Thursday, May 03, 2018

Word of the Day: chaussure

What's the word I'm thinking of? Today, it's...

chaussure [sho-SUR] (noun) TWITO, page 32

Footgear; shoes

"'I delight in Hessian boots,’ said Rebecca. Jos Sedley, who admired his own legs prodigiously, and always wore this ornamental chaussure, was extremely pleased at this remark...."
--William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair (1848)

I often wear sneakers (athletic shoes, plimsolls), as I work in a casual place. I also wear leather chaussure, though--no special reason--and feel a bit more grown up at those times, if slightly less comfortable.

Drawing by me!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Word of the Day: truttaceus

What's the word I'm thinking of? Today, it's...

truttaceus [troo-TAY-shuss] (adjective): TWITO, page 149

Pertaining to or like a trout.

"....crowded with the boats of paradise, we would fancy parades and serenades mid its roral gales, lepid glens and truttaceus charms...."
—Anonymous, in The New Rugbeian (1859)

A "chub" and a catfish -- those are the only types of fish I ever caught. And I threw them back. That's the kind of guy I am.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Word of the Day: cachinnate

What's the word I'm thinking of? Today, it's...

cachinnate (verb), TWITO page 26

To laugh loudly

"By no means is the wit of a kind to please the ‘groundlings’; there is nothing of that 'capital fun' in it that so tickles the genuine John Bull, who, if he exerts his risible faculties at all, is satisfied with nothing less than a horse-laugh, which may be classical enough, because, we suppose, it was after that fashion that the centaurs of antiquity used to cachinnate."
--Antonius Anthus, in The Foreign Monthly Review and Continental Literary Journal (1839)

Things that make me cachinnate: bigfoot reports, possibly apocryphal George W. Bush quotations ("Too bad the French don’t have a word for entrepreneur"), pro wrestling, The Office (meaning the TV show, especially the British version), and puns.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Word of the Day: escritoire

What's the word I'm thinking of? Today, it's...

escritoire [ess-krih-TWAR](noun): TWITO, page 48

A writing desk

"...this diverted suspicion into a new channel, and it was suggested that the robbery and the murder had really been committed by common housebreakers. It was then discovered that a large purse of gold, and a diamond cross, which the escritoire contained, were gone."
--Edward Bulwer Lytton, Devereux (1829)

Perhaps you are seated at an escritoire at this very moment. For myself, I prefer to curl up on the couch (also: sofa; grandma called it a "davenport") with my laptop as I tap my way along the information superhighway to my literary destiny.

Why is a raven like a writing desk? Because they both have quills?

Monday, February 26, 2018

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less." "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things." "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master—that's all."

He took a great fall.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Wandering Word Thoughts: Don't slonk!

Try not to salivate while you suaviate (i.e., when you kiss someone).


You won't be able to maintain your froideur (coolness or reserve) if you eat too much sriracha (a pungent sauce of hot peppers pureed with sugar, salt, garlic, and vinegar, most often used as a condiment).


Don't slonk (swallow greedily) if you don't want to jirble (spill [a liquid] by shaking or unsteady moving)!


Try to wrap your head around this: The pope wears a "small gourd" (a zucchetto) on his bean.


Depending on how the food tastes, degust (tasting carefully) may lead to disgust.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Wandering Word Thoughts: Don't Be "Pusillanimous"

Is your dog a groke? (A groke is someone who stares at you while you're eating.)

You don't have to be sick to feel frobly-mobly (i.e., not quite healthy OR sick).

So you claim you're too rugged to ever get the flu, bro? That might be an example of rodomontade (boasting).

Do you suppose a manfant could ever be elected president? (A manfant is a man who acts like an infant.)

Learn these words, and then you can bloviate (talk egotistically at excessive length) about it.

"Every pusillanimous [i.e., timid] creature that crawls on the earth or slinks through slimy seas has a brain!" (Said the Wizard of Oz. They may have brains, but they don't have fancy vocabularies.)

Saturday, December 30, 2017

My Word of the Year: Kakistocracy

The Word I'm Thinking Of's word of the year is "kakistrocracy" (TWITO, page 79): government by the worst, most unprincipled, or least qualified.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

'Connubial Yin Yang' (microfiction)

"What do you call that color? It's awful," said Everett when Mandy showed him how she'd painted their bedroom.

"I call it 'Mocha,'" said Mandy. "That's what it says on the can, too."

"I call it 'Squishy Wormwood,'" said Everett.

"That's just artless persiflage," Mandy replied. "It's better than it was. Much better. Warmer. Before, it was...'Droopy Milkiness.' That's the name for it. It was all milky. And droopy."

"Oh, it was better than that," Everett insisted. "It was lighter. Not depressing. It was the logical color for a bedroom. It had a certain... a certain 'Funky Syllogism' to it. That's what I would call it: 'Funky Syllogism.'"

"Whatever," Mandy averred with unquestioning imperturbability as she rolled her eyes.

"Tell you what," Everett suggested. "Let's paint two walls Squishy Wormwood and the other two Funky Syllogism."

"A compromise? Mocha and Milky Droopiness?" Mandy said. "What will we call that combo?"

"Connubial Yin Yang," Everett said as they collapsed into bed.

[not to be continued]

Friday, November 24, 2017

Christmas Gift Idea

"A dictionary makes a great Christmas gift."
--Unknown (possibly Noah Webster)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Parabolic Avocation (microfiction)

Parabolic Avocation

"You're a soprano warbler," I see, said Edwin. "I mean... I hear."

"This again? That's just farcical perverseness", said Enid. "You know I'm alto."

"Nope, soprano," said Ed. "No needful capitulation from me."

"Pugnacious imbecility," Enid warbled.

"Wiggly grayness," Ed said.

"What?" said Enid.

"Test phrase. Try singing that phrase in your highest register."

"Wigglyyy graaaynesssss," Enid sang. "Oh this is barefaced imbecility," she said.

"No, soprano," Ed insisted. "You can do better than that."

"Now we're wandering into sterotypical happenstance," Enid said. "We've been all through this before."

"You could break a glass with that voice," said Ed, with circumscribed garrulousness.

Enid laughed. "I could try. My Baccarat crystal stemware? Would you drop this if I can't do it? Or fix it if I can?

"Cohesive epoxy, right here," said Ed, opening a drawer.

"Your obsession with always being right is a parabolic avocation," Enid sighed, raising the nearest glass.

It was the one Ed had already sabotaged with a hairline crack.

[not to be continued]

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts: Is Your Dragon "Epouventable"?

Is your dragon "epouventable"(frightful)?

You could ask your "deipnosophist" (excellent dinner-table conversationist) to pass the "attic salt" (incisive wit).

My father had a "go-devil", but it wasn't a ghost (as this phrase sometimes means); it was a tool for splitting wood.

What's your opinion of "ultracrepidarians" (those who offer uninformed opinions)?