Set 42 – Five New Words for Feb 11

Theme: Words formed in error

1. belfry  (BEL-free)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A bell tower; also the part of a tower where a bell is hung.
2. Head. Usually in the phrase to have bats in the belfry, meaning to be crazy.

2. ambage (AM-bij)

MEANING:
noun: Ambiguity; circumlocution (= the use of many words where fewer would do, especially in a deliberate attempt to be vague or evasive. ).

USAGE:
“This increase in ambage measures increased arbitrariness.”

Type of:
verboseness, verbosity
an expressive style that uses excessive or empty words

3. arrant (AR-uhnt)

MEANING:
adjective: Complete; thorough.

USAGE:
“Norman Macrae also dismissed the Club of Rome’s prediction that the world was about to run out of food as arrant nonsense.”

4. sashay

MEANING:
verb intr.:
1. To move, walk, or glide along nonchalantly.
2. To strut or move in a showy manner.

USAGE:
“Tyler switched to 6th Street, the car swaying and sashaying through the leafy old homes of Hancock Park.”

5. viperine (VY-puhr-in, -puh-ryn)

MEANING:
adjective: Of or relating to a viper; venomous; malicious.

USAGE:
“The musical taught a generation of viperine office politicians how to stick a shiv into their bosses without leaving any fingerprints on the handle.”

Set 41 – Five New Words for Feb 10

Theme – Words from Royalty

1. interregnum

MEANING:
noun: The period between the end of a reign and the beginning of the next; a time when there is no ruler.

USAGE:
“Janet Yellen was acting chairwoman during the weekend interregnum.”

2. basilic

MEANING:
adjective: Kingly; royal.

NOTES:
Many things are named after this kingly word: plants, animals, architecture, and more. Basil, the aromatic herb of the mint family, is named so because it was used in royal preparations for medicine, bath, etc. A large vein of the upper arm is called the basilic vein due to its supposed importance. The basilisk lizard (and the legendary reptile) are named for their crown-like crest. In ancient Rome, a basilica was a large public court building and the word began to be applied to churches of the same form.

USAGE:
“The fair Prince Filiberto solemnly approached the Pope. … ‘Are You quite good now?’ the boy continued, with great black basilic eyes.”

3. kingdom come

MEANING:
noun:
1. The next world; heaven.
2. A place or future time very remote; the end of time.

USAGE:
“Television channels have found a lazy template, putting out one or the other opinion poll every week and discussing it till kingdom come.”

4. royal road

MEANING:
noun: An easy way to achieve something.

ETYMOLOGY:
According to the philosopher Proclus, when King Ptolemy asked for an easy way to learn, Euclid replied that there is no royal road to geometry. Royal Road was a highway in ancient Persia. Earliest documented use: 1793.

USAGE:
“Although no royal road for malaria control exists, research can provide solutions.”

5. kingmaker

MEANING:
noun: A person or organization having great power and influence in the selection of a candidate for an important position.

ETYMOLOGY:
The term was originally applied to Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, as “Warwick the Kingmaker” during the Wars of the Roses. Earliest documented use: 1595.

USAGE:
“In recruiting them for SNL, Lorne Michaels has played kingmaker to some of US comedy’s biggest names. ‘Think the Godfather with a whoopee cushion’, one critic wrote.”

Set 40 – Five New Words for Feb 9

Theme – card games

1. euchre (YOO-kuhr)

MEANING:
verb tr.: To cheat, trick, or outwit.
noun: A card game for two to four players usually played with the 32 highest cards in the pack.

USAGE:
“You got euchred. The company lied to you about its status and you foolishly bought its lie.”

2. vole (vohl)

MEANING:
noun:    1. Any of various rodents of the genus Microtus and related genera.
2. The winning of all the tricks in some card games.
verb intr.:    3. To risk everything in the hope of great rewards. Typically used in the phrase “go the vole”.
4. To try every possibility.

