Archive of cool words of the week

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Not all of these are necessarily very unusual. Sometimes I pick them because they have unusual origins, or a little used secondary definition. Sometimes it's just a word that people know, but would be hard-pressed to exactly define. But most of them are just cool, weird dictionary finds. So far these are simply arranged in the order they appeared, with the most recent one at the top of the list.

Okay, so there's now some cool words cobbled together into sentences. With illustrations!

(gal-li-maw'-free) n. a hodgepodge, jumble; a mixture of diverse things [From French galimafrée "a stew, hash, ragout," from galer "to make merry" + mafrer "to eat heartily."]
(in-kon'-dite) adj. badly put together; crude. [From Latin inconditus: in- "not" + conditus, past participle of condere "to put together" from com- "together" + -dere "to put."]
(hap'-tick) adj. 1: relating to, or based on the sense of touch. 2: characterized by a predilection for the sense of touch. [From Greek haptesthai "to touch."]
(lah-kyoon'-uh) n. 1: a blank space or a missing part; gap. 2: a small cavity, pit, or discontinuity in an anatomical structure. [From Latin lacuna "pool, pit, gap."]
(sid-ear'-ee-ul) adj. of , relating to, or expressed in terms of stars or constellations; astral. [From Latin sidereus from sidus "star."]
(riz'-uh-bull) n. 1: causing or capable of causing laughter; laughable; comical. 2: having the ability to, or disposition to laugh. 3: of or relating to laugher or used in laughing (e.g. 'risible muscles'). [From Late Latin risibilis "laughable, able to laugh," from Latin risus, past participle. of ridere "to laugh."]
(toor'-oh-file, tyoor'-oh-file) n. a connoisseur of cheese; a cheese fancier. [from Greek tyros "cheese" + philos "loving."]
Scotch woodcock
(skoch' wood'-kok) n. buttered toast spread with anchovy paste with creamy soft-scrambled eggs on top.
(sigh'-on) n. 1: a detached living portion of a plant joined to a stock in grafting, usually supplying solely aerial parts to a graft. 2: descendant; child. [from Middle English, in turn from Middle French cion, of Germanic origin, akin go Old High German chinan "to sprout, split open" from Old English cinan "to gape."]
(op-probe'-ree-um) n. 1: disgrace rising from shameful conduct; infamy. 2: scorn; contempt. 3: the cause of such a disgrace.
(pee'-un) n. a joyously exultant song or hymn of praise, tribute, thanksgiving, or triumph. [From Latin "a hymn of thanksgiving to Apollo," from Greek paian or paion, from Paian or Paion, a name for Apollo in the hymn.]
(brob-dig-nag'-ee-un) adj. (often capitalized) of colossal proportions or extraordinary height; gigantic. n. a giant. [From Brobdignag, a country of giants, in the book Gulliver's Travels.]
(ey'-bee-see-dair'-ee-un) adj. 1a: of or relating to the alphabet. b: alphabetically arranged. 2: rudimentary.
(pair-on-oh-maiz'-ee-uh) n. the use of a word in different senses or the use of words similar in sound to achieve a specific effect, as humor or a dual meaning; pun. [from Latin from Greek paronomazein "to call with a slight change of name," from para- "closely resembling" + onoma "name."]
(wood'-noht (wood - rhymes with could, just like you'd expect)) n. verbal expression that is natural and artless. [From its likeness to the call of a bird in the woods.]
second banana
(seh'-kund buh-nan'-nuh) n. a comedian who plays a supporting role to a top banana; broadly, a person in a subservient position. {see also top banana: the leading comedian in a burlesque show} [From a burlesque routine involving three comedians, in which the person who gets the punchline also gets a banana. (from around 1952)]
ben trovato
(ben troh-vah'-toe) adj. characteristic or appropriate even if not true. [From Italian, literally, "well found."]
(pyoot'-uh-tive) adj. 1: commonly accepted or supposed. 2: assumed to exist or to have existed. [From Middle English from Late Latin putativus from Latin putatus, from past participle of putare "to think."]
(al'-jid) adj. chilly, cold. [from Latin algidus, from algere "to be cold."]
(peest) n. 1: a trail, especially a downhill ski trail. 2: the area used for fencing. [from French, from Old Italian pista, from pistare "to trample down, pound."]
(sin'-krun-iss'-it-tee) n. 1: the relation that exists when events occur at the same time; simultaneity; synchronism. 2: coincidence of events that seem to be meaningfully related, conceived in Jungian theory as an explanatory principle on the level of causality; used especially for psychic events that are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality. [from Greek syn- "same" + khronos "time."]
(fak-toe'-tum) n. an employee or assistant who serves in a wide range of capacities. [from Latin fac: imperative of facere "to do" + totum "everything."]
(fest'-shrift) n. a memorial or complimentary volume issued in honor of a scholar, usually in the subject area in which the individual distinguished himself or herself, often written by former students, colleagues or admirers; also, a similar volume honoring an institution or society, usually on a significant anniversary. [from German fest "celebration" + schrift "publication."]
jato unit
(jay'-toe yoo'-nit) n. a unit for assisting the takeoff of an airplaine consisting of one or more rocket engines. [acronym from Jet-Assisted Take-Off.]
(mah-ter-tair'-ull?) adj. of or like an aunt, analagous to avuncular (of or like an uncle). [from Latin matertera "mother's sister" just as avuncular is from avunculus "mother's brother."]
(uh-'rate) n. a sharp-crested ridge in rugged mountains. [from French, literally "fish bone," from Latin arista "beard of grain."]
(skep'-sis) n. philosophic doubt as to the objective reality of phenomena; (broadly) a skeptical outlook or attitude. [from Greek skepsis "examination, doubt, skeptical philosophy."]
(mik-kaw'-bur) n. one who is poor but lives in optimistic expectation of better fortune. [from Wilkins Micawber, character in the Dickens novel David Copperfield.]
(jit'-nee) n. 1: a nickel. 2: a bus, especially one that carries passengers over a regular route according to a flexible schedule [second meaning from the 5¢ fare of such a bus, originally.]
(ret'-tral) adj. 1: at, near, or toward the posterior. 2: moving or tending in a backward direction, or contrary to a previous direction.
