Sunday, March 29, 2015

Word of the Day: pooterish

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

pooterish [POO-ter-ish] (adjective) [TWITO, page 114]

Pompous, self-important, bourgeois

"A bowler hat would be rather pooterish attire for your garden-variety gnome, don't you think?"

"Pooterish" comes from Charles Pooter, the hero of a 19th-century novel called Diary of a Nobody. (Yes, I’m thinking of adding that to my list of potential new titles for my blog.)

brain words

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Link Mania: Feeling Myrmecophilous

5 Fascinating Facts About Girl Scout Cookie Names
Ding dong. Care for some "trefoils"?

Coffee Words, Decoded
How about a mocha coconut Frappuccino?

Signs and symbols: the names of punctuation marks
Including "octothorpe" (TWITO, page 100). It might be a good name for your Twitter account. ‪#‎octothorpe‬

Long words for lovers of learning
Including "myrmecophilous", an adjective that means "being in a mutually beneficial relationship with ants". That happens?

ants apple
Photo by me! Snapping it was the only time I remember feeling myrmecophilous.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Photo of the Week (by me)


You'll never guess, but you might as well try. Click the pic for a closer view. You have nothing better to do or you wouldn't be here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Random Sequence: traducing

"We can never wholly and heartily enjoy ourselves while traducing our equals and neighbors; the operation is always attended with more or less of fear, lest the powerful friend whose regard we do not really wish to forfeit, or whose resentment we would not willingly incur, may hear of our indiscretion, and cause us to suffer for it."
--Augusta H. Worthen, "Servants", in Godey's Lady's Book and Magazine, March 1864

(I found a bound copy of several issues of Godey's in my basement and have been flipping through the dusty pages.)

traducing (verb; also traduce) = to damage someone's reputation by speaking badly or telling lies about them.

Say, "Don't traduce me!" the next time someone criticizes you. That will shut them up.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Word of the Day: foofaraw

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

foofaraw [FOO-ar-ah] (noun) [TWITO, page 56]

A great deal of attention paid to a trivial matter; much ado about nothing (various spellings)

"Beside, it goes against natur to leave bufler meat and feed on hog; and them white gals are too much like picturs, and a deal too 'foofaraw'...."
--George Frederick Augustus Ruxton, Life in the Far West (1851)

Here's my foofaraw: The cord to my headphones is driving me mad. It kinks, it curls, it tangles, and twirls. I tried suspending the headphones upside down from a hook, thinking that gravity would straighten out my situation. But no, or at least not for long. I like to listen to... things... on the train while commuting, but I'm somewhat embarrassed to pull the headphones out of my man purse and start unknotting the cord while some slack-jawed passenger stares at me from across the aisle. The untangling doesn't go well. I fasten the headphones on, and instead of a nice, smooth, draping line I have an unholy snarl beneath my chin.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Link Mania: Are you a comiconomenclaturist?

23 Notoriously Unrhymable Words (That Actually Have Rhymes)
Still waiting for a word to rhyme with "orange", though.


15 Words That Belong in Every Grandparent's Vocabulary
Send this to your grandma. Includes "afflatus" (TWITO, page 12), "fanfaronade" (page 52), "gravid" (page 63), "vercordious" (page 154), and "wamble" (page 159). But my favorite here is "comiconomenclaturist".


Background checks: everyday words with legal records
They forgot "briefs".


11 Strange Movie Job Titles—Explained!
In Hollywood, a woman can be the "best boy".

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Photo of the Week (by me)

sculpture 2
Face it! Click the pic for a closer view. You have nothing better to do (or you wouldn't be here).

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Brain Dump

It very well may be time to stop, because you need to get started. This means to begin exactly where the rest of the exercise might advise waiting. "We" will overcome this quirk of nature in the middle of a mystery, which posits that a monster is any unreal human on the horizon, an entity not visible when the perspective is inside out. We see such a quasi-religious "scene" whenever we observe stupid [human] activity being immersed, for example, in the emanations of a musical group, whose aficionados elevate lamentations to the status of immortality. Nothing really happens through a process of this kind, but the traces remain with us forever. Of course, now, with liberty and justice incomprehensible, intolerable consequences are commonplace. The resulting "fire" is perceived as a top-of-the-world negative orgasm. The theoretical foundations of the universe are then called into question, simply because we cannot understand them. If such symptoms appear to cause inherent trauma, continue to wait, however, but not for eternity.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Random Sequence: indite

"There happened to be no one in the office but the [telegraph] operator, who was a stranger to her, and gathering courage from her success thus far, Maggie sat down at a table and tried to compose her thoughts sufficiently to indite a message."
--Marion Harland, "Nobody to Blame", Godey's Lady's Book and Magazine, April 1864

(I found a bound copy of several issues of Godey's in my basement and have been flipping through the dusty pages.)

indite (verb) = to write or dictate. It's pronounced exactly like "indict". I'm guessing these are related words. You do have to indite to indict.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

List Mania: Obsolete Names

Here are women's names you rarely hear anymore (except perhaps on Downton Abbey):

Mildred (my grandfather's sister's name)
Connie (my late aunt's name)
Gertrude (as a child, I had a neighbor by this name)
Elaida (my grandmother had a friend by this name)
Daisy (as a kid, I knew an old lady by this name)
Kitty (as a kid, I had a sometime teacher by this name)
Lucy (a childhood friend had a babysitter by this name)

Monday, March 02, 2015

Word of the Day: ninnyhammer

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

ninnyhammer [NIN-ee-ham-er] (noun) [TWITO, page 96]

A fool, simpleton or silly person

"You silly, awkward, illbred, country sow...have you no more manners than to rail at Hocus, that has saved that clodpated numskull'd ninnyhammer of yours from ruin, and all his family?"
--John Arbuthnot, "The History of John Bull" (1712)

Sometimes I think I'd have to be a ninnyhammer to collect all of these obscure words. I've been doing it for years, without a clear idea of what I would do with them. Then one day I realized I could collect them in a book, achieving fame and fortune. The rest is history.

jug 2