USAGE:
“So, as I was determined to go the vole, I have taken care you shall dip as deep as I.”

3. house of cards

MEANING:
noun: Something insecure or insubstantial that is subject to imminent collapse.

USAGE:
“‘We have to find a new balance,’ the pope said. ‘Otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards.'”

4. spoof

MEANING:
noun:    1. A light, good-humored imitation; parody.
2. A hoax or a prank.
verb tr.:    1. To satirize gently.
2. To fool using a hoax or a prank.

USAGE:
“Some hilarious videos doing the rounds on the Internet show people pretending to take photos with invisible iPhones and hold conversations on them. These spoofs are meant to poke fun at Apple and its legion of fans.”

5. trump card

MEANING:
noun:    1. In card games, a suit chosen to rank above the others.
2. Something that gives an overriding, decisive advantage.

USAGE:
“How big a factor might home advantage be for Kilkenny? Potentially, it could be their trump card.”

Set 39 – Five New Words For Feb 8

Theme
Miscellaneous words

1. acuity

MEANING:
noun: Sharpness; keenness.
USAGE:
“Birds seek out their own food and build nests for their eggs, some have the mental acuity to know of approaching storms and they may huddle together for warmth when it is cold.”

2. desuetude (DES-wi-tood, -tyood)
MEANING:
noun: A state of disuse.
USAGE:
“Far from being a high-tech wonder, the Earth Station had a sad, neglected air about it, a feeling of desuetude and abandonment.”

3. turgid

MEANING:
adjective:
1. Swollen; congested.
2. Pompous; high-flown.

USAGE:
“It’s not surprising that [Norm Macdonald] would take the wind out of the sails of peers who write turgid, self-important autobiographies … he has earned attention for his deflating Twitter responses to various celebrity tweets.”

4. sciolism (SY-uh-liz-uhm)

MEANING:
noun: Pretentious display of superficial knowledge.

USAGE:
“This consists of some of the dullest sciolism in the history of prose, a standardized academic jargon and rhetoric, the dutiful rehearsal of received theory, and the deliberate misrepresentation of anything challenging or rejecting academic postmodernism.”

5. edacity (i-DAS-i-tee)

MEANING:
noun: Greediness; good appetite.

USAGE:
“Allender is still undaunted, but hungry, not with the reckless experience appetite of a kid, but rather with the edacity of an older gourmand who wants as much of what he loves as possible.”

Set 38 – Five New Words For Feb 7

Theme 20-letter words

1. polyphiloprogenitive (pol-ee-fi-luh-pro-JEN-uh-tiv)

MEANING:
adjective: Extremely prolific.*

“Polyphiloprogenitive Joe Fallon, the needy, breedy father of seventeen, or was it nineteen? I was never sure, any more than Joe himself.”

“All spring and summer my parents ricochet from garden to garden, mulching, watering, pulling up the polyphiloprogenitive weeds, ‘until’, my mother says, ‘I’m bent over like a coat hanger.'”

*prolific – adjective
1.(of a plant, animal, or person) producing much fruit or foliage or many offspring.
2. present in large numbers or quantities; plentiful.

2. Little Lord Fauntleroy (lit-l lord FONT-luh-roi)

MEANING:
noun: An innocent child; also a very polite and well-dressed child.

USAGE:
“As for you in the back, Little Lord Fauntleroy, get used to it, to the real world. And maybe tell them Daddy’ll be coming in the Dacia tomorrow.”

3. anthropomorphization (an-thruh-puh-mor-fy-ZAY-shuhn)

MEANING:
noun: Attribution of human qualities to things not human.

USAGE:
“But for the most part she simply relished the anthropomorphization. That the word pencil was masculine lent each pencil a boyish mischievousness. That flower was feminine endowed flowers with a maternal dignity.”

4. silk-stocking district (SILK-STOK-ing dis-trikt)

MEANING:
noun: A part of a city inhabited by the rich and powerful.