(so-brik-kay', so-brik-ket') a descriptive name or epithet, a nickname. [from French.]
(too'-mid) adj. 1: marked by swelling, swollen, enlarged. 2: protuberant, bulging. 3: bombastic, turgid. [from Latin tumidus, from tumere "to swell."]
(pyool) v.i. to whine or whimper.
(meed) n. a fitting return or recompense. [from Old English med.]
(oss'-it-tate) v. to yawn or gape from drowsiness. [from Latin oscitare "to open (like a mouth.)"]
oolert (also owlert)
(woo'-lert) n. the barn owl (provincial english usage).
(sar-tor'-ee-al) adj. of or relating to a tailor or tailored clothes; broadly: of or relating to clothes. [from Latin sartor "tailor."]
(vish'-ee-ate) 1: to reduce the value or impair the quality of. 2: to corrupt morally; debase. 3: to make ineffective; invalidate. [from Latin vitium "fault."]
(chill'-ee-add) n. 1: a group of 1,000. 2: millenium [from Greek chilioi "thousand."]
aestival (also: estival)
(est'-ih-val) adj. of or relating to the summer. [from Latin aestas "summer."]
sylva (also: silva)
(sill'-vuh) n. 1a: a title for a treatise on trees, or a descriptive list or catalog of trees. b: the trees of a particular region or period, collectively. (compare with flora). 2: a title for a collection of pieces, especially of poems; also, a thesaurus of words or phrases [from Latin, silva "forest." second definition after the title (Silvae) of Statius's collection of occasional poems. ]
(stat) adv. immediately. [abbreviation of the Latin term statim "immediately."]
anomie (also: anomy)
(ann'-uh-mee) n. 1: social instability resulting from a breakdown of standards and values. 2: a feeling of personal unrest stemming from a lack of standards, values, purpose, or ideals. adj. form: anomic (an-nom'-ick) [from Greek, a- "lack of" + nomos "law."]
(shuvv-ahl'-duh-freez') n. 1: a defense consisting of a timber or an iron barrel covered with projecting spikes and often strung with barbed wire. 2: a protecting line (as of spikes) on top of a wall -- usually used in plural: chevaux-de-frise. [from French, literally "horse from Friesland."]
(pee' soo'-pur) n. a heavy thick fog. synonym: pea-soup
(oh-tock'-thun) n. one that is autochthonous. pl. form: autochthones (oh-'tock-thun'-ez). {see autochthonous (oh-'tock-thun-'us) adj.1: indigenous; native. 2: formed or originating in the place where found.} [from Greek auto- "same, self" + chthon "earth."]
(joo'-ment) n. an animal, especially one used for transporting loads or doing other heavy work; a beast of burden. [from Latin jumentum "beast of burden," also a root of the French word jument "mare"]
(la-siv'-ee-us) adj. reflecting or producing sexual desire or behavior, especially that is considered indecent or obscene. [from Latin lascivia "wantonness," from lascivus "wanton."]
(ag'-lit) n. 1: a tag or sheath, as of plastic or metal, on the end of a lace, cord, or ribbon to facilitate its passing through eyelet holes. 2: a similar device used for an ornament, sometimes on lace corners as well. [from Middle English aiglet, from Old French aguillette, diminutive of aguille, "needle," from Latin acucula, diminutive of acus, "needle."]
(bill'-dungs-roam'-an, bill'-dungks-roam'-an) n. a novel about the moral and psychological growth of the main character. [from German bildung "education" + roman "novel".]
(kom'-it-ee) n. 1a: friendly social atmosphere; social harmony. b: a loose widespread community based on common social institutions. c: comity of nations (1: the courtesy and friendship of nations marked especially by mutual recognition of executive, legislative, and judicial acts. 2: the group of nations practicing international comity.) d: the informal and voluntary recognition by courts of one jurisdiction of the laws and judicial decisions of another. 2: avoidance of proselytizing members of another religious denomination. [from Latin comitas from comis "courteous," from Old Latin cosmis from com- "with" + -smis akin to Sandskrit smayate "he smiles."]
devil theory
(dev'-ull-thee'(er)-ree) n. a theory of history which proposes that political and social crises arise from the deliberate actions of evil or misguided leaders rather than as a natural result of conditions.
(em'-broh-kay'-shun) n. 1. the act or process of moistening and rubbing a part of the body with a liniment or lotion. 2. a liniment or lotion.
(fugg) n. an odorous emanation, especially, the stuffy atmosphere of a poorly ventilated space. adj. fuggy. v.i. to loll indoors in a stuffy atomosphere. v.t. to make fuggy.
(gat) n. a natural or artificial channel or passage. [probably from Dutch, literally "hole," akin to Old English geat "gate."]
(hi-drose'-iss) n. excretion of sweat; perspiration. adj. form: hidrotic [from New Latin, from Greek hidroun "to sweat," from hidros "sweat."]
(eye-reen'-ick) adj. favoring, conducive to, or operating toward peace, moderation, or conciliation [from Greek eirene "peace" from the goddess of the same name.]
(jair-uh-my'-ad) n. a prolonged lamentation or complaint. {see also Jeremiah a person who is pessimistic about the present and foresees a calamitous future.} [from the Judeo-Christian prophet Jeremiah, and his book, which was full of such content .]
(kerf) n. 1: a slit or notch made by a saw or cutting torch. 2: the width of cut made by a saw or cutting torch. [from Old English cyrf "the action of cutting," akin to Old English ceorfan "to carve".]
(le-jehr'-it-ee) n. alert, facile quickness of mind or body [from Old French, legereté "lightness," from Vulgar Latin leviarius, from Latin levis, from Greek elachys "small".]
(mar-more'-ee-al) adj. of, relating to, or suggestive of marble or a marble statue, especially in coldness or aloofness. [from Latin marmor "marble".]
(naff) adj. 1: unstylish, clichéd, or outmoded. 2: to fool around or go about. naff off rude imperative. go away! [British slang.]
(oy-koll'-uh-jee) n. the study, or science of housekeeping. [from Greek oikos "house, dwelling."]
(pess'-im-ull) adj. 1: maximally bad, opposite of optimal. 2: of an organism's environment, least favorable for survival. [from Latin origins.]
