the unsung hero: the teacher, the nurse, the mother, the honest cop, the hard worker at lonely, underpaid, unglamorous, unpublicized jobs. -Daniel J Boorstin, historian, professor, attorney, and writer (1 Oct 1914-2004)
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    76,380

    Default Re: Fun Words

    chosisme

    PRONUNCIATION:
    (sho-ZEEZ-muh)

    MEANING:
    noun: A literary style which focuses on description of objects, not on interpretation, plot, characterization, etc.

    ETYMOLOGY:
    From French, from chose (thing), from Latin causa (case, thing). The idea is associated with the writer and filmmaker Alain Robbe-Grillet. Earliest documented use: 1960s.

    USAGE:
    “‘How are things?’ someone asks the author at a party. That sets him off. How are things? You mean, in what way do things exist? How should I know? What, even, is a thing? I’d better write a book about it. And so he does: a book of short meditations on everyday objects, a contemporary exercise in happy chosisme.”
    Steven Poole; How Are Things?; The Guardian (London, UK); Nov 5, 2005.




    A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
    The unrestricted competition so commonly advocated does not leave us the survival of the fittest. The unscrupulous succeed best in accumulating wealth. -Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th US president (4 Oct 1822-1893)
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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