Sunday, September 12, 2021

Vaccination is proceeding at a CHELONIAN pace

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

CHELONIAN [che-LO-nee-UN] (noun or adjective)

A turtle or like a turtle or tortoise (i.e., slow)

"Weighed down by bickering and blather, the farm bill crept through Congress at a chelonian pace."
Valerie StraussThe Washington Post (2013)

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Have you heard the PSITHURISM today?

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

PSITHURISM [SIGH-thur-IS-em] (noun)

The sound of rustling leaves or wind in the trees. 

"Another day the sweet south is blowing; do you not see how the larch and lime palpitate with pleasure? ... do you not hear the musical psithurism of the feathered foliage?"
--Mortimer Collins, "The Secret of a Long Life" (1875)


Sunday, August 01, 2021

Do you need more RHATHYMIA in your life?

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

RHATHYMIA [ruh-THY-mia] (noun)

Light-hearted, carefree behavior

"The Beatles proved that one could combine rhathymia with mayhem in ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer,’ their bizarrely jaunty little ditty about a serial killer." (TWITO, page 125)

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Humpty was no longer OVATE

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

OVATE [OH-vait] (adjective)

Having an oval shape, like an egg

"Todd Smith's engaging small paintings create intricate patterns out of myriad, carefully hand-painted ovate dots, which set the eye dancing in somewhat the same manner as op-art." 
--Peter Clothier, "Gallery Rounds/Bergamot Station" (2007)

Sunday, May 30, 2021


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

STERNUTATION [ster-nyuh-TAY-shun] (noun)

The act or sound of sneezing

"Tabby, the omnipresent housecat, seemed to delight in Natalie's constant sternutation." (TWITO, page 149)

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Feeling OIKOFUGIC now that you're vaccinated?

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

OIKOFUGIC [oy-ko-FU-jik] (adjective)

Marked by the urge to wander or travel away from home

"Genevieve's employment as an air hostess for Oceanic Airlines enabled her to indulge her most oikofugic fantasies, but an emergency landing in Uzbekistan was not one of them." (TWITO, page 101)

Sunday, May 16, 2021

A ZEPHYR might be more effective than a mask

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

ZEPHYR  (noun)

A gentle, refreshing wind; also the Greek god of the west wind.

"He saw attempted murder in the pains of green-apple colic, cyclones in the summer zephyr, lost children in every top-spinning urchin, an uprising of the down-trodden masses in every hurling of a derelict potato at a passing automobile."
--O. Henry, "Whirligigs" (1923)

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Do you find puns GELASTIC?

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

GELASTIC  [jel-AS-tic] (adjective)

Provoking laughter

"Only Desmond's gelastic comments made the tedious seminar bearable." (TWITO, page 60)

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Are you hungry or are you EDACIOUS?

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

EDACIOUS [ih-DAY-shuss] (adjective)

Voracious; devouring

"Abigail flailed in despair as the edacious aphids consumed her garden." (TWITO, page 44)

Sunday, April 04, 2021

My melted Easter bunny caused a DELIQUIUM

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

DELIQUIUM [del-IK-wee-um] (noun)

Melting or dissolution; liquefying; a maudlin mood

"When at length overtaken and reconveyed to the house, deliquium followed deliquium, and when they ceased, frenzy succeeded; the dark night of insanity had utterly quenched the light of reason."
--Reuben Percy, The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction (1834)

"The worship of Odin astonishes us, -- to fall prostrate before the Great Man, into deliquium of love and wonder over him, and feel in their hearts that he was a denizen of the skies, a god!"
--Thomas Carlyle, On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History (1840)

Things melt. The salad left too long in the refrigerator turns to green slime. A vinyl phonograph disc left in the sun warps disastrously. A plastic carafe left too close to the stove burner assumes a comical shape. All these things have happened to me, sad to say. But the worst was during my childhood, when my parents gave me a chocolate bunny one hot Easter morning. While we attended some religious rite, we left the confection in the car. When we returned, all that was left of my sacchariferous hare was a pool of chocolate milk. And yes, that put me in a deliquium. (TWITO, page 40)

Sunday, March 21, 2021

I know you're reading this because of your SACCADE

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

SACCADE (noun) [sa-KAHD]
A small, rapid movement of the eye

"Watching Henry as he turned the pages of Gravity's Rainbow, I was fascinated by the saccades of his left eye, which seemed to oscillate faster than his right." (TWITO, page 129)

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Nice day for some NEPHELOCOCCYGIA?

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

NEPHELOCOCCYGIA (noun) [nef-el-o-kok-sij’-ia]

Cloud gazing; the act of looking for and finding shapes in clouds; also, when capitalized, the name of "Cloud-Cuckoo-Land" in Aristophanes’ The Birds

"Terrence spent Saturday prostrate in the yard and in nephelococcygia, finding inspiration in the thunderheads."

I remember seeing a lot of things in clouds as a kid: faces, cities, fabulous beasts. I can’t do that anymore, which is sad. Now I just see water vapor, though I still can’t quite believe, sometimes, that I couldn’t sit on one of those diaphanous thrones if I could just get up there. (TWITO, page 95)