(kwee'-dahm, kwid'-dahm ?) n. someone; an anonymous or unknown person [from Latin quidam "a certain thing, certain, one, somebody, something."]
(ree'-kon-dite, ri-kon'-dite) adj. 1: not easily understood, incomprehensible to one of ordinary understanding or knowledge; abstruse. 2: concerned with or treating something abstruse or obscure. 3: concealed; hidden. [from Latin reconditus, past participle of recondere "to put away," from re + condere "to put together, preserve."]
(sib-uh-rit'-ick) adj. furnishing gratification of the senses, hedonistic, voluptuous, luxurious. [from the notorious luxury of the Sybarites, the people of the city of Sybaris.]
(tie'-roh) n. a beginner in learning, a novice. [from Latin tiro "young soldier, tyro".]
(ull'-ij) n. 1: the amount that a container (as a cask or tank) lacks being full; wantage; deficiancy, for example, as might be lost by leakage in shipment or storage. 2: apparently, in the UK, ullage is also the amount left in the keg considered undrinkable; dregs. [from Middle English ulage, from Middle French eullage "the act of filling a cask," from eullier "to fill a cask," from Old French ouil "eye, bunghole," from Latin oculus "eye." Other etymology says this come from Old French oile oil from the filling of almost-full flask with oil to prevent evaporation.]
(vig'-er-ish) n. 1: charge taken (as by a bookie or gambling house) on bets, also the degree of such a charge ("a vigorish of 3%). 2: interest paid to a moneylender. [probably from Yiddish, from Russian vygrysh "winings, profit".] also shortened to just vig.
(rye'-then (soft th, as in then)) adj. being twisted or contorted. [directly from Middle English (it's also a root of writhe) akin to Old Norse ritha "to twist," akin to Old English wrigian "to turn," akin to Middle High German rigel "kerchief wound around the head," akin to Greek rhoikos "crooked."] whew!
(zan-thock'-roh-wee, zan-thock'-roy) white persons having light hair and fair skin. adj.& singular form: xanthochroid (zanth'-uh-kroid, zan-thock'-roid). adj. form: xanthochroic (zanth-oh-kroh'-ic). [from New Latin xanth- "yellow" + Greek ochroi from ochros "pale."]
(yes-treen') n. (chiefly Scottish) last evening or last night.
(zen-nahn'-uh) n. harem, seraglio. [from Hindi.]
(grib'-ul) n. a small marine isopod crustacean (Limnoria lignorum or L. terebrans) that destroys submerged timber.
(pelf) n. money, riches. [from Middle French pelfre "booty".]
(ay-ee'-nee-us) adj. brassy or golden green in color.
(forb) n. an herb other than grass. [from Greek phorbe "fodder, food," from pherbein to graze.]
(ell'-im-oss'-in-air-ee) adj. of, relating to, or supported by charity. [from Latin eleemosyna alms.]
(foo'-fa-raw) n. 1: frills and fancy finery. 2: a disturbance or to-do over a trifle.
(lan-nye') n. porch; veranda. [from Hawaiian.]
(shan'-dree-dan) 1: a chaise with a hood. 2: a rickety vehicle.
(tar'-di-graid) 1: slow-paced; moving or stepping slowly. 2: of or pertaining to the Tardigrada (an old classification that included sloths, or a current one comprising a group of minute aqueous arthropods)
(on'-tick) adj. of, relating to, or having real being.
(loob-rish'-us) adj. 1: having a smooth or slippery quality. 2: marked by wantonness; salacious.
(inch'-meel) adv. little by little; gradually [from inch + -meal (as in piecemeal).]
(coss'-ter-mong'-ger) n. a hawker of fruit or vegetables. [from costard a type of apple + monger "seller".]
(pill-gar'-lick) n. 1a: a bald head. 1b: a bald-headed man. 2: a man looked upon with humorous contempt or mock pity.
(coss'-terd) n. 1: any of several large English cooking apples. 2: head; noddle; pate.
(quote-tid'-ee-an) adj. 1: occuring every day. 2a: belonging to each day; everyday. 2b: commonplace; ordinary. [from Latin quot "(as) many as" + dies "days".]
(niss-tag'-muss) n. a rapid involuntary oscillation of the eyes that can be vertical horizontal or torsional, as from dizziness, or balance disorders. [from Greek nystagmos "drowsiness", from nystazein "to doze".]
(bay'-thos) n. 1: in speech or writing, a ludicrous descent from the sublime to the commonplace; an anticlimax. 2: sentimentality, mawkishness.
(doo-bye'-et-ee) also, dubiosity (doob'-ee-oss'-it-ee) n. a feeling of doubt; a doubtful matter.
(jack-tay'-shun) n. boasting; bragging.
(loob'-rit-tor'-ee-um) n. a station for lubricating motor vehicles.
(cull'-yun, cull'-ee-un) n. a mean or base fellow. [from Middle English coillon "testicle".]
(wale'-ee-drag) n. (Scottish) a feeble, dwarfed animal or person. [not to be confused with wally (wale'-ee) n. (also Scottish) fine, splendid.]
(litt'-er-ate'-im) adv. letter-for-letter; literally. {compare with verbatim (verb-ate'-im) adv. word-for-word.}
(flan-nur') n. a loafer.
(kwest'-ah) n. a hill or ridge with a steep face on one side and a gentle slope on the other. [from Spanish costa "side, rib".]
(ann'-uh-dine) adj. 1: serving to asuage pain. 2: not likely to offend or arouse tensions; bland; innocuous n. 1: a drug that allays pain. 2: something that soothes, calms or comforts. [from Greek a- an- "without, not "+ odyné "pain".]
(wee'-zen) v.i. to shrink or shrivel, to cause to shrink.
(broom'-all) adj. wintery. [from Latin bruma winter, originally winter solstice, by contraction from brevima (dies) "shortest (day)".]
(ess-tam'-een-ehy') n. a café or coffeehouse. [from French.]
(in-car'-nuh-deen') adj. 1. of a fleshy pink color. 2: blood-red.
(gork) n. vegetable, in the sense of a person who is severely mentally or physically impaired. [perhaps from back-formation from the slang term gorked "anesthetized".]
