Set 9 – Five New Words for Nov 9

1. kabuki  (kah-BOO-kee, KAH-boo-kee)

MEANING:
1. A form of Japanese drama that includes highly stylized movements, dances, singing, and miming, and all parts are played by males.
2. Done for the show only; make-believe.

USAGE:
“I think a first date should go like this: The man reaches for the check, the woman offers to split it, the man declines, saying ‘No, I’ve got it.’ It’s a bit of Kabuki theater.”
Andrea Pyros; You’re Paying, Right?; Denver Post (Colorado); Nov 12, 2012.

“In the kabuki theatre of British parliamentary politics, great crimes do not happen and criminals go free.”
John Pilger; Let’s Learn from Blair’s Mistakes; New Statesman (London, UK); Feb 20, 2012.

“Cokie Roberts: This week though, really, is a kabuki dance. Everybody is going through motions that they know are going to lead nowhere.”
Deadline Still Hangs Over Debt-Ceiling Talks; Morning Edition; National Public Radio (Washington, DC); Jul 18, 2011.

2. honcho (HAWN-choh)

MEANING:
noun: One who is in charge of a situation; leader; boss.
verb tr.: To organize, manage, or lead a project, event, etc.

USAGE:
“The three head honchos are the recipients of the Best CEO Award.”

3. skosh (skoash)

MEANING:
noun: A small amount; a little bit.

USAGE:
“The obesity rate would have been 30.2% for women in that age group — again, just a skosh lower than the actual rate of 30.4%.”

4. kamikaze (kah-mi-KAH-zee)

MEANING:
noun: Someone who behaves in a reckless, self-destructive manner.
adjective: Extremely reckless, potentially self-destructive.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Japanese kamikaze (divine wind), from kami (god, divinity) + kaze (wind).

NOTES:
In Japanese folklore, kamikaze was the divine wind that destroyed a Mongol invasion fleet under Kublai Khan. In World War II, the kamikaze were suicidal attacks by Japanese pilots who crashed their planes on an enemy target such as a ship.

USAGE:
“We’re traveling along busy, multilane roads, and the kamikaze driving makes me glad that I’m not behind the handlebars. Romans drive as though they’re playing a video game: They’re fast and aggressive, taking turns as if they’re in Super Mario Kart — and the winner is the one reaching the next traffic light first.”
Kelly DiNardo; Roam in Today’s Chariot; The Washington Post; Aug 4, 2013.

5. tycoon

MEANING:
noun: A wealthy and powerful person, especially in business or politics.

NOTES:
Abraham Lincoln’s aides used the word as an affectionate nickname for him.

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