USAGE:
“In New York years ago, cops in the silk-stocking district of the Upper East Side knew how to tie a bow tie for a young man without the experience to do it himself.”

5. secret of Polichinelle (SEE-krit uv po-LISH-i-nel)

MEANING:
noun: A supposed secret that’s widely known: an open secret.

USAGE:
“The tsar waited until after the memorial services on the fortieth day after the empress’s death … and announced that he had decided to marry Katya. The games between the tsar and the minister, the secret of Polichinelle, were over.”

“How often has she taunted me with lack of dignified reserve and needful caution! How many times has she saucily insinuated that all my affairs are the secret of Polichinelle!”

 

Set 37 – Five New Words For Feb 6

Theme: Verbs

1. gallivant or galavant (GAL-uh-vant)
MEANING:
verb intr.: To roam about in search of pleasure.

USAGE:
“Lady Gaga, Kyle Richards, and Carlton Gebbia gallivant around the streets of Amsterdam in thigh-high boots and trench coats just past midnight.”

2. vituperate (vy-TOO-puh-rayt, -TYOO-, vi-)

MEANING:
verb tr., intr.: To use harsh or abusive language.

USAGE:
“In debate, Thaddeus Stevens vituperates with relish — You fatuous nincompoop, you unnatural noise! — at foes of the 13th amendment.”

3. scrutate (SKRU-tayt)

MEANING:
verb tr.: To investigate.

USAGE:
“Philosophers have too often thought that they can learn more about human nature by scrutating the murky depths of substance and faculties than by interpreting the obvious evidence.”

4. distend (di-STEND)

MEANING:
verb tr., intr.: To swell, inflate, or extend.

USAGE:
“My lungs felt inefficient, distended, like balloons full of water.”

5. manducate (MAN-joo-kayt)

MEANING:
verb tr.: To chew or eat.

USAGE:
“Flem literally manducates, chewing over his surroundings.”

Set 36 – Five New Words For Feb 5

Theme: Words derived from hand

1. manumit (man-yuh-MIT)
MEANING:
verb tr.: To free from slavery.

USAGE:
“George Washington always intended to manumit those of his slaves who were his own to free (as opposed to the ‘dower slaves’ from his wife’s estate) and he did free them in his will.”

2. chiral (KY-ruhl)

MEANING:
adjective: Not superimposable on its mirror image.

USAGE:
“She handed me chopsticks, left hand to left hand. The knot I always had inside me seemed to loosen. Her other-handedness, my true inheritance. Back in Eden’s Prairie, it had been an abnormality, an asymmetricality, like a chiral molecule, one that has the same basic structure as others, but doesn’t fit in anywhere.”

3. handsel or hansel (HAN-sel)

MEANING:
noun: 1. A gift for good luck given at the beginning of the new year or a new venture.
2. A first payment or installment.
verb tr.: 1. To give a handsel to.
2. To inaugurate or to do something for the first time.

USAGE:
“Suddenly she thrusts something at him. A small paper packet tied with string. ‘A handsel.’ she says. ‘For Miss Whyte.'”

“The School was handselled with two unique archival gifts.”

4. mano a mano (MA-no a MA-no)

MEANING:
adverb: In direct competition; head-to-head.
adjective: One-on-one; face-to-face.
noun: 1. A bullfight where two matadors compete in turn, fighting several bulls.
2. A direct or face-to-face confrontation.

USAGE:
“Today, the editorial board of The Denver Post will go mano a mano with our colleagues at The Seattle Times over which city is better.”

5. palmer (PAH-muhr)
MEANING:
noun: 1. A pilgrim.
2. An itinerant monk.
3. One who conceals a card or another object in a magic trick or in cheating in a game.

USAGE:
“For the profane palmer the tour might indeed have been little more than a grand debauch, but for a devoted pilgrim like Jefferson it was something more.”

“That was magic — not the apparent magic of the silk-hatted card-palmer, or the bold, brute trickery of the escape artist, but the genuine magic of art.”