(zan'-thuss) adj. 1: yellow. 2: yellowish.
(yonn'-ee) n. a representation of the external female genitals, regarded as the symbol of Shakti. adj. yonic. (this would be the opposite of phallic, presumably).
(dim-merss-all) adj. living near, deposited on, or sinking to the bottom of the sea.
(an-thee'-mee-un) n. a flat ornament of floral form (as in relief sculpture or painting). [from Greek diminutive of anthos "flower".]
(clap'-ur-claw') v.t. 1: to claw with the nails. 2: to scold; revile.
(kloof) n. a deep glen; ravine. [from Afrikaans.]
(pav'-id) adj. timid. [from Latin pavidus, from pavere "to be frightened".]
(wiv'-ern) n. a mythical creature often depicted heraldically as a two legged winged dragon with a barbed tail.
(flan'-el-mouthd) adj. 1: speaking indistinctly. 2: speaking in a tricky or ingratiating way.
(kon'-drool) n. a rounded granule of cosmic origin often found embedded in meteoric stones and sometimes free in marine sediments. [from Greek chondros "grain".]
petitio principii
(peh-tish'-ee-oh prin-sip'-ee-eye) n. a logical fallacy in which a premise is assumed to be true without warrant, or in which what is to be proved is implicitly taken for granted.
(kite) n. (chiefly Scottish) stomach; belly.
(paw'-kee) adj. artfully shrewd; canny.
(katz'-en-jam'-ur) n. 1: hangover. 2: distress; depression. 3: a discordant clamor. [from German katzen "cats" + jammer "distress".]
(katch'-pen'-nee) adj. designed especially to appeal to the ignorant or unwary through sensationalism or cheapness.
(kwink-unks) n. an arrangement of five things with one at each corner, and one in the middle of a square or rectangle. [from Latin quincunx "five twelfths".]
(rabb'-uh-lay'-zhun) adj. 1: of, relating to, or characteristic of Rabelais, or his works. 2: marked by gross, robust humor, extravagance of caricature, or bold naturalism.
(koh'-jent) adj. 1a: appealing forcibly to the mind or reason; convincing. 1b: pertinent; relevant. 2: having power to compel or restrain.
(ay-byool'-ee-uh) n. abnormal lack of ability to act or make decisions.
(rownd'-heel) n. a pushover.
(bruks'-iz-um) n. habitual, purposeless clenching and grinding of the teeth, especially during sleep. [from Greek bryx(is) "a gnashing of the teeth".]
(kempt) adj. neatly kept; trim; tidy. [past participle of Middle English kemben "to comb".]
(ee-ole'-ee-an) adj. 1:(often capitalized) of or relating to Aeolus, Greek god of the winds. 2: giving forth or marked by a moaning or sighing sound or musical tone produced by, or as if by the wind.
(kor-een') n. a chorus girl.
(in-fran'-jib-bull) adj. 1: incapable of being broken or separated. 2: inviolable.
(paht'-sur) n. an inept chess player. [from German patzer "bungler", from patzen "to blunder".]
(miss'-tigg-riss, miss'-tigg-ree) n.1: in the game of poker, the extra card, or joker, which may have any value the holder wishes. 2: a variation of poker (usually draw-poker) where the blank card or joker is played as a wild card in this manner. [from French mistigri the knave of clubs, presumably played as a wild card in certain games] (also apparently a popular name for cats in France, or even a nickname for people).
(miss'-oh-nee'-iz-um, my'-soh-nee'-iz-um) n. hatred or fear of change or innovation.
(diss-kal'-see-ate') v.t. to pull off shoes or sandals from. adj. (used of certain religious orders) barefoot or wearing only sandals. [from Latin discalceatus "unshod", from dis- + calceus "shoe"].
(mim-eese'-iss) n. imitation; specifically a) in art and literature, imitation or representation, especially of speech or behavior etc. b) in biology, mimicry.
(plee'-oh-naz-um) n.1: redundance of words in speaking or writing; the use of more words than necessary in expressing ideas. 2: an instance of this. 3: the redundant word or expression.
(buh-zore') n. a hard indigestible mass of material, such as hair, vegetable fibers, or fruits, found in the stomachs or intestines of some ruminant animals (e.g. wild goat, gazelle, llama), and sometimes humans, formerly regarded as an antidote for poisons and pestilential diseases, hence: any antidote or panacea. two kinds were particularly esteemed, the bezoar orientale of India, and the bezoar occidentale of Peru. [from Arabic badizarhd from Persian pad "protecting" + zahr "poison"].
(voh-lay'-shuss) adj. apt or fit to fly.
(zoog'-muh) n. 1: the use of a word to modify or govern two or more words, usu. in such a manner that it applies to each in a different sense, or makes sense with only one. (example: She opened the door and her heart to the orphan.)
e-mail me with other examples of zeugma in action!
(dem'-ee-urj'-ick) adj. of or pertaining to the Demiurge or his/her work; creative. {see also Demiurge n. a name for the maker or creator of the world, later conceived by some as being a subordinate to the Supreme Being, sometimes as the author of evil.} [from Latin demiurgos public or skilled worker; from Greek demos "of the people" + urgos "working; worker"].
(kak-uh-stock'-ruh-see) n. government by the worst people. [from Greek kakistos "worst," superlative of kakos "bad" + cratos "rule, sway, authority"].
(mell) n. honey.
(pet-tard') n. 1: a small bell-shaped bomb used to breach a gate or wall. 2: a loud firecracker. [from French pétard "a fart", or a type of bomb, from Old French pet "a fart," from Latin pdere "to fart," from the Indo-European root pezd "fart"]. (the expression "to be hoist by one's own petard" first seen in Shakespeare's Hamlet, means "to blow oneself up with one's own bomb, be undone by one's own devices").
(sigh-lann'-throp-ee) n. the doctrine that Jesus was merely a human being. [from Greek psilo "mere; bare" + anthro "man"].
(pull'-krit-tood) adj. physical beauty.
(em-brang'-gull) v.t. to mix up in confusion; to make complicated; to bewilder.
(egg'-zi-jent) adj. 1: urgent; critical; pressing; requiring immediate aid or action. 2: requiring more than is reasonable, demanding; exacting.
