Set 16 – Five New Words For Nov 16

Theme: Words that have many unrelated meanings

1.mensal (MEN-suhl)

MEANING:
adjective:
1. Monthly.
2. Relating to the table.

USAGE:
“I refer to your addled account of an exchange between you and Mike Butler relative to mensal checks from home.”
John Lewis-Stempel; Fatherhood; Simon & Schuster; 2001.

“Daphne was good at mensal ceremony; her each gesture and nibble, each sip from her tea bowl, was as graceful as a small ballet.”
John C. Wright; The Golden Age; Tor Books; 2003.

2. sconce (skons)

MEANING:
noun:
1. An ornamental bracket for holding candles or lights.
2. The head or skull.
3. Sense or wit.
4. A small fort or defensive earthwork to defend a bridge, castle-gate, etc.

USAGE:

“You’ll want to snap photos of wish-list pieces like wall sconces, fireplace grilles, and sculptures.”

“I shaved my head! My noggin, my sconce, my bean.”

3. mortify (MOR-tuh-fy)

MEANING:

verb tr.:
1. To humiliate, shame, or embarrass.
2. To discipline (one’s body) by self-denial, self-inflicted suffering, etc.

verb intr.:
1. To endure self-denial, self-inflicted pain, etc.
2. To become gangrened or necrosed.

USAGE:
“Kate Bannan is mortified by her son’s conviction for drink-driving.”
Keith McLeod; Barry Bannan’s Mum; Daily Record (Glasgow); Dec 23, 2011.

“You can only understand why he mortified himself and renounced all pleasures if you have lived a long time.”
Fanny Howe; Outremer; Poetry (Chicago); Sep 2011.

4. cloaca  (klo-AY-kuh)

MEANING:
noun:
1. An outhouse.
2. A sewer.
3. The common duct into which intestinal, urinary, and genital tracts open in birds, reptiles, most fishes, and some mammals.

USAGE:
“David Walsh has found that cloaca happens. Having spent $180 million establishing Museum of Old and New Art, the most famous exhibit being Cloaca, a complicated poo-producing machine, Mr Walsh is now involved in a legal stoush* with the Australian Tax Office.”
MONA founder in Tax Office sights; The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia); Jun 7, 2012.
* fight

“Anne had balked at hanging her mistress’s most beautiful clothes in the cloaca … because of the smell.”
Posie Graeme-Evans; The Anne Trilogy; Atria; 2002.

5. confabulate (kuhn-FAB-yuh-layt)

MEANING:
verb intr.:
1. To talk informally.
2. To replace fact with fantasy to fill in gaps in memory.

USAGE:
“Senior party leaders from across the state were expected to attend the meet and confabulate on issues pertaining to tribals in the state.”
Congress Takes a Diwali Break; The Indian Express (New Delhi); Oct 13, 2011.

“The majority of the subjects failed to notice the switch, and confabulated reasons why they chose the picture they had been given.”
Neil Levy; Are You Racist? You May Be Without Even Knowing It; The Bundaberg News-Mail (Australia); May 31, 2013.

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