(vole'-ah-puke) n. an artificial language invented about 1879 by J. M. Schleyer of Baden, Germany for proposed international use as an auxiliary language. [from German vol "world; universe" + pük "speech; language"].
(clap'-ter) n. the sound of clapping, or clap-like sounds; applause, usually from a large crowd. [from English, by extension, from clap + -ter, as in laughter or clatter].
(ess'-pehr-ahn'-toe) n. an artificial language for international (chiefly European) use, based on word bases common to the main European languages. [from the Espertanto word esperanto "one who hopes", after a pseudonym of Dr. L. L. Zamenhof who invented the language in 1887].
(wahm'-bull) v.i. 1: to turn, twist, writhe, roll, or wiggle about. 2: to move unsteadily, to stagger or reel. n.1: a) a wambling; turning; twisting; writhing, etc. b) an unsteady movement or staggering gait. {see also wambly adj. unsteady, shaky; staggering or reeling. 2: feeling nausea; nauseated. see also wamble-cropped adj. sick at the stomach}.
(may'ven) n. a person who has special knowlege or experience; an expert. [from Yiddish meyvn from Hebrew mebin "to understand"].
(puhl-vine'-ar) adj. of, relating to, or like a pillow or pad; resembling a cushion or pillow.
(dij-uh-rah'-tee) pl. n: persons knowledgeable about computers and technology.
(egg-zig'-you-us) adj. small; slender; minute; diminutive.
(pro-leg-omm'-enn-on) n. An introductory discourse, especially a formal essay introducing a work of considerable length or complexity. pl. prolegomena preliminary remarks or observations.
wapper jaw
(wahp'-ur-jaw) n. a misshapen or projecting underjaw.
(prid'-ee-an) adj. pertaining or belonging to the previous day.
(durl) v.t. to vibrate or tingle  n. a vibration or tingling sensation.
(vye-vipp'-er-us) adj. 1: bearing or bringing forth live young (as most mammals and some other animals) instead of laying eggs, as opposed to oviparous. 2: in botany, germinating while still on the plant, as certain seeds or bulbs. 3: producing such seeds or bulbs; proliferous.
(brik'-bat) n. 1: a piece of broken brick, esp. one used as a missile. 2: any rocklike missile. 3: an unkind or unfavorable remark; caustic criticism.
(koll'-port-ur) n. a person who travels to sell or publicize Bibles, religious tracts, etc. [from French col "neck" + porter "to carry" - in other words, to carry on the neck, or hawk].
ditty bag
(ditt'-ee bag') n. a small bag used esp. by sailors to hold sewing implements, toiletries, etc. see also ditty box: same thing, but a box.
(day-noo-maw') n. 1: The point in the plot that occurs after the climax; the final resolution of the main complication of a literary or dramatic work. 2: The outcome of a complex sequence of events. [from French, from Old French denoer "to untie," from Latin de- (un-) + nodare "to tie in a knot," from nodus "a knot"].
(miss-uh-jen-nay'-shun) n. 1: the interbreeding of different races or of persons of different racial backgrounds. 2: cohabitation, sexual relations, or marriage involving persons of different races. 3: a mixture or hybridization.
(vav'-uh-sore) n. a feudal vassal ranking just below a baron.
(zeer-oh'-sis) n. an abnormal dryness of the skin, eyeballs, or mucous membranes.
(goo*n'-da (*oo like in good)) n. (in India) a ruffian or hoodlum.
(loo'-bee) n. an awkward person, especially one who is lazy or stupid; lout; lubber.
(nay'-bob) n. 1: any very wealthy, influential or powerful person .2: (formerly, in Britain) a person who had acquired a large fortune in India.
(plan'-oh-gram) n. a diagram that shows how and where specific retail products should be placed on retail shelves or displays in order to increase customer purchases.
(zarf) n. a metal holder for a coffee cup without a handle, used in the Middle East. [from zarf "vessel; sheath"].
(zy'-loyd) adj. of or resembling wood; ligneous.
(in-vid'-ee-us) adj. 1: calculated to create ill will; causing resentment or envy. 2: offensively or unfairly discriminating; injurious.
(noo'-guh-tor-ee) adj. 1: trifling, worthless; futile. 2: inoperative, ineffective, not valid.
(dee-cress'-unt) adj. 1: decreasing gradually. 2: waning, as the moon. n. form: decrescence.
(pahl'-mee) adj. 1: flourishing, prosperous. 2: triumphant.
(fritt'-ul) n. a temporary mark on the skin caused by the impression of a textured surface. [prob. inspired by the similar close patterning on the flower or butterfly called Frittilary, for its checkered markings, from Latin fritillus "a chess/checker board"].
(rye-sor'-ee-al) adj. pertaining to laughter; causing laughter; risible (rizz'-ibb-ul).
(agg'nail) n. 1: a whitlow; an inflammation around a fingernail or toenail. 2: a hangnail; a piece of half-severed skin beside, or at the base of a nail.
(de-main' or de-meen') n. 1: possession, dominion. 2: in law, possession (of real estate) as one's own. 3: formerly, the land or estate belonging to a lord and not rented or let, but kept in his hands. 4: a lord's mansion and the land around it. 5: a region; domain. 6: a realm (of activity).
(ass-purse') v.t. to spread false rumors concerning, or damaging charges against; besmirch the reputation of; to slander or calumniate; traduce; malign; defame; slander; vilify. (also used as a pl. n. in the phrase "to cast aspersions").
(crank'-ul) n. a bend or turn, a crinkle. v.i. to bend, wind, or twist; to move in a zig zag course. v.t. to break into bends, turns, or angles; to crinkle.
(dull'-cor-ate) v.t. to sweeten, to make less acrimonious. n. form: dulcoration.
(cherm) v.i. to twitter. warble, or hum, as birds, insects, etc. n. a twittering, warbling, or humming sound.
(blag) n. arrant jesting; humbug.
(hum'-bug) n. 1a: something made or done to cheat or deceive; fraud; sham; hoax. 1b: misleading, dishonest, or empty talk. 2: a dishonest person; a person who does not live up to his claims; an impostor. 3: a spirit of trickery, deception, etc. v.t. to deceive; to dupe; to cheat. v.i. to practice deceit.
(dye'-uh-pay'-zonn) n. 1: concord, as of notes an octave apart; harmony; a full, rich outpouring of harmonious sound. 2: the entire range of an instrument or voice; the entire compass of tones. 3: one of several stops in the organ, whose effects extend through the full scale of the instrument. 4: the octave, or interval which includes all the tones of the diatonic scale. 5: a standard of pitch; a tuning fork.
(nair'-eez) n. pl. the nostrils or the nasal passages. singular form: naris.
(pal'-ee-ate) v.t. 1: to make (an offense or crime) seem less serious; extenuate. 2: to make less severe or intense; mitigate. 3: to relieve the symptoms of a disease or disorder (but not cure it). [from Latin pallium "cloak"].
(alternate spellings: nargile, or nargileh) (nar'-guh-lee, or -lay) n. a tobacco pipe in which the smoke is drawn through water before reaching the lips; a hookah. [from Persian nargil "coconut," from which the bowl was formerly made].
(flah-jish'-us) adj. shamefully wicked; villainous; atrocious; scandalous; heinous; iniquitous; execrable
(fiz'-gig) n. 1: a fishgig. 2: a giddy, flirting girl. 3: a kind of firework, made of damp powder, which gives a hissing or fizzing noise when ignited.
(troy'lizm) n. sexual activity in which three persons take part simultaneously.
(ban'-di-koot) n. 1: a name given to Mus giganteus, a very large rat of India and Sri Lanka; it is as large as a rabbit and very destructive to growing crops. 2: an Australian marsupial of the genus Perameles, resembling the bandicoot of India. [from Indian pandi-kokku "pig-rat"].
acid test
(a'-sid test) n. a crucial, final test of the value or quality of a thing or person: originally a test of gold by acid.
(ay-kile'-us) adj. in anatomy and botany, possessing no lips or only rudimentary ones.
(urp) n. a smirk of the face; a twisting of the body.
(eer'-ee-dent'-ah) adj. unredeemed: said of a region or regions populated chiefly by the natives of a specified country which formerly held it and seeks to recover it.
(ball'-tur) v.t. 1: to tangle. 2: to walk on clumsily. v.i. 1: to become tangled. 2: to dance clumsily.
(trip'-siss) n. trituration; also, the process of shampooing. [from Greek tribein "to rub"].
(try'-toor-ate) v.t. to grind; to rub; to crush; specifically, to grind to a powder; to pulverize.
(ding'-gull) or dimble (dim'-bull) n. a narrow wooded dale or valley between hills; a small secluded valley.
(dook, rhymes with kook) n. a piece of wood inserted in a brick or stone wall for holding nails.
(doyt) n. 1: a small obsolete Dutch coin that was worth about 1/4 of a cent. 2: anything of trifling value, as in "not worth a doit"; also, doitkin.
(kah'-sher) v.t. to feed with delicacies; to treat kindly and fondly; to fondle; to pet (sometimes used with -up)
(dee-len'-dah) n pl. things to be blotted out or erased.
(dor' nik) n. a stone of a size suitable for throwing.
(dorp) n. a small village, a hamlet.
(mamm'-oh-thrept) n. literally, a child raised by its grandmother; hence, a spoiled child. [from Greek mamma "grandmother "+ threptos "nourished, reared"].
(swink) v.i. to labor, toil, work hard, sweat. v.t. to gain by toil (past tense is tricky, as it's a bit archaic: swinked, swank, swunk, or swonk).
(mack'-uh-ronn'-ick) adj. 1: involving or characterized by a mixture of languages, especially burlesque verse in which real or coined words from two or more languages are mixed or vernacular words of modern language/s are Latinized and mixed with Latin words and hybrid forms. 2: having the nature of a medley; mixed; jumbled.
(vibb'-riss-ay) 1: (anatomical) nose hairs. 2: (zoological) whiskers.
(man'-if-fold) adj. 1: having many and various forms, features, parts, etc... 2: of many sorts; many and varied; multifarious. 3: being such in many and various ways or for many reasons. 4: comprising, consisting of, or operating several units or parts of one kind - said of certain devices.
(senn'-uh-shahl) n. a powerful official in the household of a medieval noble: he was in charge of administering justice and managing the domestic affairs of the estate, and he represented his lord in court.
(mack'-uh-rize) v.t. to pronounce happy or blessed. [from Greek makar "happy, blessed"] {see also macarism n. joy in another's happiness}.
(sway'-lee) adj. shady.
(senn-ock'-yuh-lur) adj. having six eyes.
(gheek) n. (archaic) a carnival performer often billed as a wild man, whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken or snake [prob. from English dial. geek, geck "fool," from Low German geck].
(gawm) n. smudge; smear.
gory dew
(gor'-ee doo') n. bloodlike, gelatinous patches found on damp stones, and consisting of palmella cruenta, a red alga.
(eye'-so-bront) n. a line on a map passing though those points on the surface of the earth at which the first peal of thunder of a thunderstorm is heard at the same time.
(par-tay'-gee-um) n. a fold of skin between the fore and hind limbs of flying squirrels, flying lizards, etc., enabling them to glide through the air.
bear garden
(behr' garden) n. 1: a place for bear-baiting or similar pastimes. 2: a scene of disorderly conduct or riots. "The City Council meeting degenerated into a bear garden."
(ail'-uh-gar) n. sour ale; the acid of ale; vinegar resulting from the fermentation of ale.
(ab-skwaht'-yule-ate) v.i. to leave suddenly; to decamp; also to squat.
(kwon'-dum) adj. former; sometime.
(pik'-nik) adj. characterized by shortness of stature; broadness of girth, and powerful muscularity; endomorphic. [from Greek pyknos "dense, stocky"].
(pyoo'-sill-an'-im-us) adj. lacking courage and resolution; marked by contemptible timidity; cowardly.
(hoy'-den) n. a girl or woman of saucy, boisterous or carefree behavior.
(hub'-ul-bub'-ul) n. 1: a flurry or sound of activity; commotion. 2: a water pipe.
(par'-ul) n. word of mouth.
(teel'-ahss) n. an ultimate end.
(how) n. hollow; valley.
(twee) adj. affectedly or excessively dainty, delicate, cute or quaint.
(or'-uh-tund) adj. 1: marked by fullness, strength and clarity or sound; sonorous. 2: pompous; bombastic.
(in'-ter-nun'-see-oh) n. 1: a messenger between two parties; go between. 2: a papal legate of lower rank than a nuncio.
(noh'-duss) n. complication; difficulty pl. nodi. [from Latin nodus "knot, node"].
(fay-nay-ah(n)) n. an irresponsible idler adj. idle and ineffectual; indolent.
(kwayl) n. 1: a property (redness, for example) considered apart from things having the property; a universal. 2: a property as it is experienced as distinct from any source it might have in a physical object.
(peck'-yuh-late) v.t. embezzle
(kal-uh-pij'-ee-un) adj. having shapely buttocks. [from Greek kalli "beautiful" + pyge "buttocks," akin to physan "to blow, inflate"].
(heb'-uh-t(y)ood) n. lethargy; dullness {see also: hebetate (heb'-uh-tayt) v.t. to make dull or obtuse}.
(urst'-wile) adv. in the past; formerly adj. former, previous.
(ih-rump'-ent) adj. bursting forth.
(n(y)oo'-men) n. a spiritual force or influence often identified with a natural object, phenomenon or locality (pl. numina).
(mor-bid'-it-tee) n. 1:the quality or state of being morbid 2: the relative instance of a disease.
(proh-cruss'-tee-an) adj. 1: of, relating to, or typical of Procrustes (a villainous son of Poseidon who forced travelers to fit into his bed by stretching their bodies or cutting off their legs). 2: marked by arbitrary, often ruthless disregard of individual differences or special circumstances.
(prog) v.i. (dial.) to search about, esp. to forage n. food; victuals.
(heb'-duh-mad) n. 1: a group of seven 2: a period of seven days; a week.
(ob-n(y)oo'-bill-ate) v.t. becloud [from Latin ob "in the way" + nubilus "cloudy"].
(shfair-mer-eye') n. excessive or unwholesome sentiment [from German schwärmren "to be enthusiastic" lit. "to swarm"].
(ha-russ'-peks) n. a diviner in ancient Rome basing his predictions on inspection of the entrails of sacrificial animals.
(deed'ul) adj. 1a: intricate. 1b: skillful, artistic. 2: adorned with many things.
(jug'-er-not) n. 1: a massive inexorable force that crushes whatever is in its path. 2: (chiefly Brit.) a large heavy truck. 3: (an older definition from the OED) (figurative) an institution, practice, or notion to which persons blindly devote themselves, or are ruthlessly sacrificed. [all these derived from the first OED definition 4: in Hindu mythology, a title of Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu; specifically, the idol of this deity, annually dragged in procession on an enormous car, under the wheels of which many devotees would throw themselves to be crushed.]
(sal-oo'-bree-us) adj. favorable to or promoting health or well being.
(boy'-ism) n. 1: the characteristic nature of a boy. 2: a boyish characteristic or trait; a puerility.
(sess'-kwi-ped-ay'-lee-un) adj. 1: having many syllables 2: given to or characterized by the use of long words.
(stij'-ee-an) adj. 1: of or relating to the river Styx. 2: extremely dark, gloomy or forbidding.
(kay'-ter kuz'-in) n. an intimate friend.
(kuh-log') v.i. 1: (dial.) intrigue, conspire 2: to talk privately; confer.
(obb-tund') v. to reduce the edge or violence of; dull.
(zoff'-tig) adj. (of a woman) having a full rounded figure; pleasingly plump [from Yiddish zaftik "juicy, succulent"].
(dive'-uh-gate, div'-uh-gate) v. to wander or drift about. n. form: divagation.
(loo'-kyuh-brate) v. to stay up late to study [from Latin lucubrare "to work at night by lamplight"].
(lav'-vuh-leer', lah'-vuh-leer') n. a pendant on a fine chain that is worn as a necklace [from French lavalliere "a type of necktie with a large bow"].
(im-may'-go, im-mah'-go) n. 1: an insect in its final, adult, sexually mature, and typically winged state. 2: an idealized mental image of another person or the self.
(vill'-uh-pend) v.t. 1: to hold or treat as of little worth or account; contemn. {contemn (con-tem') v.t. to treat with contempt}. 2: to express a low opinion of; disparage.
(luv'-utt) n. a predominantly dusty color mixture (as of green) in fabrics.
(im-mane') adj.. (archaic) huge; also: monstrous in character.
(mome) n. (archaic) blockhead; fool.
(strop'-pee) adj. touchy, belligierent [by shortening and alteration of obstreperous].
(im-brole'-yo) n. 1: a confused mass. 2a: an intricate or complicated situation (as in a drama or novel). 2b: an acutely painful or embarrassing misunderstanding. 2c: a violently confused or bitterly complicated altercation; embroilment.
(con-t(y)oo-may'-shuss) adj. stubbornly disobedient; rebellious. {see also: contumelious (...-meel'-ee-us) adj. insolently abusive and humiliating} [both from Latin con + tumere: "to swell, be proud"].
(vess-per-till'-ee-an) adj. of or relating to bats.
(in-im'-ick-ul) adj. 1: harmful; adverse. 2: unfriendly; hostile.
(tiff'-in) n. a midday meal; luncheon [prob. from alteration of tiffing gerund of obsolete tiff "to eat between meals"].
(thigh-ess'-tee-an) adj. of or relating to the eating of human flesh; cannibal [from the Greek myth of Thyestes, brother of Atreus, who unwittingly ate the flesh of his own children].
(klep'-si-dra) n. a water clock [from Greek kleptein "to steal" + hydr "water"].
(yair) adj. 1. set for action; ready. 2a. characterized by speed and agility; nimble; lively. 2b. (of a ship) easily handled; maneuverable.
(kon'-jer-eez) n. aggregation; collection.
(um-bray'-juss) adj. 1a. shady. 1b. filled with shadows. 2. inclined to take offense easily.
(woo'd (rhymes with "brood")) adj. (chiefly Scot) insane; mad.
(weez'und, wiz'-und) n. throat; gullet; (also) windpipe.
(clair'-ih-see) n. intelligentsia.
(ugg'-sum) adj. frightful, loathsome [from Middle English uggen "to fear, or inspire fear"].
(gad'-ar-een) adj. (oft.cap): headlong, precipitate [from the demon-possessed Gadarene swine of the Bible that rushed into the sea].
(ih-klept' or ih-kleept') called; named -- past participle of clepe (kleep) v.t. call; name [from Old English clipian "to speak, call" related to Old Frissian kleppa "to ring, knock"].
(wyre'-dron) adj. excessively minute and subtle.
(throw'-stir) n. one who throws (twists) textile fibers (particularly silk or rayon) into thread or yarn.
(doo-en'-day) n. the power to attract through personal magnetism and charm [from Spanish dialect for "charm", from Spanish "ghost, goblin" from duen de casa].
(screed) n. 1: a) a lengthy discourse. b) an informal piece of writing. 2: a strip laid on as a guide (as of the thickness planned for a coat of plaster). 3: a leveling device drawn over freshly poured concrete.
(en'-ee-ad) n. a group of nine.
(fun'-ji-bul) adj. 1: of such a kind or nature that one specimen or part may be used in place of another specimen or equal part in the satisfaction of an obligation. 2: interchangeable.
(fyoo-till'-it-tair'-ee-an) n. one who believes that human striving is futile.
(suss'-pir-ay'-shun) n. a long deep breath; sigh {see also: suspire (suss-pire') v. to draw a long deep breath; sigh}.
(glog) n. a hot punch made of red wine, brandy and sherry, flavored with almonds, raisins and orange peel, originally made in Sweden for serving during the Christmas holiday season.
(eye-dee'-ate) v.t. to from an idea of; imagine; conceive. v.i. to conceive mental images.
(see-al'-uh-gog) n. an agent that promotes the flow of saliva.
(nim-eye'-et-ee) n. excess, redundancy.
(per-fur'-vid) adj. marked by overwrought or exaggerated emotion; excessively fervent.
(ungk'-choo-us) adj. 1. greasy; oily. 2. marked by affected, exaggerted, or insincere ernestness or courtesy {see also: unguent (un'-gwent) n. a salve or ointment}.
(glows) v.t. to minimize or underplay; to gloss. Used with 'over'. v.i. (archaic) to use flattery or cajolery [from Middle English glosen "to gloss, falsify, flatter"].
(keld) n. 1. a well, fountain, spring 2. a deep, still, smooth part of a river.
(froe'-werd) adj. stubbornly contrary and disobedient; obstinate.
(buss'-ker) n. a person who entertains esp. by singing or reciting on the street, in pubs, or in subway passages.
(la-conn'-ick) adj. sparing of words; terse.
(in-an-ish'-un) n. 1. exhaustion, as from lack of nourishment. 2. the condition or quality of being empty.
(bee'-buh-low, bee'-blow) n. a small decorative object or trinket.
(fyoo-gay'-shuss) adj. 1. passing away quickly; evanescent. 2. (Botany) withering or dropping off early.
(am'-bree) n. 1. a storeroom or cupboard; pantry; closet. 2. in churches, a niche near the altar for keeping sacred vessels and vestments.
(konn-kyoo'-piss-ense) n. sexual desire; lust.
(gluh-bell'-uh) n. the smooth area between the eyebrows just above the nose [from Latin glabellus "bald, hairless"].
(in-vay') v. to protest vehemently; rail.
(pan'-oh-plee) n. 1: the complete arms and armor of a warrior. 2: something that covers or protects. 3: a magnificent array.
(kith) n. friends and neighbors.
(ebb'-ull-ish'-un) n.1: the bubbling or effervescence of a liquid. 2: a sudden outpouring, as of emotion or violence {see also: ebullient 1: filled with excitement 2: boiling, as a liquid}.
(full'-gyur-ay'-shun) n. 1: the act of flashing like lightning, or flashing with light. 2: the destruction of tissue with electric current.
(in-eff'-a-bul) adj. 1: beyond expression; indescribable or unspeakable. 2: not to be uttered, taboo.
(buh-naw'-sick) adj. relating to or concerned with earning a living -- used pejoratively.  also: utilitarian, practical.
(amz'-ayss) (also spelled amesace) n. 1. double aces, the lowest throw at dice. 2. misfortune; bad luck. 3. the smallest amount or most worthless thing possible. [from Middle English, from Old French, from Latin ambas as "both aces"].
(mam'-un) n. money personified as a false god.
(in'-ter-ness'-een) adj. 1: mutually destructive. 2: involving conflict within a group.
(pan-jan'-drum) n. a person of importance [from the Grand Panjandrum, character in a story by Samuel Foote].
(pan'-tee-wayst) n. a weak man; sissy [from pantywaist, a child's undergarment].
(or'-tho-epp'-ee, or-tho'-epp-ee) n. 1: the customary pronunciation of a language. 2: the study of the pronunciation of a language.
(man'-swet-t(y)ood) n. the quality or state of being gentle: meekness, tameness.
(oh-fid'-ee-an') adj. of, relating to, or resembling snakes.
(lan'-yap, lan-yap') n. a small gift given a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase, broadly: something given or obtained gratuitously, or by way of good measure.
(lam'-bent) adj. 1: playing lightly on or over a surface: flickering. 2: softly bright or radiant. 3: marked by lightness or brilliance (esp. of an expression).
(fan'-tahd) n.1a. (pl) a state of irritability and tension. 1b. fidgets. 2: an emotional outburst :fit.
(oh-nai'-rik) adj. of or relating to dreams. {see also: oneiromancy n. divination by means of dreams}.
(nay'-teez) n. buttocks.
(fam'-yuh-lus) n. a private secretary or attendant.
(ort) n. a morsel left at a meal: scrap.
(gorm'less) adj. lacking intelligence: stupid.
(an-frac'-choo-us) adj. full of windings and intricate turnings: tortuous. {see also: anfractuosity n. a winding channel or course; esp: an intricate path or process (as of the mind)}.
(lull'-i-loo) v.t. and v.i. to welcome with a joyful song; to sing a joyful welcome [imitative].